A business’s sales process isn’t always painless for consumers. Minor snags — like missing site info, confusing pricing and long customer support wait times — can all encourage potential leads to drop out of the sales process and look somewhere else.
These issues or pain points can actually be of significant value to your business if you can identify and fix them. Listening to your customers and remedying their pain points is one of the best ways to build brand loyalty and attract new leads.
Below, we’ll cover the pain points your customers may be experiencing as they move through the sales funnel and what your business can do to fix them.
What Are Customer Pain Points?
Pain points are specific problems or needs that your audience may have. These can be fixed by purchasing a certain product or service or adjusting your business’s buying process.
If you can identify pain points, convince the customer that your business can handle those issues and provide them with something that will help, you can build strong relationships with consumers and establish brand loyalty over time. Attending to pain points is one of the best ways to demonstrate that your brand cares and pays attention to what your patrons really need.
Typically, marketers break pain points down into four main categories:
- Customers want to make the most of their time. Repetition and friction during the buying process can quickly become frustrating. A business can target these pain points by offering services and goods that help customers become more productive.
- Cost may be a big issue for your consumers. They may be struggling with inflexible pricing models that don’t provide the combination of value and features they need. They may also be frustrated by low-quality products that are cheaper but need to be frequently replaced, which drives up the total amount they spend.
- Something about the buying process is off. It may be confusing customers or making the purchasing steps more complex than they need to be. Product information and prices may be inconsistent across channels, or contact info for your support team may be hard to find.
- Customers may sometimes feel like they’re not receiving enough support during the buying process, which can cause them to choose other companies that offer more or better resources.
Each of these pain points can apply both to your business and competitors. If you can fix or minimize these issues while also offering advantages where your competitors are struggling, you can create a competitive advantage and stand out from the rest of your market or niche.
9 Ways to Fix Top Customer Pain Points
While your business’s situation is unique, there are a few strategies that almost every company can use to identify and fix common customer issues. These nine approaches will help you deal with the top pain points and give you trackable metrics that will provide concrete feedback on how your new tactics are working:
1. Know Your Customer Base
The best way to fix pain points is to know how your consumers are hurting. Not every audience is the same, and you can’t reliably predict what clients need without in-depth audience research.
You can identify pain points with qualitative research methods like surveys and customer focus groups. Regularly reach out to consumers and ask them to share their experiences with your company, including the positives and negatives.
This technique is especially effective if you’re just starting a business or branching out to serve a new audience. These surveys can show you pain points and provide valuable info, like preferences, demographic data and interests, that you can use to improve customer experience.
If you’re struggling to get feedback from email surveys, offering an incentive — like a discount, prize or chance to win a raffle — can improve survey response rates.
Once you’ve identified the problems your customers struggle with the most, you can start fixing them.
2. Reduce Repetition
Wherever possible, don’t make customers repeat themselves. The longer and more complex your buying process is, the more information you may need from a shopper. This data includes addresses, payment plans, company size and combinations of parts and services they may need. Inputting this information repeatedly — or even having a customer service rep ask you for a detail they should already know — can quickly become frustrating.
There are a few reliable strategies for reducing repetition. You can adopt customer service and marketing platforms that allow you to centralize the data you have on a patron. These let you ensure that service reps have access to all the information they need to handle consumer issues.
3. Create an Omni-Channel Experience
Most customers will use multiple channels during the buying process. They may switch devices, buy something online and pick it up in-store or browse in-person before completing their sale on the web.
This movement across channels creates a lot of opportunity for inconsistency. Deals and new products may only be available online. There may be significant differences in product price and availability between your mobile and desktop storefronts. It may also be hard to find key information that’s easy to locate on your site’s desktop version when browsing with a mobile device.
This inconsistency can be a serious pain point. Minimizing it by streamlining and standardizing information across channels can ensure a frictionless shopping experience.
4. Make Key Information Easy to Find
Similarly, if people can’t find the information they need, they may quickly get frustrated. Store hours, FAQs, customer service contact info and basic product information should all be easy to find.
Most companies will put this information in a navigation header or some other part of the page that is highly visible and easy to access, no matter where a particular visitor is on the site.
You may have frequent, easy-to-close service tickets that show customers asking for basic information, like product availability, prices or store hours. These can also be a sign that key company information is hard to find.
5. Go Where Your Customers Are
Meet your consumers where they are at. By identifying their particular needs, you can create products and services that address their pain points.
Business sales mapping, for example, can help you optimize your reps’ sales territories, ensuring they cover as much ground as possible without wasting significant time or fuel. This benefit can help you respond to customer needs more quickly, reducing the chance that they might investigate your competitor’s offerings while waiting for assistance.
6. Improve Customer Support Availability
Customers, in general, don’t like to wait. Often, they even expect to receive help within minutes of sending an email or message through an online chatbox. If they have to wait long for support, they may look to another business.
Hiring more support staff can help with this issue. Using metrics to identify possible weak spots in your customer service practices — like average call response time or mean time to ticket resolution — can also boost rep availability. If your business is willing to invest in cutting-edge tech, AI-powered chatbots and similar technology can also help you manage your clients’ wants and needs.
7. Streamline Checkout
A complex or confusing checkout procedure can encourage clients to look elsewhere or push customers to abandon their carts. You can reduce the amount of information they need to input by simplifying forms. You can also offer convenient features, like guest checkout and optional account creation, so shoppers can store order history, preferences and payment information if they like.
Additional payment options, like PayPal and Stripe, help you ensure your consumers can pay with their preferred method.
8. Simplify Pricing Structures
Complex pricing structures may confuse or put off customers who would otherwise be interested in your brand’s offerings.
Comparisons that show the differences between different products or services of a similar type — how prices increase and features change — can provide a lot of clarity for consumers.
If your service reps regularly receive questions about how your products are priced or which products will be best for certain shoppers, it could be a sign that your pricing structure is confusing. Making quick tweaks or adjustments that show the differences between products can help.
9. Avoid Hiding Extra Fees
In some cases, you will have to charge extra fees. Being upfront about these fees and shipping costs may cause a few customers to fall out of the sales funnel early on when they realize they’ll have to pay extra. However, you’ll likely lose fewer shoppers than you would if you tried to spring that fee on them at the last second during checkout.
If you notice a large number of consumers abandoning their carts toward the end of the buying process, this can suggest issues with your checkout flow. Extra fees and shipping costs are a common cause of this kind of problem.
Fixing Pain Points to Improve Customer Acquisition
If you can identify and fix your customers’ pain points, you can build strong relationships and develop brand loyalty. Paying attention to what your consumers need and striving to improve customer experience can quickly show that your company is truly invested in its audience.
Research on your audience, combined with simple adjustments to your online storefront and customer acquisition strategy, can make a significant difference in customer experience.
Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. If she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.