Customer experience (CX) has never been so crucial: consumers have instant access to products and services from all over the world, and if your company can’t meet their needs, you know that others will.
Did you know that over two-thirds of brands compete mainly on the basis of customer experience? And more than 30% of customers would stop buying from a brand after a single negative experience — no matter how much they love it.
If you’re thinking, “Well, our customer experience couldn’t possibly get any better,” think again. After all, nothing’s perfect, and businesses can always innovate and improve to keep up with customer demands.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to find and solve customer pain points, empowering you to improve your customer experience and deliver an unbeatable customer journey from start to finish.
What Are Customer Pain Points — And How Do They Show Up in Your Customer Journey?
Despite there being millions of different brands, across thousands of categories and propositions, the touchpoints and stages of a customer journey are more or less the same. And because of this, we see four main types of customer pain points emerging:
Financial Customer Pain Points
Financial pain is perhaps the most high-risk of all customer pain points. This occurs when a consumer feels that a product or service is overpriced, or they incur an extra, unexpected cost at the moment of purchase, for example.
The ‘pain of paying’ is a particularly powerful phenomenon to know about in customer experience design. According to behavioral economists, people are less likely to make a purchase when that purchase hurts us in some way — makes sense, right? But we’re not just talking about over-priced goods, lack of transparency and ‘surprise fees’ can be a punch in the gut too.
As customers, we’ve all been frustrated by unexpected add-ons at the checkout stage (e.g. “handling charges”) or the dreaded lack of a free shipping option. Brands should avoid putting customers in this position — especially when 66% of shoppers expect free shipping every time they complete an online transaction.
Productivity Customer Pain Points
How much friction is there in your customer journey? If steps take longer than they should, or information is hard to find, then this added friction results in productivity pain points for your customer base.
Think of a time when you’ve found a new brand you like online and excitedly navigated to their website. All is going swimmingly until you try and load a product page and the website comes to a grinding halt, progress bar moving dismally slow. Will you wait patiently for the page to load or leave to look for greener pastures elsewhere? You’ll leave. Of course. And that brand will miss out on a sale. With a few page speed optimizations, they could’ve avoided this scenario, securing a new customer and potential positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Process Customer Pain Points
Process and productivity pain points are similar, except that the former is more to do with delivering a convenient, hassle-free experience than saving time. How intuitive is your site map, for example? Do you have any dead links or 404 errors? Is your AI chatbot sophisticated enough to handle natural language processing and human responses? A clunky or confusing process could be enough to damage customer retention.
Support Customer Pain Points
Customer support is the thread that ties all of the above together. If a customer’s discount doesn’t work, they need to make a change to their delivery address, or they find themselves lost in an unintuitive checkout flow, then they’ll reach out to your customer service team.
And yet, the mere presence of a ‘help’ button or phone line won’t remedy anything. The service your support team delivers is a make-or-break opportunity: do agents have the right tools to give customers context-driven support that makes customers feel seen? Or do agents have to ask customers to provide a bunch of basic info and maybe even repeat themselves if they’ve reached out more than once? Those two scenarios provide two very different outcomes when it comes to building customer loyalty.
You may have seen us make this point elsewhere on the Dixa blog, but happy agents make for happy customers. So in trying to identify and resolve customer pain points, don’t forget to assess (and improve) your support team’s ways of working too.
How to Identify Customer Pain Points in Your CX
If the above pain points are prevalent across many customer journeys, then chances are you’ll find them within your CX as well.
So what are the best ways to find them?
Formal or Informal Qualitative Research
Qualitative research is a critical step in knowing how to find and solve customer pain points. It’s not always easy or pleasant to hold a mirror up to your CX, but it’s far better to know where you’re underperforming so that you can remedy any issues.
This involves gathering data through various channels, such as:
- Focus groups
- Respond to social media messages and comments
- Contact center conversations.
Surveys and questionnaires are two of the easiest types of qualitative research for any business to undertake. But make sure your surveys are easy and convenient to complete, otherwise, your participants may send forms back half-finished or ignore them altogether.
One way to keep your surveys simple and effective is to ask closed questions, such as “Would you recommend this to a friend?” or “Did you find the product you were looking for?” Customers can answer “Yes” or “No” — and you get a clear indication of where their head is at.
In customer research best practice, you’d want to follow up certain closed questions with qualitative answer boxes, too. Why would they recommend you to a friend? How could a customer service agent have better supported them? These can be optional for the participant to answer, but the insights you’ll gather will be game-changing as you work out how to find and solve customer pain points.
Focus On Emotional Aspects, Too
In a world of data and analytics, it’s easy to forget that your customers are human just like you. When they can’t find the solution they’re looking for, they might feel angry or short-tempered. When they’re treated badly by a customer support agent, they may become offended or feel as if they’ve done something wrong.
The emotional peaks and troughs of your customer experience are just as important as how many clicks a process takes — if not more. You want customers to feel good after they visit your website, complete a transaction, or interact with your brand on social media. You want them to confidently recommend your business to others.
