Customers are the core of any business structure. Forget flashy marketing campaigns, high-tech gadgets, and all the bells and whistles. At the end of the day, if you can't attract a loyal clientele, your business is dead in the water.
Not only do you need to appeal to customers but you need to retain them. The key to this is discovering and solving their major pain points.
A recent study reported that 50% of customers admit they'll find a new brand to shop with if the current business can't anticipate their needs.
Although you're not a mindreader, you can take important steps toward finding and addressing customer pain points – and ultimately turning them into long-term clients.
Let's take a look at how it's done.
Understanding Your Value Proposition
Before you can talk about what you have to offer customers, you need to find out what their pain points are. Once you understand their unique problems, you can effectively pitch your product or service as a solution.
This means getting to know your customers on a deeper level. Is their pain emotional, physical, or financial? What's at the root of their problem and what aspect of their issue can you address?
Simply acknowledging they have a real problem helps tap into customer emotions. With so many companies talking "at" their target audience, put your best foot forward by being an active listener.
Showing true interest in their problems shows customers that you value them, their time, and their business. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is assuming they already know what the customer pain points are.
Never assume. Instead, ask open-ended questions and take the time to listen. Some customer pain points might just spark your next big product idea.
Exploring Pain Points
Once you've identified that a pain point exists, it's time to probe a little deeper. The best way to do this is by asking open-ended questions.
Avoid prying into someone's business or being pushy. Show compassion for their situation and ask them to describe their problems to you.
Customers aren't used to getting such undivided attention. By showing genuine interest in their problems and finding them a solution, you're creating an emotional connection with your brand.
Avoid telling customers that you already know what their problems are. Instead, ask them to explain it to you.
Not only does this make them feel more in control of the situation, but it may uncover aspects of their pain points you didn't know were there.
Acknowledging Their Pain and Offering a Solution
Compassion is another understated requirement for any new start-up. Once you've identified the customer's pain points through open dialogue, it's time to sympathize with them.
Acknowledge that their problems are real and justified. Empathize with them and reinforce the points they've made. If applicable, elaborate even further on some of their complaints.
Now that you've laid the foundation, it's time to introduce your solution to the problem. But instead of selling the customer your product, present it as a question.
Ask them how a specific product could solve their problem. What features would that product need to address their pain points? Make sure to touch on at least one feature that your product offers.
Explaining the Features of Your Product
This should be the last step in the process, not the first.
All too often businesses take an aggressive approach to marketing. They start by rattling off their product features to a prospective client without taking the time to discover their pain points.
Instead, wait until you've sympathized and connected with the customer. Once you both agree their issues are valid and what type of solution they need, you can present your product's features.
If done right, you've already won the prospect over with your compassionate personality and sincere interest in their well-being. Let the customer know you care about solving their pain points more than you care about the bottom line.
The Dos and Don'ts of Uncovering Customer Pain Points
Does this feel like an unconventional way of converting sales? It is. And that's what makes it so effective.
In our Bootcamp, we'll cover exactly how to take this approach to uncover customer pain points.
For now, check out a few more tips on pain point discovery.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Understanding the difference between open-ended and leading questions is crucial for finding customer pain points.
A leading question is often egocentric and designed to sway the prospects' opinion. An open-ended question, on the other hand, sparks a conversation and allows the other person to share their honest opinion.
A leading question - "Isn't this hand moisturizer less oily than most?"
An open-ended question - "What features do you look for most in a hand moisturizer?"
Other effective questions include:
- What is the biggest challenge you're facing right now?
- What will happen if your problem goes unsolved?
- What's stopping you from finding a solution?
- What type of system or product would help address your pain point/problem?
Become an Active Listener
One of the best ways to make customers feel appreciated is by giving them your time and attention. Asking open-ended questions is fruitless if you're not an active listener.
Discovering client pain points offers a unique look into the mind and emotions of your target audience. Don't let this opportunity pass you by.
Don't interrupt prospects while their talking. Fight the urge to present your product or solution from the start. Each step of the pain point discovery process is important and leads up to the introduction of your product as the solution to their problem.
Follow-up questions and comments let the person know you're actively listening.
Formulate a Survey
Identifying the pain points of existing customers is just as important as fielding prospects. A survey is an easy and effective way to check-in with existing clients and improve user experience.
Use a mix of multiple-choice and open-ended questions to understand customers on a deeper level.
The trick to surveys is actually getting customers to participate. Try offering a coupon code or other incentive to everyone who completes the survey.
Customer Pain Points are the Key to Start-Up Success
It's no secret that without customers, your business won't survive. But attracting and retaining those customers is the real key to success.
When you take the time to listen, ask questions, and show prospects you genuinely care, you're making a permanent positive impression. You're also uncovering their pain points and learning more about how your product can solve them.
Stop selling yourself to your clients and start making connections.
Contact us today to learn more about how our Bootcamp can transform your approach to business.
You can also check out our podcast for more tips, tricks, and advice on becoming a successful start-up.