What are Customer Pain Points and How to Properly Address Them

Userpilot Team
12 min readNov 10, 2022

Customer pain points are important to reveal when you want to improve product engagement and grow fast. If you can fix customers’ pain points, you’ll be well on your way to improving their overall customer experience.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What are customer pain points?
  • Why do customers’ pain points matter?
  • Common pain point categories.
  • How to resolve the most common customers’ pain points.

Let’s get started.

TLDR;

  • A customer pain point refers to an issue that a customer experiences when interacting with a product or service.
  • Understanding pain points helps you avoid customer dissatisfaction, make product improvements that meet customer needs, and help you align your marketing strategy better.
  • There are four main types of customer pain points: financial pain points, productivity pain points, process pain points, and support pain points.
  • Financial pain points happen when customers feel like they’re paying too much for the product or membership fees.
  • Productivity pain points happen when customers want more efficiency from a product.
  • Process pain points happen when the customer experiences friction and struggles to do things because of the current process. The company needs to improve its internal processes.
  • Support pain points occur when the customer support teams provide insufficient help or there aren’t enough available resources for the customer.
  • You can include a self-serve knowledge base and a live chat to eliminate support pain points.
  • A common customer pain point in SaaS is limited product functionality — it’s not enough to help the customer complete their jobs to be done. To resolve this, ask customers what their jobs to be done are in the welcome screen, and then tailor the product experience to meet those needs.
  • To address customer pain points, run in-app surveys to ask customers for direct feedback. Analyze their responses, group pain points together, and then prioritize them by urgency.
  • Improve product personalization to address customer needs. Segment users based on common characteristics, and then deliver relevant features or guidance.
  • To avoid a value gap, collect product feature requests and work on adding them to your product.
  • Follow up on customer pain points by notifying them of any product improvements you’ve made and closing the feedback loop.

What are customer pain points?

Customer pain points are the issues that a customer faces in their experience with a company they’ve purchased from.

Those pain points are diverse and can be found at every step of the customer journey. By getting to the bottom of your customer pain points, you can improve overall customer experience.

Why do customer pain points matter?

Understanding customer pain points help you:

Overall, when you discover customer pain points and dig into them, they can help you to improve your product for your users.

What are the 4 main types of customer pain points?

There are four types of common pain points that customers face. Let’s discuss them in more detail:

4-Types-of-Customer-Pain-Points
Types of customer pain points.

Financial pain points

When customers feel like they’re spending too much on a product or service, and not getting the equivalent value, it becomes a financial pain point for them.

To address financial pain points and show your prospects the real value of your product, use free trials or demos (or both) to showcase your product value.

userpilot demo request form
Example of Userpilot’s demo request form.

That way, they can see where their money goes.

Productivity pain points

If a customer doesn’t feel like they’re maxing out a product’s potential because of obstacles, they experience productivity pain points.

They crave a more efficient experience and want to make the most of their time. Anything that adds friction to their product experience will cause them frustration.

The State of SaaS report found that 76% of the 100 SaaS applications reviewed have a friction-based sign-up flow.

frictionless signup flow state of saas report
State of SaaS Report Findings.

That’s bound to cause frustration with customers, affecting everything from conversions to satisfaction rates.

To avoid productivity pain points at the beginning of the customer journey, prioritize frictionless sign-up flows.

Process pain points

Process pain points happen when customers feel like the process of doing things or finding answers is too complicated. Maybe they’re stuck during onboarding and struggle to find what they are looking for.

A process pain point contributes to frustration, low engagement, and high customer churn. To avoid process pain points, add a self-serve help center, and a knowledge base in your product to improve the flow of information and keep customers moving.

Support pain points

Lack of support or poor-quality assistance from your team can lead to support pain points.

These issues can include:

  • Slow response times from your support team
  • Lack of support options (eg. they have to call to get help, no live chat or chatbot)
  • Limited self-serve support resources (e.g. knowledge base )

To offer the best customer experience with your support, implement live chats to help your customers in real-time.