Think about how valued your customers feel during their customer journey. Do they receive personalized support? Do your agents have instant access to the customers’ previous interactions and purchases? Do they speak with the same agents each time they contact your business to ensure continuity and familiarity? If not, you know what you need to invest in.
Work With Your Customer Service Team to Understand Why Customers Left You in the Past
Retail Dive reports that customers abandon brands for various reasons:
- 1 to 3 instances of poor service is enough to chase 73% of consumers away.
- 44% leave because they can’t find specific details.
- Receiving conflicting information will prompt 23% of customers to shop elsewhere.
Those statistics are powerful and help us all understand what to focus on in CX design. But if you don’t know why your customers abandon your business and try an alternative, you can’t make the necessary changes and prevent it from happening again.
Your customer service team may have the insights you need to rectify issues and deliver a stronger experience. Work with them to explore recorded conversations with customers, registered complaints, and any other feedback to find out what you weren’t able to do for consumers.
We learn more from failure than success, as they say — so put your previous missteps to good use as you find and solve customer pain points.
Read reviews online
90+% of consumers aged 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. And they don’t always expect perfect ratings. Near-perfect feedback is harder to believe, and consumers typically need a brand to have at least 40 reviews before they trust the average star rating.
Your reviews are a valuable source of information on customer experience, customer pain points, and successes. So check what feedback has been left for your brand, as well as your competitors; look for common issues that affect ratings, such as slow response times or technical problems. You can make changes based on real research instead of assumptions.
Now That You’ve Found Your Customer Pain Points, It’s Time to Focus On Solutions
Find a customer pain point, solve it, then rinse and repeat.
It’s not quite as easy as we’re making it sound, sure, but it is an iterative process — one that gets much easier once you’re in the rhythm. Here are our top tips:
Take the Insights You Gathered From Qualitative Research and Pair Them With the Data
We spoke earlier about qualitative research, but when qual and quant are put together, that’s where the magic really happens. What data-driven evidence do you have for the common pain points shared in your customer surveys?
Let’s say that survey respondents flag issues with your payment page, does this show up in drop-off rates this far along in the journey? If so, you’ve found one ‘low-hanging fruit’ solution.
But be prepared to go one step further to really find and solve customer pain points at their core. Monitor your visitors’ journey across your site closely and study exactly where and why it goes wrong. Why is your payment page so clunky to use? What slows down key webpage loading times? Why don’t certain videos play properly and affect mobile users’ browsing? What does a heatmap show about where customers click and where they don’t?
Use your findings to improve the customer experience, optimize all problematic pages, and monitor results. Then keep looking for new opportunities to refine and re-refine your CX.
Empathy should be a primary component of your customer service toolkit in 2022. Recent data from Dixa reveals that 96% of customers consider empathy to be “very important” to them in customer service interactions, and 92% are unlikely to buy again from brands with poor customer service practices.
Treat customers with compassion and understanding when they contact your brand. This is your time to shine. After all, often the only face time customers get with your brand is when they contact your customer support. Train reps to take the customer through solutions step by step with patience and respect — no matter how many times they’ve done the same thing that day!
Upgrade Your Customer Service Tech
The right customer service technology is essential when exploring how to find and solve customer pain points. If yours is out of date or a poor fit for your business, it could be doing more harm than good.
Does your current platform rely on an old-fashioned ticketing system that treats customers like anonymous numbers, or does it place customer knowledge at your fingertips? Can you use it to deliver a personalized, seamless service that makes customers feel valued and respected?
Tech should help your support team, not hinder them. If your agents are still picking through a messy shared email inbox, are assigned to a single channel at a time, or lack access to a unified overview of customer interaction histories, then it’s time to upgrade.
Keep Measuring and Monitoring
It’s one thing to declare that your business will solve customers’ problems and treat them well. But making that a reality is another. You may think that your current strategy improves your customer experience, but without ongoing monitoring, you can’t determine if that’s true.
Any changes you implement into your customer service, and any other areas of your business that affect customer experience, should be considered with care. Commit to assessing your CX and customer journey to identify new pain points on a regular basis. Be proactive, not reactive: try to spot emerging issues before they affect customers, rather than waiting for complaints to roll in.
How to Find and Solve Customer Pain Points in Your CX Starting Today
You invest in branding and marketing, you invest in product development. But let’s face it, your customer experience underpins everything you do — it’s paramount to your success. So…
- Focus on delivering the best customer experience possible each time you interact with an existing or prospective buyer.
- Provide all the information, resources, and service a customer could want at every stage of their journey.
- Gather data on the best and worst aspects of your CX, then build on or fix them.
This will help you understand how to find and solve customer pain points more effectively.
And to really seal the deal, Dixa is an innovative customer service platform that anticipates consumer pain points and empowers your team to solve them. Discover how Dixa can help you make every conversation count.