Whether developing a new service offering, crafting a sales letter, writing an “about us” page, or communicating with customers on social media sites, understanding your target audience’s pain points is essential to your success. In short, you need to know what problems your customers have before you can possibly solve them. Similarly, this same understanding brings compassion to your message and helps customers to better relate to your company. It can build trust and help you to position your product or service as the solution. Use the tips below, to align your offer with your customers’ pain.

  • Pinpoint problems your customers have that your solution solves. For example, let’s say you sell inkjet printers that have large ink tanks and are much less expensive to operate due to their ink efficiency. Some of the problems your customers might have include: constantly having to replace expensive ink cartridges, concerns about the mess involved or possible warranty issues when using cheap ink refill kits, difficulty of running out of ink, and low-quality printouts because they use draft mode all the time in order to conserve ink.
  • Identify what your customers really want in relation to these problems. Your customers want solutions but may not realize it. They could be living with their current problems without having articulated what they really want. Go ahead and do it for them by identifying what they want. For example, your customers may want a printer that keeps on printing with minimal user intervention. They may want to print gorgeous, full-colour newsletters without worrying about running out of ink or how much the print run is costing in terms of ink. They may want to be able to refill ink without worrying about staining their favourite suit.
  • Identify the descriptions and benefits of your solution to each of the problems you’ve listed. Features are the actual properties or functions of a product while benefits are the results customers receive because of the feature. For example, high capacity ink tanks are a feature while fewer ink cartridge changes and lower ink costs are benefits.

Now that you know what problems your customers have, what they really want, and the features and benefits that solve your customers’ pain, you can create an effective story, advertisement, campaign, social media contest, or other message that clearly positions your product or service as the solution.

For example, you could create a campaign around messy ink cartridge refills featuring ink-stained office workers, ruined business suits, and splotchy printouts. From there, you could reinforce the benefits of your printer’s high-capacity ink tanks and stress that users will never need to resort to messy do-it-yourself ink refill kits ever again. You could even show a side-by-side cost comparison that a show that not only does your solution removes the mess, it’s also cost efficient. If customers come out money ahead, even better!

Knowing your customer’s pain points allows you to address them and position your product as the solution.