You can also add resource centers with different types of content to make the process of engagement and product adoption easier, faster, and frictionless.

userpilot resource center builder
Userpilot’s Resource Center builder.

This can improve customer satisfaction while reducing support costs.

How to identify customer pain points

The first step to addressing customer pain points is to recognize where they’re taking place. Here are five methods for identifying customer pain points:

Talk to your customer service teams

Check in with your customer service team to gain valuable insights into your customer perception.

Since they are on the front line with your customers every day, they have some valuable insights regarding customer pain points. Recognize patterns in customer pain points with questions like “What issues pop up often?” and “What category do the pain points fall under?”

This is the first step to understanding and categorizing customer pain points.

Perform qualitative customer research

Qualitative customer research helps you understand customer pain points since customers give you direct, detailed feedback on their experience.

Follow this four-step process to perform qualitative research:

1. Choose a user segment to talk to.

Choose a representative sample of users to study. For example, you may choose to survey a specific user segment, like users with low NPS scores. You can investigate NPS surveys to find the reasons behind customer dissatisfaction and point out some common customer pain points.

userpilot-segmentation-feedback-loops

2. Recruit the research participants.

Follow up on the selected users and invite them to participate in the survey by sending out an email or in-app message.

discovery-interview-slideout

3. Send out the survey or interview 1-on-1.

Whether you decide to send out a survey with open-ended questions or interview users on a 1:1 basis, make sure you ask the right questions that will give you valuable insights.

4. Create cluster reports.

Turn your survey or interview data into actionable insights that will help you improve customer pain points. To do this, first, organize the data into clusters that share common characteristics, and then make sense of that data.

Perform qualitative market research

To conduct qualitative market research, map out the customer journey. This will give you valuable insights into customer pain points by helping you recognize areas of friction in the journey.

Once you’ve mapped out the journey, create user personas that narrow down the customer’s Jobs To Be Done, demographics, challenges, and more.

user persona example userpilot
Example of a user persona.

Understanding your user personas helps to guide product development as per customer needs.

Use surveys to unveil customer pain points

In-app surveys are an excellent method to collect feedback and identify pain points.

in-app survey
Example of an in-app survey.

For the most helpful insights, add an open-ended question to your survey so users can provide feedback on areas that weren’t covered in the question list. You never know what surprising feedback they may unveil if they’re given the chance!

Use the live chat to talk with customers

Live chat conversations are a treasure chest of insights on customer pain points. Whenever your customers experience a pain point, they’ll turn to the live chat if there’s one available.

Go through your chat archives and highlight common customer pain points that keep popping up. Prioritize these fixes when you make product updates so that you’re making changes that meet customer needs.

What are the most common customer pain points when using a SaaS product?

SaaS products come with their own set of very specific pain points. Here are the most common ones:

The functionality of the product/service is not enough to get the job done

Customers purchase a new SaaS tool when they have a job to be done and they envision this tool can help them achieve that. If their expectations don’t meet reality and the functionality of the product isn’t enough, it can turn into a pain point.

This happens when:

  • Customers don’t find a solution to their needs in your product.
  • Users can’t achieve their goals.
  • Users don’t know how to achieve their goals with your product/service.

How to solve this pain point

By collecting data at the beginning of the user journey with microsurveys, you can use personalized interactive walkthroughs to guide them to the features that will solve their specific problems best.

micro-survey jobs to be done
Example of a welcome survey.

Perceived effort in completing a task

If customers have to put in a lot of time or effort to complete a task in your product, it turns into a pain point and affects their satisfaction.

High perceived effort happens for three reasons:

How to solve this pain point

To lower customer effort, use tooltips to highlight valuable product features. That way, they don’t have to spend much effort searching around the product dashboard for what they want.

tooltips showing product features
Example of a tooltip showing a product feature.

You can also measure feature adoption to see how customers use your product’s features and how they gain value from them. If feature adoption is low, you can increase it with better in-app training.

feature adoption funnel
Feature Adoption Funnel.

