Your goal as a business is to solve customer pain points. But where do you start? How do you know what problems to solve? The key is research.
Customer pain points refers to the problems your customers face and how your products or services resolve those problems. If your marketing does not take into account the pain points your customers encounter, it will only be misunderstood – or worse, ignored. In order to effectively market your business, you must answer three important questions.
What problem is your product or service solving?
How do you know exactly what problems your customers are having? The easiest way is to ask them about the biggest challenge they are facing related to the product or service you offer. For example, if your company sells baby tubs, you would likely target mothers. And you might ask them this question: “What is the biggest problem you have with existing baby bathtubs?”
If you find out that the biggest problem your customers are having is that it takes too long to find the perfect water temperature for their babies, then you could create an infant bathtub that automatically heats the water to a preset perfect temperature. In doing so, you would solve a very specific customer pain point. You will also fill a niche that your competitors may have ignored.
Discovering customer pain points requires the right tools and the right approach. Many companies fail at this stage because they assume that they know what their customers are thinking or feeling, or that they already have the full picture of these pain points.
Without proper research, you might spend a lot of time and money on product innovations, product launches, and marketing that doesn’t match with what your customers truly want and need. Instead, they will go to your competitors who are addressing their actual concerns.
Part of the challenge is that finding customer pain points requires some time and investment in research.
Important tools that you can use to your advantage to learn more about what customers need include:
- Qualitative customer research: This type of research uses open-ended questions and conversations with customers to learn more about what they are thinking. Common ways to collect qualitative research are focus groups, phone surveys and questions, and in-depth interviews. You can also record interviews and analyze them to see facial expressions and non-verbal reactions to your questions.
- Qualitative sales research: Your sales team is a great marketing resource. They listen carefully to customers to try and figure out what problems they are experiencing that your product or service could solve.
- Customer surveys: Asking your customers for their opinions helps you learn more about what they want and need. Many customers are more than willing to share opinions with a company if they believe it will help improve products and services in the future.
- Online reviews: Online reviews allow you to hear directly from customers after they interact with your brand or your competitors. You can aggregate review data to find trends that will help you create better marketing campaigns.
- Social conversation monitoring: Social media gives companies unprecedented insight into what customers are thinking in real time. Set up tools and alerts to monitor what people are saying online, and join the conversation yourself to listen and learn.
What need is your product or service filling?
Although every targeted market in every industry is different, most customers have a common set of needs that your company must fulfill before they will consistently engage. These needs include:
- Feeling special– Customers want your products and services to make them feel special or important. For example, a few years ago, Barclaycard introduced the first crowdsourced social media credit card in the industry. Unlike most credit cards, Barclaycard established its benefits and rewards based on customer suggestions that were put to a vote. The ideas with the highest number of votes became standard policy, including profit sharing.
- Responsiveness– Your business should be responsive to what your customers tell you. One of the main customer pain points identified by Zappos was that its phone representatives did not have the authority to make changes without getting supervisor approval. So Zappos gave all its representatives the authority to do whatever it took to make a customer happy. After quickly implementing this change that addressed customer concerns, the company’s reputation soared.
- Reassurance -What is your company doing to provide reassurance to customers that you will stand behind your products and services if something goes wrong? Having a liberal return policy is good, but Amazon took it to the next level when it offered a two-year worry-free guarantee for its Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. The two-year warranty covers anything that happens to the tablet; for two years after purchase, Amazon will replace the old Kindle with a new tablet for any reason, no questions asked. This gives customers absolute assurance that the company stands behind its product.
What value does your content provide?
Remember: Anything that helps solve customer problems should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. And good content, including blog pieces, podcasts, webinars, video tutorials and eBooks, can help educate customers. It will give them tips and tricks for using your product or service and provide valuable information for their industry.
Your products and services are not the only things that can solve customer problems. In fact, providing actionable information to your customers increases the authority of your business and provides invaluable credibility. So when you are creating content, treat it the way you would your products and services. Make sure that each piece of content informs, entertains, answers questions and resolves problems.
Solve the right problems
You cannot market to your customers until you understand what their problems and needs are. From there, you must determine how your products and services provide a solution. But it is equally important to remember that you cannot solve all the problems your customers have. The more you hone in on a specific want or need, the more likely you are to attract their attention.
You should not think of customer pain points as something negative, but rather as the reason that your business exists. Because once you start looking at your products and services from the point of view of your customers, everything you do, including marketing, will be more targeted and more effective. To learn more about how we can help you create content that will solve your customers’ pain points, contact us today.