Editor’s note: Marcus Manns is the head of marketing at mecs.Design. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “How to find and understand customer pain points.”
If you’re running a business or marketing department, it’s important to understand your customer’s pain points. These are the places where they’re having trouble or frustration. By understanding these pain points, you can begin to address them and improve the customer experience.
There are a few ways to find your customer’s pain points. They all boil down to asking the right people the right questions. The people can be customers, customer-facing employees or survey respondents. The questions need to focus on any kind of dissatisfaction (pain point). Having a variety of questions will serve as prompts, leading the person in directions that can help identify customer pain.
First, you’ll need to know where to look, what types of customer pain are most common and how to identify the pain points in your customer experience.
Before launching into your research, it’s good practice to get your mind attuned to your customer’s perspective. One of the best ways we know of is called Jobs Theory, also known as Jobs to Be Done, a framework created by Clayton Christensen. Jobs Theory posits that customers don’t buy a product or service to fulfil a basic need. They “hire” them to do a job. That job could be something as simple as making them feel more confident or organized. Every product or service is hired to do a specific job for the customer. In other words, your customers aren’t thinking about your product or service in the same way that you are. They’re thinking about what your product or service can do for them
This is an important distinction to make because it changes the way you think about your customer’s needs. Instead of thinking, “What does our product do?” You should be asking, “What job do...