Like the services and products they provide, a customer’s interactions with a business should be a pleasant and helpful experience. However, there are many complications and shortcomings within customer journeys that can turn these interactions into difficult, frustrating experiences.
These moments are known as pain points, which indicate real or perceived problems experienced by customers during interactions with your company. A few types of pain points felt by all types of customers, as discussed by MyCustomer.com, include:
- Waiting too long for answers to questions
- Being unable to order the desired product
- Receiving unsatisfactory customer service
- Experiencing confusion during shopping experiences
- Not finding a product or service within budget
However, these many types of pain points look different for every business and can only be determined by devoting time and effort to finding your company’s specific issues. The benefits for both satisfaction and sales completion will make the effort well worth it.
How Do I Find Customer Pain Points?
Now that you’ve understood what the problems are, you’ll need to find how and when they happen in your customers’ journeys. While these issues will be unique for each company, there are multiple approaches to finding them that can be applied to all businesses and customers. There are many potential methods, including:
- Interviewing Your Team - Whatever industry your company may be in, it’s crucial that you incorporate members of all departments in order to gain varied and unique insights into potential customer pain points. The more you do so, the less likely you are to overlook crucial elements.
- Walking in the Customer’s Shoes - It can be beneficial to walk through entire business interactions on your own, pretending to be a customer and completing all aspects of a sale like anyone else. By experiencing what customers experience, you can live out the reality of interacting with your business instead of only hypothesizing.
- Surveying Your Customers - Sometimes, the direct approach is best. Send online surveys to your customers or provide in-person interviews, where they can openly and honestly provide feedback concerning their best and worst experiences with your company.
- Reviewing Support Calls and Claims - Your customer service team will often have the most direct and honest contact with customers in their pain. Recorded support calls, online chats and claims sent can detail these issues, as well as how they were resolved.
- Collecting and Analyzing Website Data - If you have properly integrated your online presence with back-end data analytics, you will have massive amounts of information that detail your customers’ actions, including their pain points, when interacting with your company. When used correctly, a business can see trends and issues that may be preventing sales completions and return visits, as well as what solutions to implement in as little time as possible.
- Reading Online Feedback - As discussed by Clariant Creative, people are more willing than ever to express their opinions online concerning companies through social media, blogs, review sites and comment sections. Public feedback can often spell out the areas to improve in clear, emotionally-relatable ways.
All of these elements of insight gathering can be combined for a larger, more complete way to find customer pain points: the creation of a journey map.
Creating a Journey Map that Identifies Pain Points
Journey maps can help create detailed layouts of how customers interact with your business, showing how they move from their first interaction to their eventual sales completion.
However, customer journey maps should include the reality of lost customers and pain points that are encountered in day-to-day business interactions. While some may be tempted to create an optimal journey map that does not include their company’s shortcomings, these will do little to eliminate pain points and improve future customer experiences. Journey maps can be made more accurate by cataloging your company's touchpoints to see how you interact with potential and existing customers.
The hallmarks of a successful journey map are honesty and factual basis. As discussed by I-Scoop.eu, it is important to pay attention to the emotions of customers, as these emotions often become the most influential and memorable moments in the customer journey. By understanding and eliminating pain, as well as reinforcing positive interactions throughout the customer journey, your conversion and sales-focused business goals can be better met without forgetting the people who support your business.
Once you’ve found your biggest customer pain points, the question becomes, what do I do about them? Strategies and more can be found in Part 2: Fixing Your Biggest Customer Pain Points.