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How to identify customer pain points (and boost your marketing results)

Identify customer pain points and boost marketing results | Guide My Growth

You cannot have a successful business unless you identify customer pain points. And, knowing these pain points will help you boost your marketing results. 

In a previous post, I talked about why every business needs a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Part of creating your USP is finding out why your Most Profitable Customers buy from you instead of from your competitors. You can find this out if you know how to identify customer pain points.

What are customer pain points?

Pain points are problems or obstacles that your potential customers are facing. If you know what these pain points are, you can use them to refine your USP, get better marketing results, and increase your sales.

Customer pain points are unmet needs that are waiting to be satisfied.

All customers have pain points. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling to private individuals, businesses, or organisations.

Once you understand the pain points that your (potential) customers are facing and you can find a way to solve these problems – through your products or services – you can design your marketing and advertising to directly target these customers.

In other words, customer pain points equal business opportunities for you.

What are the most common customer pain points?

There are 4 main pain points:

  • Financial pain points
  • Support pain points
  • Productivity pain points
  • Process pain points

Financial pain points

Anything that makes customers feel that they are spending too much money.

Financial pain points occur when a customer feels their current product or service is too expensive. There are various types of financial pain points:

  • Product quality. How long will the product last before the customer has  to repurchase? Many customers choose to save money by buying more expensive products or services that will last for a long time. But other customers prefer to buy a lower quality product so that they spend less money.
  • Repeat purchases. Many customers prefer to buy frequently-used items in bulk to save time and money. Some of these customers will choose disposable items, while others may prefer resuable items.
  • Recurring expenses. Some customers may prefer to do a one-off payment while others may prefer pay-as-you-go options or subscriptions to spread the cost.

Financial pain points are the most critical pain points because people do not like to spend money.

How to use this in your marketing

Each of the financial pain points has multiple solutions. You can only know which one to offer if you know your market and listen to your customers.

  • If your customers are concerned about the price, focus your marketing on the value that your product or service will bring to your customer. This means that you study your competitors’ products to find out what makes your product more valuable.
  • Or, focus on the lower price that you offer compared to competitors. But keep in mind that many consumers believe that cheap equals low quality.

The important thing is to offer various pricing options that cater to customer expectations.

Support pain points

Anything that makes it difficult for customers to buy what they want.

Support pain points occur when potential customers feel they are not getting the correct support during the buying process.

Examples are:

  • Delayed response from business when the customer asks a question
  • Not getting good quality information about the product or service
  • Not being able to access information or support through their preferred channel, whether through a phone call, messaging, or in person.
  • The product or service is not available in the customer’s choice. For example, offering daytime class-based training sessions instead of on-demand training when the customer is working full-time.

When a business fails to deliver the right solution to this pain point, it impacts customer retention and loyalty.

How to use this in your marketing

Support pain points are often caused by internal problems in the business.

Resolving these issues can help to tackle this pain point. In addition, focus on making your customer’s buying process as easy as possible.

The best way to exceed customer expectations is by helping them find a solution to their problem.

Productivity pain points

Anything that makes it difficult for the customer to use a product.

Productivity pain points occur when customers feel they are wasting too much time using their current product or service. They want processes to be streamlined and they want products that are easy to use.

Some examples are:

  • Inconvenience in using the product, for example, having to read long instructions before using the product
  • Redundancy and friction in the buying process
  • Having to waste time to get information about the product.

Productivity pain points cause frustration. As a result, customers may terminate their relationship with your business.

How to use this in your marketing

You need to convince your customers that your product will help them save time and effort. You can use your marketing to showcase this.

  • Highlight reductions in wasted time experienced by current customers
  • Use videos, images and product descriptions that focus on productivity gains
  • Emphasize your product’s ease-of-use features (you can use a short video for this)

The best way to resolve productivity pain points is to offer a solution that balances time, convenience and comfort.

Process pain points

Anything that negatively affects a process that customers have to follow.

Process pain points are similar to productivity pain points. They occur when a  customer feels that internal processes are inefficient. This pain point is more common in B2B than in B2C.

Examples are:

  • Long delays before getting in touch with the right department
  • Not getting timely updates
  • Having to repeat or resubmit the same information to different people or through multiple channels

These pain points frustrate your customers and push them to go to a competitor.

Outdated or inefficient processes may affect customer service quality because it may result in longer waiting times for customers. If customers leave you, you will end up spending more money to acquire new customers.

In other words, process pain points make you lose money.

How to use this in your marketing

A customer who is dealing with a process pain point is trying to accomplish something and is being forced to do so in an outdated or inefficient way. If your product or service can offer them a smarter and more efficient way of doing this, you will win customers and retain them.

  • In your marketing, highlight how your product or service can make difficult or time-consuming tasks easier
  • Use product videos or testimonials to show proof that your product or service is indeed easier to use.

Note: process and productivity pain points resemble each other. Here is how to distinguish between them:

  • are the problems affecting business performance because your team members have too much work to do? This is a productivity pain point.
  • is your business finding it hard to take the next step due to inefficiencies in collaboration or communication? This is a process pain point that requires strategic and systemic change in your business.


Customer pain points are very important because they offer business opportunities. However, to capitalise on these opportunities, you need to adjust your marketing:

  • Emphasise what customers will be able to achieve after solving this pain point.
  • Show them how your products or services can help them achieve this.

If you can clearly show this in your marketing and advertising, customers will come running to you.

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