How to Find Customer Pain Points for Content & Sales

Customers today want to be understood and valued.

They crave more than just a service; that’s why more people hire brands they feel know them well than those who don’t.

The best way to make them feel this way is to:

  • Ask to hear their thoughts about your HVAC marketing touchpoints
  • Listen and make necessary changes to your services and process
  • Adapt your marketing copy and sales conversations using their own words

You increase your chances of learning about and connecting with customers better, which results in more trust and appointment bookings for your business. 

This guide breaks down different ways to uncover customer pain points from multiple channels, so you can learn to speak in their own language and make the right changes. 

How to Find Pain Points for Content Infographic

#1. Create targeted customer surveys to gather direct feedback 

Surveys let you ask your clients about their experience throughout their buying journey, and the challenges they faced that led them to start searching.

Their responses help you identify:

  • Who your customers are and why they visit your site
  • What they like and dislike about their experience on your site, and why
  • How satisfied they are with the booking and service delivery process
  • Where to focus your efforts to improve the overall customer experience
  • The objections prospects may have on sales calls
  • The kind of content to create for more conversions

This way, you know what to do more of, less of, improve on, or stop completely. 

Including their feedback in your sales copy (and making necessary changes) makes customers feel heard and willing to hire you (again)

How to create targeted HVAC surveys to find customer pain points

1. Start with why 

Clearly define the specific information you want to gather. 

Are you trying to identify pain points in service delivery? Or pinpoint specific areas that need to get better? Be clear on the kind of insights you want before moving forward.

2. Choose who you want to survey

Decide on the specific group of HVAC customers you want to hear from.

This could be 

  • Recent clients: to identify what (desires or problems) led them to hire you
  • Inactive clients: to find out why they stopped using your services
  • Long-term clients: to identify what you’re doing right or need to improve on
  • Those using a specific service: to know how well you meet their needs
  • Visitors who leave without taking action: to identify content gaps on your site

This way, you tailor your questions to match their unique experiences, gather relevant feedback, and make changes (or create content) that resonate with each segment. 

3. Group customers into segments

Use your CRM tool (ServiceTitan, Jobber, Housecall Pro) to filter customers based on their service history, purchase behavior, etc. 

Then create custom lists or apply tags to group customers. 

If you don’t have existing customer data (as a new HVAC business), create audiences in GA4 to group your site visitors. 

Go to the “Admin” section on the left sidebar of your dashboard. 

Under “Audiences,” click on “New Audience”. From there, create a custom audience using a template or a predictive audience.

Next, create a “new exploration” to get additional insights, such as funnel exploration, path exploration, segment overlap, and user behavior.

4. Choose your survey tool and start building 

There are several options to choose from: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, Typeform, or Hotjar (for more advanced, complementary features).

If you have a client mailing list, our preference is to send your survey by email to clients only.

But if you don’t have client contacts, you can start with your website.

Use a tool like Hotjar. Create an account for your site’s URL, install the widget, then use the “Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) survey” template. 

The template already has preset questions you can edit or leave as is. Or if you prefer, start with a blank survey to customize it from scratch.

Hotjar Survey

Keep your survey short and concise. 

Instead of asking customers 5-10 questions and risk overwhelming them, ask a pair of close- and open-ended questions. 

Using a mix of both questions helps you

  • Spot patterns that make users leave your site
  • Deeply understand why they are leaving in their own words

For example, knowing 80% of your customers are satisfied with your services is not enough. You need to know why they chose (and stick with) you. 

Ask a follow-up (open-ended) question like, “What are your top three reasons for choosing us over other service providers within the area?” 

Their answers reveal their frustrations with your competitors in their own words, uncovering unexpected insights you would have missed otherwise. 

This way, you know 

  • What topics to create content around
  • Learn what to focus on to connect more with customers during sales calls

Once you complete setting up the survey, preview it, then click the ‘Create survey’ button to start collecting feedback. 

You can also use other types of surveys such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, net promoter score (NPS) surveys, etc. 

Pro Tip! Place relevant surveys at different parts of the customer journey. For example, make the exit intent survey come up when people are about to leave your site. Or email a customer satisfaction survey immediately after completing a job. This way, you capture in-the-moment feedback while the experience is still fresh. 

#2 Conduct one-on-one interviews with customers and transcribe them 

Uncover Customer Pain Points Graphic

Customer interviews reveal how customers think and feel about 

  • HVAC issues they face
  • Their experience with your business
  • Specific solutions they’re searching for
  • Your brand compared to competitors

You can ask follow-up questions to uncover subtle aspects of their experiences that may not be revealed in a typical survey with predetermined questions.

Say you ask a question like, “Compared to other HVAC service providers you’ve used, how would you rate the overall quality of our services?” in a survey. 

The respondent could provide a rating, such as 4 out of 5, indicating general satisfaction. But this doesn’t tell you much.

