3 Ways To Identify The Problems Your Customers Face
What is it that your customers need?
Why do they come to your business, or turn to one of your competitors?
Superficially, this seems like a simple enough question with a rather obvious answer.
They need your product or service.
However, that’s often not really the right answer.
What they need is a solution to their problem.
Your product or service might be the answer, but it might not.
It might even be just one of many.
So, how do you determine what problems your customers are actually facing?
It’s About Pain, Not Pleasure
Too often, we equate purchasing a product or arranging for a service with the getting of pleasure.
For instance, hiring a construction company to build a new backyard deck allows a homeowner the pleasure of spending more time outdoors.
However, most people are willing to spend more money (and pony up the cash much faster) when they’re addressing a pain point.
In the deck-building scenario, what would the pain point be?
Perhaps they’re feeling that they don’t have enough time with their family.
Maybe they long for a place where they can go to let the cares of the world slip away and relax.
Perhaps they want a green space where they can reconnect with nature.
All of these are examples of pain points – problems that the customer is facing that might not be obvious to you at first glance.
Look For Common Pain Points
Perhaps the single best way to identify your customers’ true problems is to dig into your offering and figure out what problems it addresses.
What does it allow your customers to achieve, and how does that relate to their lives?
It’s never as simple as benefiting from a list of features.
For instance, a new smartphone might address any number of pain points/problems, including:
- The ability to reconnect with distant loved ones through Skype or another video chat app
- The ability to answer emails while on the go, freeing up vital time to take care of other responsibilities
- The ability to stay connected to competitors, or to the financial market and make decisions in real time
As you can see, something as seemingly simple as a smartphone can deliver myriad benefits that address an incredible range of problems.
You need to identify what problems your product or service could conceivably help your customers overcome.
Consider Using Surveys
Another way to dig into the situation is to use customer surveys.
These can be implemented online, or in a physical store. On the survey, ask questions like the following:
- What was it that made you choose our product?
- How do you use our product?
- What improvements or changes would you like to see most?
- What additional features would matter most to you?
Each of these questions can shed light on the problems your customers are experiencing and help you tailor your product or service to better meet their needs.
The Retail Sales Academy Team