min read ·
March 10, 2021

How to Unlock Your Customers' Hidden Needs and Pain Points

Companies must always innovate and transform to continue growing, primarily when catering to an evolving client base. However, innovation isn’t just about coming up with the next big thing that will launch your company to stardom; it’s about recognising your customers’ needs and creating unique, efficient ways to meet them. 

Team discussing existing customer journey

While it sounds easy, it can be challenging to pull off. It’s also very much possible to do. Companies like Uber and Airbnb have been so successful precisely because they’ve answered their target audience’s hidden needs through creative solutions that have made them household names. By focusing on user-centric design, you’ll create innovative ways to solve your customers’ problems. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Use Your Existing Data

Sometimes, the answer isn’t out there for you to try and find; you’ll often have a ton of data you can use to continue innovating. Look through your old surveys, interviews, and customer support call logs. The information you glean will often contain hidden gems that will give you valuable insight into what you need to do to address their pain points. Besides, looking through existing data will help you save money since you won’t need to carry out an expensive research campaign. Use those funds for studies that focus on more complex and in-depth questions to get the full picture of what you need and validate new assumptions.

You can also talk to your sales and support teams and ask them about the features and feedback they often receive from customers. Review these for patterns, but don’t brush off outliers since your findings may support them as well.

Outline Your Customer’s Process

Before you joined the scene, think about what your customers’ processes were. For example, before Uber’s arrival, most people had to call a taxi company to get to their destination. They had to wait to be connected to a dispatcher, wait for them to send out a car, and hope the driver finds them. They also had to figure out how much to tip and prayed they had enough money to pay for the trip once they reached their destination.

Uber unquestionably solved all the pain points of the rideshare journey through a user-centred design process. They instantly matched a customer to a driver and ensured both parties had each other’s contact details. The driver knew exactly where the customer was, eliminating much of the confusion. Their app also exposed how much they would have to pay upfront, removing worries about whether they had enough money after getting into the vehicle. 

Figure out how your customers requested the services and tasks they needed, how they experienced and completed them, and how your company fits into the picture. Using data from the previous tip will also tremendously help you build a better view of the existing process and where the pain points lie.

Interview Your Customers

Another way to find out your customers’ hidden needs and pain points is to ask them what issues they have when ordering from your company and the features they want you to offer. Sometimes, people have needs they don’t even realise they have, and asking them what they want from your company can often leave bread crumbs that point to these. Not all customers can adequately articulate what they want, either, which means you’ll need to have a skilled interviewer to draw these insights out of them, helping you create successful innovations.


Design thinking involves more than creating an attractive product or service; it also focuses on your customer’s experience. Investing in user-centric design by uncovering your customers’ needs is a crucial part of growing your business. With these tips, you’ll find opportunities to develop revolutionary ideas and bring them to life.

Fabric Group focuses on a user-centred design process to unlock value from business challenges. We enable strategic growth in organisations by guiding teams through the complexities of the technology industry and delivering custom software that empowers your team. Contact us today to find more about how you can revolutionise your company through user-centred design.


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