Even if you ask a follow-up open-ended question in your survey, the respondent may not give as much context as you require in their own words.

In a one-on-one customer interview, the questions could evoke visible emotional responses from customers, especially when there are problems. 

And you can ask clarifying follow-up questions to get more context and listen for verbal and non-verbal cues. 

As a result, you capture these emotional nuances, helping you understand what went wrong and how it impacted the customer on a personal level.

Emotional Nuances Graphiic

How to uncover customer pain points through one-on-one interviews

1. Clarify the goal of your interview

What kind of insights do you want from the interview? 

Are you trying to identify common issues with HVAC systems, gather feedback on existing services, or explore opportunities for improvement? 

Knowing your why will determine the kind of questions to ask.

2. Choose the type of interview you want to conduct

There are three types of customer interviews:

  • Unstructured interviews: doesn’t follow a predefined set of questions, letting you uncover genuine and detailed customer feedback.
  • Semi-structured interviews: has basic questions to guide the conversation, but you have the freedom to go off-script based on the customer’s responses.
  • Structured interviews: has a set list of specific questions to ask customers in the same order, ensuring consistency across responses.
Three Customer Interviews

Since the goal is to uncover customer pain points, we recommend the semi-structured interview style, as it offers flexibility. 

3. Develop a set of open-ended questions to encourage detailed responses

These questions should elicit insights into the customer’s experiences, challenges, and suggestions.

For example, instead of asking, “Is your HVAC system working well?” ask, “Can you share any specific instances where your HVAC system did not meet your expectations?”

Have a predefined set of questions to guide the conversation but don’t rely on it. Instead, listen as clients respond, then ask follow-up questions based on their answers. 

Some questions to ask include:

  • What are the top three qualities you’re looking for in a service provider? 
  • Can you share three pain points you need to hire a HVAC company to solve?
  • What has been the most frustrating aspect of working with service providers in the past, and how would you like to see it handled differently?
  • Are there budget constraints that could keep you from choosing a solution?

4. Identify and recruit a diverse group of participants

Reach out to existing customers through emails, social media, or your website, and ask if they’re willing to participate in an interview about their experiences.

The diversity lets you hear from customers with varying demographics at different stages of their journey and on different channels.

This helps you capture the needs of your entire customer base.

5. Conduct the Interview

If it’s a virtual interview, use tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. 

Zoom and Teams Logos

Both tools allow you to record the interview (with the participant’s consent), listen to them, and analyze their responses with your team. 

For in-person interviews, use a smartphone or a voice recorder to capture audio. 

To make participants feel relaxed, start with small talk before you begin officially.

For example, you could 

  • Ask them about their day and plans for the weekend
  • Comment on something interesting in their background (a painting, etc.
  • Inquire about their pets, family, hobbies, or the weather
  • Play a fun game

Choose an icebreaker that is light, positive, and can lead to a more relaxed and open interview experience.

5.1 Clearly explain the purpose of the interview and get consent for recording

For example, you could say 

“So, today, we’re going to chat about your experiences with our services so far. Your insights will help us serve you better. And, of course, we’ll record this interview for our analysis. Is that alright with you?”

5.2 Dive into the main questions

Lead with one that lets the participants speak freely, as this sets the tone for the rest of the interview. Ask a question like “Can you share a bit about your overall experience? Anything that stands out, positive or negative?”

Once the customer responds, thank them for sharing the insight. Then follow up with a question that lets them provide more context to their previous response. 

(You don’t have to do this for every question; focus on answers that align more with the insights you’re looking for)

For example, if a participant mentions a specific issue, follow up with, “Can you tell me more about what happened in that situation?”

Allow participants to express themselves fully before moving on to the next question.

6. Transcribe the interview verbatim

Use transcription tools like Rilla Voice, Otter.ai, or Rev.com to convert the spoken words into a written document.

Rilla Otter Rev Logos

Transcribing the interview saves time, as you don’t have to listen to the entire audio recording repeatedly. Instead, you and your team can:

  • Collaborate and analyze interviews
  • Take notes directly on the transcript
  • Extract key themes, quotes, or patterns from customer interviews
  • Use keywords or phrases to locate specific sections of the interview
  • Distill the main points, key findings, or customer quotes into summaries 

And instead of doing so manually, opt for transcription tools like we already mentioned. They process large amounts of audio data in a relatively short time.

7. Summarize the findings to identify overarching customer pain points 

Review the transcriptions; look for patterns such as recurring issues or common emotions that customers expressed during the interview.

Use a spreadsheet or some other software to organize and analyze data from interviews. 

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#3 Analyze customer support interactions to spot common issues they face

Customer support records often contain detailed descriptions of problems customers face. They help you identify recurring issues affecting a significant portion of your customer base.

How to find customer pain points from support data 

1. Collect Customer Support Data

Gather records of customer support tickets, emails, chat transcripts, and call logs related to HVAC issues.

