Most people don’t like pain and they definitely don’t like to experience the same pain more than once. The situation is no different when it comes to the pain customers encounter dealing with companies. Customers struggle to stay loyal with brands following a negative experience. Fortunately, executives are prioritising the customer experience more than ever these days. A recent study found that 75% of companies identified improving customer experience as their top objective.
Identifying pain points is an essential stage in improving the experience of your customers. Here are four proven methods to identify customer pain points.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat….
Whether we like it or not, social media has become a significant part our lives. It provides a platform for customers to engage directly with brands (positively and negatively). Analyse your social media channels to understand the common pain points customers are encountering with your products or services. Even look at the social media channels of your competitors - what are people saying about those brands on social media? Could your customers be experiencing the same pain points?
What better way to understand what your customers go through than by actually experiencing their journey first hand. Immerse yourself in the customer journey and document any notable findings. This approach leverages the design thinking mindset, a human-centred methodology focused on understanding the customer before solving their problems. Consider some of the following questions to help identify pain points as you immerse yourself in the journey:
Customer insights gathering is not a once off event and needs to be embedded within the roles of team members. Upskill your team members to better understand customers and move away from traditional problem identification (eg. our products/services are too expensive) to capturing real problems encountered at each touch point (eg. sales or support touchpoints). The insights gathered will come straight from customers at the point of interaction allowing your team to uncover real customer problems. This will also allow your team to respond to pain points faster.
A Forrester report highlighted that only 63% of CX pros say their firm maps customer experiences. This is surprisingly low as one of the most effective ways to improve your customer journey is to understand every touch point in the end to end journey. By not mapping out the journey it is easy to fall into the trap of only focusing on the obvious customer touch points (such as purchase). Analyse the complete customer lifecycle, from awareness (how do your customers find out about you?) all the way to post-purchase (what happens after the customer has bought your product?). This will allow you to identify current pain points that your customers face that you can rectify immediately. Hopefully before they plaster it all over Social Media!
Once you have identified your customer pain points the next step is to prioritise them. Not all pain points can be fixed straight away due to factors such as time, money and resources. Prioritising your pain points will allow you to focus on the pain points that will have the largest impact to your organisation. Customers are becoming more and more impatient with brands and are less likely to wait for the best customer experience...they will take their money to a competitor.
This report draws on our work driving change at large companies as well as from thought leadership in the space of not just management literature, but also evolutionary biology, psychology and sociology, because in order to see things clearly and influence human behaviour, we need to think holistically.