Growth Insights for CEOs

Their Pain, Your Gain

Posted by The Chief Outsider

Learn how to seek out your customers' pain points and how to eliminate them.Some of your best customers would probably like you to do business with them in a different manner.  Maybe it’s the day you deliver your goods to them?  The minimums required?  Maybe it’s the day of the month that you do your billing…or the amount of paperwork that you require of them?  Instead of making doing business with you easier, do you sometimes make it a bit more challenging?

Successful companies seek out their customers’ pain points and eliminate them.  Constantly listening to the signals from the marketplace can help you see the storm clouds gathering, and to develop the strategies necessary to meet them.  In order to do that, you really need to dig deep and find out what is bothering them, and how you can go about fixing those things.

Define the Pain Point

With a little bit of detective work, you can define the customer pain point that drives your business. What customer problem, need, or want does your business address? This is a core concept you'll need to establish with a mission statement. Who is better off because your business exists, and why are they better off?

Solve the Problem Staring You in the Face

“Pain-point” is widely used in business jargon, and a word that many investors like to use. They may ask you “so what is the pain-point you are trying to solve with this idea?” If you can identify a pain-point which many people (globally even) can relate to, but no-one has resolved previously, you are probably on to something very big. So, in other words, you can find opportunities in the market by solving, what a sizable group of people would describe as a “pain”. For example, since the battery in your laptop dies fast and people tend to find this a “pain”, many companies are currently working on alternative ways to charge PCs and keep batteries running longer. These companies are effectively trying to resolve a well-known pain-point for business people, consumers and students.

Here are some other examples:

  • Enterprise Rent A Car learned that a big problem for drivers was in getting to the rental car office when their car was in for repair or if they had recently been in an accident.  The solution was “We will pick you up”.  Voila.
  • A high end global business hotel chain understands that to business travelers, time is a precious commodity.  To their harried and hurried guests, they want to be seen as the solution to the chaos of travel.  So, they make the check in process as nonexistent as possible, especially if you have stayed in that property before.  Then they use their database to arrange for a “personalized” room for you.  That is, what side of the hotel do you want your room on, what do you like to buy from the mini-bar, pillow preferences, etc?  All this is waiting for you in your room when you arrive.  You have not had to make any requests, spend time on distractions, and can get right down to business. 

RELAXA pain point can be equally effective by showing how easy your product or service would make a customer’s life. The customer can make the inference, and feel the “pain” himself and understand how you can be the solution to their problem.

Make sure that your product or service provides all of these, and your customers will remember that you removed the pain, and provided new gains. And that will lead to growth.



Steve YanovskySteve Yanovsky is a member of the Northeast Regional Chief Outsiders team. Contact Steve at to discuss how to minimize the pain points in your business.     

Topics: Customer Intimacy, Consumer Insights, Customer Satisfaction