The steep learning curve of tools

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a steep learning curve with your SaaS tool, especially if you have complex features that solve a complex problem. But when users experience a steep learning curve and are left to figure it out without proper guidance, it turns into a pain point.

How to solve this pain point

To make sure a steep learning curve doesn’t turn into a pain point and help your customers achieve real value from your product, you can use a custom onboarding process.

custom onboarding process
Diagram of a custom onboarding process.

Walk customers through the exact steps they need to complete, to reach the aha moment where they experience value. Introduce them to the product with a welcome email and/or an in-app welcome screen.

Use onboarding surveys to ask them about their goals so you can personalize their experience better. Then, support them with interactive walkthroughs, tooltips, onboarding checklists, and a resource center.

Expectations are not met

Sometimes, customers experience pain points because their expectations aren’t met. They either misunderstood the product’s purpose before signing up, or the SaaS company mislead them with information about the product.

Either way, the value gap is not closed properly. This happens when their expectations don’t correspond with reality and they’re left wanting more from the product.

value gap diagram
Diagram of a value gap.

When users haven’t achieved value using your product, they’re at risk of churning and leaving a negative review.

How to solve this pain point

To avoid a value gap, set the right expectations from the beginning and understand users’ needs. Make sure your sales team is aligned with these needs and knows how your product can reasonably help customers meet those needs.

You can also help customers experience value faster with interactive walkthroughs.

interactive walkthrough
An example of an interactive walkthrough.

Don’t leave them guessing what they should do first. Show them what essential steps they should complete to get to value fast.

No access to help when needed

Customers expect instant support when they face a product issue. Otherwise, engagement goes down, and so does customer success.

When customers can’t access the help they need immediately and in their preferred format, they’ll experience support-related pain points.

This usually happens because of three reasons:

  • There’s a delayed response from the customer support team.
  • There are no on-demand learning materials available to them.
  • There’s no live chat for instant help.

How to solve this pain point

To solve this pain point, be proactive with support. Anticipate customer questions or issues before they happen, and have solutions ready to handle them.

customer support experience survey
Customer support experience survey responses.

For example, create a self-service support solution that customers can turn to answer their questions without slowing them down. Many customers even prefer resolving their issues rather than reaching out to your customer support team directly.

Tips for addressing customer pain points

After identifying pain points, it’s time to start addressing them with better solutions. Here are four strategies to solve customer pain points:

Ask customers about their needs

Use in-app surveys to understand your customers’ needs and help them achieve their goals. Qualitative and quantitative research helps you gather direct customer feedback and insights on how to improve your product or service.

There are lots of in-app surveys you can run to find customer pain points. Here are a few ideas to start with:

user experience survey userpilot
An example of a PMF survey in Userpilot.

Personalize your product to user needs

Segment your users using the data you collected during onboarding (such as their jobs to be done) and create personalized flows for each segment.

building user segments in userpilot
Building user segments in Userpilot.

Your customer expects an experience that’s tailored to help them achieve their own individual goals. Meet their expectations with a personalized user experience that leverages their data to give them relevant features and product guidance.

Address their pain points with an effective solution

It’s important to offer solutions when a pain point arises. Having options ready can help turn every interaction into a positive one and create a better customer experience, which will increase customer satisfaction.

Many times customer pain points arise because your product is missing out on a feature. If they reach out requesting the feature, follow up on the request, suggest an alternative in the meantime, and tell them that you’re working on it.

Follow up on your customer pain points

When customers take the time to offer feedback, they want to know that you’ll take it to heart and make product improvements.

Once you’ve made those improvements, let them know about the changes by notifying them with an in-app message, therefore, closing the feedback loop.

customer feedback loop
How to close the customer feedback loop.

Conclusion

By uncovering customer pain points and fixing them, you’ll be on your way to growing a loyal customer base with a high lifetime value.

Want to get started with improving customer pain points? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how you can build product experiences, code-free, that alleviate customer pain.

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Userpilot Team

Userpilot is a Product Growth Platform designed to help product teams improve product metrics through in-app experiences without code. Check out userpilot.com