What Are Customer Pain Points? (With Examples And Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

In business, it is important to understand not only what your consumers want, but how the company itself can improve the customer's experience to create strong brand loyalty and image. Customer pain points are any hindrances that can prevent consumers from purchasing or engaging with a product or service. knowing more about these pain points and how to identify them can help you maximise success within a business.

In this article, we define what customer pain points are, explain the four types of pain points, provide examples of each type, discuss the benefits of identifying them and offer tips for doing so to optimise brand image and sales success.

What Are Customer Pain Points?

Customer pain points are shortcomings a product or service has that can make the consumer less likely to engage with it. It is impossible to create a product or service that is perfect and pleases every single consumer, but businesses can use different metrics to determine what these pain points are and determine how to fix them. Pain points can impact a brand's image, which can result in less brand loyalty and an overall unfavourable reputation for the company.

By properly identifying and addressing pain points, you can improve the customer's experience, which can have widespread positive impacts on the business's success. The more confident consumers feel about purchasing or engaging with a product or service, the more likely they are to continue supporting the business by contributing to sales and using reviews and word-of-mouth to positively impact the company's reputation.

Related: What Is Product Marketing? Definition, Importance And Steps

What Are The Types Of Customer Pain Points?

There are four types of customer pain points:

Productivity pain points

A productivity pain point can occur when the consumer feels unable to use the product or service efficiently. This can happen when a product has unnecessarily complex steps that decrease the consumer's satisfaction and make them feel as if they are wasting their time. This can be a critical issue that benefits from immediate attention and mediation so that the product is as user-friendly as possible.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

Financial pain points

A financial pain point can occur when a customer feels as if the value of the product or service they purchased is not worth its cost. This can happen when a product is more expensive than most of its competition while offering similar benefits. It can also occur if a company uses hidden taxes or fees as part of its purchasing process or if the product has poor quality that requires frequent maintenance.

Support pain points

Customers may experience support pain points if they feel that the company they are engaging with does not provide adequate customer support. This can result from a poor consumer experience due to long customer service wait times or inadequate advice or help when issues arise. It is important for companies to identify support pain points and make an effort to combat them through increased attention to the consumer experience.

Related: 8 Customer Support Skills (Advantages And Ways To Improve)

Process pain points

A process pain point is when the customer feels dissatisfied with their experience due to confusing or complex steps stemming from flaws in the system's design. This can leave consumers feeling frustrated with a product and less likely to continue engaging with it or promote it to others. It is important to identify and address process pain points within a business to improve the overall user experience and make consumers more inclined to use your product or service as opposed to those of your competition.

Examples Of Consumer Pain Point Types

Here are four examples of each consumer pain point type you can use to better understand how each differs and how they impact the customer:

Example of a productivity pain point

A clothing company requires customers to enter sales codes beneath each individual item in their shopping cart to receive a discount. For customers with large orders, this can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. To combat this, the company contracts a web developer to streamline the process so that the customer only needs to enter the discount code once for it to apply to all the items in their cart.

Example of a financial pain point

A cleaning business offers customers a set price of ₹25 per hour for their standard cleaning package, which includes vacuuming, mopping, dusting and disinfecting all interior surfaces. A rival business begins to offer the same price for their standard package, with additional services including laundry and window cleaning. Customers begin to notice that they can receive a better value for their money by opting for the latter company, so the former lowers the price of their initial standard package to ₹20 per hour and includes the additional services as an upgraded package at ₹25 per hour.

Related: How To Manage Customer Relationships: A Complete Guide

Example of a support pain point

A cable company has a reputation in their industry for having the most affordable cable packages on the market, but customers often require to deal with hours-long wait times when engaging with customer support. This results in consumers switching to other cable providers that, while more expensive, have a more user-friendly and efficient customer service system in place, saving them time and frustration. The company decides to invest in a new customer support software tool that results in shorter wait times for the consumer.

Example of a process pain point

A food delivery app requires all new drivers to verify their car insurance before starting, which involves each prospect reaching out to their insurance company. Similar delivery apps simply require the driver to enter their insurance policy information on the app, which they verify on their own. Realising that this additional step makes the set-up process longer and more inconvenient, the company decides to alter the system so that drivers can self-report their car insurance information, which the company can later verify.

Related: 15 Necessary Customer Service Skills And How To Develop Them

What Are The Benefits Of Identifying Consumer Pain Points?

There are various benefits to identifying a consumer base's pain points, including:

  • Helps improve product quality: One of the main benefits of identifying pain points is that it allows for a business to optimise its operations and product quality. Knowing exactly what consumers find difficult in their user experience makes it easier to amend these shortcomings and make processes more convenient and the product more valuable to the consumer.

  • Helps learn more about the consumer: When identifying consumer pain points, companies can learn a lot about what their consumers find effective or ineffective. This information is valuable and lets businesses streamline their products and the processes within them to better meet the needs of the customer, which can result in more brand loyalty and increased profits.

  • Helps a business distinguish itself from its competitors: Another benefit of identifying consumer pain points is that it allows companies to analyse their competition and use their findings to distinguish them from the competition. For example, if a business identifies its main competitor's pain points, it can apply extra effort towards improving these components within its own company to attract new customers.

Related: How To Improve Customer Focus Using 8 Key Strategies

Tips For Identifying Consumer Pain Points

Here are tips you can follow to better identify the pain points of your consumer base:

  • Use qualitative market research. Qualitative market research is a process where companies survey their customers for feedback on their products using numerical scores. This type of research makes it possible to identify pain points directly from the consumer that may otherwise go unnoticed if you simply gather reviews or other forms of voluntary feedback.

  • Analyse customer feedback. While qualitative research helps identify underlying issues within a company's consumer relations, direct feedback from reviews can be just as informative. Customers are likely to provide you with exact reasons for why they like or dislike something about a product or service, which companies can consider when making changes for the better.

  • Meet with the customer service team. Another tip for identifying consumer pain points is to meet with members of the customer service team. These individuals can take note of issues or questions that come up repeatedly when they assist customers, which the business can apply to their plans for optimising user experiences.

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