Understanding both General & Contact Centre Customer Pain Points

Contact centres sit at the frontline of your customer service journey. Below, we’ll give you the necessary tools to understand and resolve general and contact centre customer pain points…

From inefficient operations to less-than-satisfactory interactions – customer pain points can stem from almost any aspect of the customer service journey. These can affect your business success, alongside employee and customer satisfaction.

Want to turn your common customer pain points around and improve your customer service journey? Find out everything you need to know below…

What are customer pain points? 

Customer pain points are specific problems that current or prospective customers of your business are experiencing throughout their customer service journey. These problems can, of course, be diverse, which can complicate the process of identifying and resolving them.

To get to the bottom of customer pain points and find out what areas of your business are less favourable, you’ll need to think outside the box, apply empathy, and exert resources into much-needed research. After all, your customer journey should be as easy, stress-free, and painless as possible for everybody involved.

The goal should always be to remove as many pain points as possible, although this will depend on your resources, time, and money. Identifying and beginning the processes of eliminating customer pain points can be costly, time-consuming, and strain your resources.

However, there are many positives to investing in this process, such as increased customer satisfaction, streamlined services, and boosted efficiency, to name a few.

How to identify customer pain points

Many customers are likely to experience the same or similar pain points, although the root cause can be extremely diverse.

To accurately identify customer pain points, qualitative research is usually required. Customer pain points are – more often than not – highly subjective. Qualitative research (surveys and reviews) can help you hone in on detailed, individualised responses to open-ended questions.

When identifying these pain points, you’ll need to collect data from two sources – the customers and your contact centre teams.

Asking varied questions at different points of the sales process via email, pop-ups, or on-screen at the end of transactions can help you collate as much data as possible. You can also give your agents the chance to voice concerns by periodically asking them to complete surveys about their experiences.

The responses received from these two sources about different aspects of your business should help identify some common themes and problems experienced. With knowledge about the different categories of pain points, any e-commerce business can start visualising the roadmap for how to rectify the issues.

Different types of customer pain points

Pain points can be grouped into more manageable categories, which can lead to your team taking better approaches to solving them later down the line.

The main four categories are as follows…


Customers simply don’t want to waste their time. If a customer or agent’s issue falls into this category, then something is likely to be wrong with your processes. Issues around redundant information and longer-than-necessary timelines all relate to productivity.

Efficiency is the key to success, and yours might be low if pain points continuously fall into this area.

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Financial pain points will often crop up if customers feel that they’re spending too much money on current providers, solutions, or products. Problems around customers simply wanting to cut down on their spending can also fall into this category.

With the cost-of-living crisis in full swing, this category of issues is likely to crop up more often.

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The processes in your e-commerce business can cause friction for your customers if they feel that they’re sub-par. Lack of convenience in everything from customer service to sales processes can be a huge customer issue.

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Support is an important aspect throughout the customer service journey. If your customers feel that they aren’t receiving the support needed at critical stages of the sales process or customer journey, this can cause issues.


Different levels of customer pain points 

Pain points can vary in the level of impact they have on the customer. While some might turn them away from your products and services completely, others might only be a minor inconvenience.

This is where quantitative research can come in handy. Alongside conducting reviews and surveys and gaining as much descriptive information about problems, you should also find out how much this has affected their experience.

Think of it like a sliding scale from 1-10, with 1 being the least happy and 10 being the happiest. You can use a similar scale to find out how the problems detailed by your contact centre and your customers made them feel.

Common contact centre customer pain points

As mentioned before, contact centre customer pain points can vary.

To help you gain better insight into the kind of things to look out for, here are a few common examples…

High contact volumes

Whether it’s calls or messages – a high volume of contact can be a pain point for your contact centre representatives and your customers.

Customers will become frustrated if they can’t get through to your customer service agents, have long wait times, or need to contact someone for a simple question. Meanwhile, your agents will be stretched thinly.

This issue can fall under a combination of categories depending on the specific issue the contact centre and customer are facing.

Is the problem stemming from a lack of technological processes, such as interactive voice response, which would allow customers to have their repeat queries resolved quicker? Or do you have high contact volumes because of a lack of support elsewhere on your site?

Asking questions about why your contact centre and customers are experiencing this problem will help you decide on the best course of action to fix it.

Changing demand

At a time when customer expectations and buying behaviours are changing the most, demand for your contact centres is likely to fluctuate. From shifts in peak demand to issues with products and services themselves – this has proven to be a significant customer service problem.

Communication hitting a dead end

Are your customers complaining that chatbots and self-help available on your site aren’t enough for them? They could be facing a commonplace communication issue in which your site doesn’t have the information needed and your team doesn’t have the resources available to deal with their query.

This can be a common issue for e-commerce sites without direct phone numbers or communication to your agents, that instead favours chatbots and self-help guides. Customers can end up going around in circles trying to find what they’re looking for and end up leaving when they can’t find it.

Alternatively, your agents might struggle to keep up with a high volume of calls, emails, and chat services which can leave your customers without an immediate response. Immediate gratification is a priority for many customers, after all.

Employee burnout

When your customer service team are burnt out, the quality of their output is likely to be significantly reduced. Looking after your staff should be as high a priority as looking after your customers – which is especially true for your frontline staff dealing with customers daily.

Customers can become frustrated when customer service agents can’t answer their questions and are passed to other representatives. Burnt-out employees might lead to high staff turnover and less knowledgeable representatives. Employees can become burnt out if they have too much on their plate or don’t feel well-equipped to deal with enquiries and concerns.

As a result, customers will have longer wait times, receive a poor level of service, and have low customer satisfaction.

If these complaints sound familiar, employee burnout could be the root cause.

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How to solve customer pain points

 Once your business has identified the most common customer pain points, you should start to come up with a plan for resolving each one.

The solution is likely to vary depending entirely on the capacity of your company, the type of pain point, and the level of impact it has.

Creating a customer journey map can not only help you identify key customer pain points, but it can also help you create a roadmap for solving them that allows everyone to win. From looking at your customer profile to thinking about the current and future outlook you want to have – your goals can be met alongside eliminating more common customer pain points.

Once you’ve solved the specific issue your customers were facing, it’s important to let them know that it’s been fixed. Whether you shout about it on your landing pages or get the message across on social media – customers that have experienced these issues will feel that their concerns have been listened to if it’s made clear to them that they’ve been solved.

Customers want to know that their concerns are being considered by a business. In turn, this will bring more business your way and improve loyalty and retention rates which can you give you a boost to continue solving pain points in the future.

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