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4 Examples of Pain Points

 , updated on October 29, 2016
Pain points are perceived problems with technologies, designs, interfaces, processes, practices, industries, cities, transportation and anything else that impacts people's work or life. The term is used by strategists, business analysts and marketers as a means of identifying things that people want fixed.
A pain point need not be a real problem, as long as it a problem in the eyes of customers or stakeholders. They are typically elicited by asking a straightforward question such as "how could this be better?" Pain points are often valuable as ideas for improving governments, cities, organizations, services, products and advertising. The following are a few examples of pain points.


A city asks citizens how a city could be better and discover a common concern that air quality is poor. The city steps up smog checks on trucks as they are aware of low compliance to smog regulations amongst transportation companies in the area.


A tax agency asks taxpayers how to improve their services and they receive a large number of pain points. Based on the feedback they find ways to streamline rules, eliminate forms and make instructions clear using plain language.


A technology company develops a new product based on the previous product but with all major pain points addressed. They specifically avoid new features that may trigger new pain points. Sales of the new version skyrocket as reviews are exceptionally positive.

Business Model

A banker notices that handling compliance reporting is a large pain point at most financial institutions. She founds a consultancy that takes the grunt work of compliance reporting and finds no lack of business.

Information Technology

A business analyst is tasked with performing a gap analysis on a sales system and process. They make their job easy by starting with interviews of sales people, sales operation staff and managers to identify pain points.
Overview: Pain Points
TypeBusiness Analysis
Business Models
DefinitionAnything that customers or stakeholders view as a problem in a given context.
ValueSolving pain points tends to add value and is a solid technique for developing products and improvements.
Related ConceptsProduct Development
Business Analysis
Gap Analysis

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