How to Leverage Customer Pain Points to Increase Sales

Customer Pain Points

When a potential customer comes to your website and initiates communication in some fashion, they already have an inkling that your product or service may hold the answer they seek. At this point one of the most effective sales strategies, whether face to face, online or over the phone, is to listen as an agony aunt would, – listen for customer pain points

The most important part of this conversation and process is to ask the right questions at the right time. 

Your questions should invite them (the customer) to tell you their story, walking them through their situation from the cause of their current discomfort, – the here and now, focusing on the problems they face, through to the future, to where they want to be in a year from now, with a solution in place.

What are Customer Pain Points?

Pain points are the reason your potential customers visit your website, they might be called problems, issues and involve some long convoluted explanation.  Whatever it is, it is likely to be costly for them to deal with, and will affect the productivity of their staff in some way.  Your goal should be to boil it down to a single cause that needs a single treatment (your product or service), that by implementing, will automatically fix all the other symptoms.  

Think of the problem as the before and your solution as the after.

How to Determine Customer Pain points Online.

The strategy mentioned above is used for identifying pain points in RL, but it also applies online, only the means of communication differs.  Online you can’t listen to a long painful story and pick out the nuggets of information you need to adjust your sales pitch but then you don’t have to.

Their actions taken while on Google search and thereafter on your website provide the context to their particular issues.  Additional communication must clarify your understanding of their situation.  Do not assume you know their situation.

At this point its necessary to explain in brief, several concepts and processes that revolve around how and when to ask questions as part of the process that is often referred to as conversion rate optimization.  It all begins with ’pain points’.

Why Identifying the Pain Points is so Important.

Every product or service fulfils a certain set of needs, identifying what those needs are for each customer is key to delivering the right sales pitch.  Again, online the terminology differs from RL, which will be explained, but the meaning is the same.

Whether in RL or online the goal is the same, to lead the potential customer along a journey of discovery in which they get to know your product or service, in reference to their own situation (personalization), building trust all the while within the context of now (the before) and the after adopting your service or product (the after).  In real life, this would be referred to as the sales funnel or marketing funnel.  A good salesman might get all the information necessary to begin this journey in the first conversation, highlighting the features that address the root cause of their particular problem, but online it is more of a step by step process often referred to as the conversion funnel where content about your product is the medium of communication.

In the use of a conversion funnel, you will hear terms like ’segmentation’, ’personas’ or online marketing campaigns.  

Much of the effort online is designed to assist understanding, to interpret actions taken and clarify by confirming interest during the stages of the conversion funnel.  Micro-conversion points or as Google likes to refer to them as Micro-moments are moments in time during the customer journey and within the conversion funnel where decisions dictate your actions in terms of targeting interest, further segmenting the customer into sub interest groups (or persona).  You might consider this a potential change in direction the consequences of which will lead the potential customer (or returning customer) down a new path for more focused targeting, step by step process where increasingly relevant content is provided according to their point of understanding. 

Through understanding customer pain points we begin the task of personalization of the customer journey enabling the construction of something known as choice architecture, which essentially is all about framing your message to meet customer needs and formulating messages that are the most effective through the collection of psychographic data.

Pain Points and Emotion.

Purchasing decisions are ultimately based on the emotional outcome of solving their pain.  Therefore success is determined according to your ability to sell the emotional outcome of using your product or service.  While the customer journey begins with pain, it ends with emotional relief from the pain and even more, – it must suggest joy.

Again how you communicate emotion is half the battle with regards to choice architecture.

In the before, you must reflect and empathize with their particular pain, here if you have successfully identified their pain, – segmented onto a specific customer journey path, you can begin communicating the typical journey for that group (persona).

In the after, your goal should be to communicate the emotional outcome of using your product or service to solve their problem.  Your message should use the precise symptoms arising from the pain point in order to communicate the outcome.  This is where, at the beginning when you ask where they want to be in a year from now, that dream you can visualize and reflect back to them.  That vision is achievable with your product or service, this is what you need to sell.

How to Communicate Emotion Online.

Since you can’t actually see your customer the only way to speak to them emotionally is through your words, images, and audio/video.  Your words must communicate the emotion in two ways, firstly empathising with their situation and secondly the positive effect of implementing your product or service while including your targeted USP (every customer persona has a differing variation of Unique selling point).

Conversion Rate Optimization.

In the above paragraphs, the process has been outlined for increasing sales online by using your website to do what a salesman should do in person (if they are any good). 

The problem online is that you can not see your customer’s emotional response to your content.  There are few ’tells’ of intent online.  The only way to measure success or failure is to what is referred to as AB testing to test your emotion appeal and message relevance.  This functionality is available in Conversion rate Optimization tools sometimes referred to as onsite retargeting suites or platforms such as OptiMonk.

Out of the box solutions like eCommerce platforms Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce or BigCommerce do not currently supply the functionality necessary to carry out conversion rate optimization.  Therefore, additional apps must be used to supply the desired functionality. 

Very few onsite retargeting tools work on all of the above mentioned ecommerce platforms.  Shopify is by far the most successful of the platforms today, but what about tommorow? 

For a long while Magento looked like it would be the winner of the ecommerce platform race but failed to take advantage of an early lead in the market.  That being said, Adobe recently purchased Magento and with the technical expertise they should not be underestimated.  The point is to choose a CRO tool that is cross platform compatible retaining data uniformity.  Your success or failure in your CRO campaigns should not be effected by the ecommerce platform you choose.

Much has been written about CRO on this website, so please continue this journey and learn more about how you can increase your conversion rate and reduce your cart abandonment.


The targeted messages for all your personas must communicate the emotions of empathy and solidarity, reflecting their pain point.  The message that they are not alone suffering with their particular pain points.  Others have solved this problem using your product or service.

Conversion rate optimization is the means by which to test intent and implement the customer journey of product or service education, from the before pain to the after joy.

For the after message must reflect what the emotional outcome will be of resolving their pain points.

jb freemium - How to Leverage Customer Pain Points to Increase Sales
Leverage YOUR customers pain points TODAY.

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