How to Identify Your Customer’s Pain Points

Here’s a thought. Would you sell cars to a factory that mass produces cars? Or, would you sell chickens to a poultry farm that grows nothing but chickens?

You wouldn’t, right?

I bet the reason behind your choice is that you know it doesn’t make sense for you to do it, since they have boatloads of what you’re selling. In short — you know that you aren’t addressing their pain points.

Such is the importance of figuring out your target audience’s pain points. When you have an idea of which areas they’re struggling with, you’ll have a better idea of how to position yourself when selling your product. Or better yet, you’ll have a better grasp of the kind of features that you need to add to your products.

That being said, allow me to share with you 3 strategies that you can use to uncover your customer’s pain points.

1. Niche-specific forums

Whether you’re looking for solutions to your problems, or you just want to unleash the keyboard warrior inside you, forums are almost always the right place for it.

While most marketers and business owners only use forums to solidify their brand’s reputation as an expert in the industry, most of them fail to realize that using forums to learn more about the problems that their audience are facing is also an effective approach to use.

If you don’t believe me, just visit a high-traffic forum about your industry and go to the “Hot Threads” or “Most Popular” section. You’ll soon realize that some of the threads that have garnered the most engagements are those that talk about the problems that your customers face in your industry.

At this point you’d may have uncovered what your customer’s pain points are. However, it doesn’t just stop there.

If you’ll look at the comments or go through the threads, you’ll see the suggestions that others are offering to help the original poster solve his problems. This means that you aren’t just benefiting from learning about the pain points of your audience, but you’re also getting ideas on how to make your products and services even more effective from learning the suggestions on the same thread.

2. Q&A sites.

The netizens flock to Q&A sites because they have questions that they need help with. At this point, I hope you realize that their “questions” are almost always their pain points. While this statement isn’t always true, it actually is at 90% most of the time.

While there are several ways on how we can use Q&A sites when researching our audience’s problems, I tend to go with these two strategies:

The survey approach

I just post a question asking about the problems or the challenges the users of the Q&A sites are experiencing when using our products, or our competitor’s.

*Note – do not ask them about all the brands in one question. Add each brand on a separate question. Also, be sure to experiment on when’s the best time to post your question. Depending on who your audience is, it might be ideal for you to post your question at night, rather than in the morning.

Data mining

Instead of doing this yourself, I urge you to hire a VA since this is quite time-consuming, albeit it being a straightforward process.

The gameplan is for the VA to scour the Q&A site for questions or issues that the users keep on asking about. They are to look for questions with the most engagements like comments, shares, or upvotes. They are also to analyze the comments to see if there are other issues raised, or solutions offered, which would be a great addition to your product.

In the end, I expect my VA to come back to me with at least 10 questions, and suggestions, with supporting information about the points that he/she came up with.

Pretty amazing, huh?

These are just some of the ways that you can use Q&A sites to understand your audience better.

* Bonus tip – another strategy that I have found useful is to stalk the marketing or sales managers of our competitors. Most of them would talk openly about the “wins” and the “losses” that they encountered while running their company. They’d also ask their audience for suggestions, improvements, or information that would help them optimize their products/services.

3. Your direct competitor’s FAQ page.

Especially when you’re still starting your business, you might not have enough data about your audience, simply because you don’t even have just the right amount of  people to gather data from to begin with. In cases like these, why not take advantage of the data and analysis that your competitors have about your industry?

Did it occur to you that their FAQ page contains a treasure-trove of information about both of your audience’s needs? Because their audience have been asking them questions about a specific topic again and again, they took it upon themselves to add the question in their FAQ page.

Of course, these frequently asked questions are a great starting point to figure out what their customer’s pain points are (note that their audience are yours too since you’re both direct competitors).

What’s next?

What are some of the best tips that you can share when it comes to uncovering your target audience’s pain points? 

Please share your ideas in the comments section below. Cheers!

Jimmy Rodela is a Freelance Writer and a Content Marketer. He is the Founder of the Guild of Bloggers. He is a contributor on websites with millions of monthly traffic like Yahoo, Business.com, Monster, Business2Community and Social Media Today.

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