What Is a Pain Point?

A pain point, in the context of business and marketing, is a term that refers to a specific problem, issue, or challenge that a customer is experiencing.

Pain points are explicitly problems that a business’s target audience may face with its product or service. As such, it typically represents areas of customer dissatisfaction and discomfort that need to be fixed as soon as possible.

Identifying and addressing pain points is a fundamental part of product development, but also comes up often in areas like marketing and customer service.

Examples of Pain Points

Pain points can vary widely across different industries and contexts. Still, anything that can represent a source of dissatisfaction for the customer can be considered a pain point for the business. So, for example, pain points can be issues like:

  • Long wait times: Inefficiencies in some businesses can be a significant pain point, as they often result in customers waiting for a long time. This is often seen in the healthcare industry, where patients wait hours to weeks or months for their appointments.
  • Lack of/Poor customer support: Every product or service has complexities or bugs that customers can’t fix on their own and without great customer service to help, customers will suffer. Even among those who have it, many support agents have inadequate training and cannot help the customers. Poor customer support can be even more frustrating than none at all. In both cases, this is a significant pain point that can damage the company’s reputation and turn customers away.
  • Complex bureaucracy: One example of a pain point governments need to consider is overly complex bureaucracy. Many bureaucracies are incredibly inefficient, leading to long wait times for important government services, harming and upsetting the people who need them most.
  • High shipping cost: E-commerce customers are all too familiar with the pain points that emerge when shipping. Hefty shipping fees can discourage them from purchasing a product they want, reducing sales dramatically.

These are only some examples of commonly encountered pain points that businesses from all industries need to remember and resolve should they arise. Finding and fixing pain points is often one of the best ways to improve your product or service.