Every business aims to fulfill or meet a particular need. Despite the numerous businesses, only a few of them are able to hit the success line. While people are quick to attribute business success to effective marketing strategies, it is not usually the case. Successful businesses are positioned in such a way that their products or services are able to address their prospects’ problems, otherwise known as pain points.
Pain points are not simple problems that can be easily addressed, and an unaddressed pain point may be the reason for every lost deal. This makes it imperative to roll up your sleeves, as a business, and get on the working table. Thus, addressing these pain points requires you to understand what they are, how your potential clients are impacted by them, and how your business intends to address them. Pain points create opportunities for businesses to innovate, diversify, and grow.
Pain points as a reincarnate of the bartering system
The idea of pain points could be traced to the period when trade by barter was the only means of exchange. In other words, someone gives out an item of value to someone else in return for an item they need, usually of similar value. However, as the transactions increased and societies also grew in size, barter became more difficult. Also, there was no common measure of value.
The operation of bartering became revived in modern business, however, only on a larger scale. Businesses are meant to solve certain business problems that are aimed at meeting clients’ needs. Notwithstanding, meeting these needs also come with their challenges. For instance, it is common knowledge that a food store solves the obvious need to eat. However, this solution does not apply to diverse groups of clients as there are clients that require specialized needs to be met by food stores. These are vegans or vegetarians that seek sugar-free or gluten-free foods.
Ineffective handling of these pain points will see a business struggle to make a sale.
How to identify pain points of clients
Clients’ pain points – that is, the need to solve a problem – are the reason why they will contact you. Or what is the point in attempting to sell to people that can’t or won’t buy? Usually, problems are diverse and may vary from client to client. This makes clients’ pain points subjective.
The fundamental aspect of identifying clients’ pain points lies in information derived from two major sources: your clients as well as your sales and support team. Some of the ways to achieve this are through qualitative and quantitative approaches, and they include customer surveys, checking out online reviews, observing competitors, and getting your sales team involved.
1. Customer Survey:
Surveying customers with the right open-ended questions is a great game-changer. Usually, the questions in the survey border on what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong as a business. Keep the survey as simple and direct as possible. Otherwise, you may not get the responses you desire. The responses you get will help you know what issue is mentioned repeatedly, the aspect of your business with the greatest complaints. As well as, how much your product or service has been able to address the initial problem, how you can improve your product or service to better meet the needs, among others.
2. Check out online reviews:
Reviews are another way to identify clients’ pain points. Clients are quick to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product or service. The fact that clients can even suggest ways of improving a product or service is enough ground for businesses to appreciate the importance of reviews. Nevertheless, with the rise in fake reviews, businesses are to ascertain the authenticity of reviews to avoid generating fake data.
3. Observe your competitors:
Your competitors’ websites are another great source of information as regards what constitutes most clients’ pain points. You might be losing out on certain customer personas just because of your marketing approach or pricing strategy. By observing your competitors, you get a foothold on different marketing approaches and how to craft marketing messages that best appeal to your ideal customers. Thus, you can integrate these new ideas into your business to get more results.
4. Get reports from your sales team:
Apart from your clients, your sales team also constitutes a research resource. They are always at the frontlines of winning the hearts of prospects, making them a valuable source of feedback on the pain points of your prospects. Nevertheless, be careful to be able to filter your clients’ needs from your sales team’s operational challenges. Remember your goal is to make your clients’ lives better – not your sales team’s. A true customer pain point as provided by your sales team would be, for instance, a missing product feature.
How true pain points can help your business become grow and become innovative
People evolve over time; so do pain points. Any business that wants to retain its market relevance will also have to evolve. Otherwise, such a business will get displaced by competitors. Take, for instance, Netflix. Initially, Netflix only allowed people to rent videos via mail. However, to meet the changing needs of clients, it evolved to become the streaming giant that continues to increase its revenue and profitability.
According to a myth, Henry Ford once said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Though it is easy to interpret the quote as implying that customers or target market should not be consulted in the process of developing a product or service, it is imbued with great lessons that innovators will find motivating.
The Method To The Madness
Of course, the pain point here has nothing to do with a specific mode of movement. Rather, it is about the need to get to a place faster – faster transportation – and the closest image they could paint was that of a horse. This possibly could be as a result of its swift movement. Ford, upon coming to terms with the pain point, discovered the job to be done. He initiated an innovative approach that solved the pain of slow travel.
Suffice to say that, the innovative impulse of an inventor may sometimes live outside of people’s expected means of having their needs met. Despite solving the movement pain, the pain of bad roads surfaced. Thus, other industries had to come up with innovations, such as better tires and shock absorbers, to give drivers a smooth ride.
On the flip side, some clients do not know what they want until you show them. In this case, businesses are charged with the enormous responsibilities of identifying problems. Then building a product that attempts to solve the problem, and finding effective ways to test as well as iterate the assumed solutions. You can only connect and build trust with your client when you understand their pain points and address them quickly and effectively.
How true pain points can help your business grow
Businesses that address clients’ points will grow exponentially while the ones that fail to address them is already on the verge of losing out to competitors. For instance, Blockbuster, an America-based movie provider, now lives in the shadows of its past simply because it failed to make adaptations to the changing business models in the world of technology as well as meeting the evolving needs of clients.
Customers are quick to patronize businesses with offerings that continue to address their (changing) needs or, at the least, minimize their pains. They see your product or service as an essential aspect of their lives. This helps to increase the profitability of your business, while also increasing your competitive advantage.
The onus then lies with business owners to be aware of emerging pain points and aligning their products or services in a way that addresses them. This could only be achieved through consistent pain point analysis, where solutions can be created to retain existing clients as well as attracting new ones.
Narrowing down who your clients truly are, is easy when you narrow it down to the pain points you are addressing and with which you can offer relief. It’s not just whom you are helping but the bigger picture is what you are helping them with. Avoid building the product your target clients want; rather, build the solution that addresses their fundamental problem. By solving your clients’ pain points, you would have met your clients’ needs, while also giving them enough reasons to come back. Thus, you earn your clients’ trust, win their loyalty, get a wider customer base, and, ultimately, improve your revenue.
Even with this, it is important to continue reviewing your clients’ pain points. This is because they also change with the market shift. Nevertheless, you may not be able to address every pain point of your clients. This implies that you should be able to identify when such pain points do not add any real value to your business chances of growth and expansion.
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