Platforms like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Salesforce Service Cloud help to centralize customer support interactions, making it easier to collect and organize data.

2. Categorize and Organize Data

Create categories based on common themes, such as “Heating Problems,” “Cooling Issues,” “Installation Queries,” or “Billing Concerns.”

Tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are valuable for categorizing and quantifying occurrences. 

You can create tables to organize data by different issues.

Pro Tip! Use the search feature in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to count the number of occurrences to identify the most frequently reported issues. Then create content that directly addresses these pain points like Apollo Home does. For instance, if “Heating Problems” appears in 60% of cases, it indicates a significant pain point.

#4. Check social media to gather raw feedback

Social Media Platforms Graphic

Social media platforms provide a public space where customers freely express their experiences, opinions, and challenges. 

Monitoring these conversations allows you to 

  • capture unfiltered feedback in real time
  • understand customer sentiments
  • identify recurring issues 

These often serve as pain points in their interactions with HVAC products or services.

How to find customer pain points on social media

1. Select relevant social media platforms

Identify the social media platforms most relevant to your HVAC business. 

This includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and industry-specific forums. Focus on platforms where your target audience is actively engaged.

2. Create a social listening strategy

Outline the keywords, hashtags, and brand mentions you want to monitor. 

Use social listening tools like Brandwatch, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite to track relevant hashtags like #HVACissues or mentions of your brand name.

Brandwatch Sproutsocial Hootsuite Logos

To add a brand keyword to search on Sprout Social, click the Source dropdown from the Filter Menu in the All Messages tab of the Smart Inbox.

Sprout Sources

Click manage keywords > add keyword.

Sprout Social Brand Keywords

Then enter the keywords you want to track.

If you use X (Twitter), use advanced search features to filter tweets based on specific keywords, locations, or accounts. This allows you to narrow down conversations relevant to HVAC customer experiences.

Twitter Advanced Search

3. Set Up Social Media Alerts

Use social media monitoring tools like Mention or Hootsuite to set up alerts for specific keywords or mentions. 

This ensures you receive notifications in real-time when relevant conversations occur.

4. Analyze Customer Comments and Replies

Dive into customer comments and replies on your social media posts and those of competitors. 

Look for patterns in comments expressing challenges, frustrations, or suggestions related to HVAC services.

Also, consider the emotional tone of customer comments. Are they expressing frustration, satisfaction, confusion, or excitement?

Use tools like Brandwatch or Talkwalker to automatically analyze the sentiment of social media mentions. This helps you quantify the positive and negative tones in customer feedback.

Pro Tip! Respond to customer comments, both positive and negative. 
Actively engaging in discussions shows a commitment to customer satisfaction and allows you to gather more nuanced insights into specific pain points.

#5. Analyze customer reviews on popular platforms like Yelp or Google

Customer reviews represent genuine encounters and reactions from those who have used your services.  

Competitor reviews, too, tell stories about the expectations your customers had that were met and those that weren’t. 

They show you how customers describe the problems they had before your service in their own words.

Quickfix Google Review

1. Gather all the reviews from review platforms

Identify online platforms where customers have left reviews about your HVAC services. Common platforms include Yelp, Google, Nextdoor, and Facebook.

Use Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel to organize them in a central location where you can easily track and analyze the feedback.

Visit each review platform and extract the reviews related to your HVAC business. 

This may involve copying and pasting the text of each review, taking screenshots, or using tools that allow you to download or export reviews.

To manually highlight the text of the review, right-click, and select “Copy.” Paste the copied text in a designated column in Google Sheets or Excel.

Alongside the review text, include additional details like the reviewer’s name, date of the review, and star rating (if necessary).

Alternatively, use Google Takeout or Maps reviews scraper to download Google reviews in a structured format. 

Follow the tool’s instructions to download reviews in a format compatible with your central document.

If you’re extracting reviews from multiple platforms, create separate sections or sheets within your document for each platform. 

2. Categorize the reviews

Since your goal is to identify pain points, look for keywords like “disappointed,” “unhappy,” “problem,” or specific issues mentioned by the customers.

Look for recurring themes or topics mentioned in multiple reviews. Poorly qualified tech is a recurring theme in these negative reviews, for example.

Рvac Company Negative Reviews

These could be related to specific services, customer service experiences, pricing, or any other aspect of your HVAC business.

If your HVAC business is listed on multiple platforms, compare reviews across these platforms. Are there consistent themes, or do certain issues arise more frequently on one platform than another? 

A negative review might highlight an isolated incident, but if multiple reviews echo similar concerns, it could signify a broader issue.

Need help building trust with potential customers online?

#6. Listen and analyze sales call recordings  

Customers often express their thoughts, preferences, and pain points more candidly during a conversation than in written feedback. 

Sales call recordings capture unfiltered expressions of customer concerns, allowing for a deeper understanding of their needs and challenges.

Analyze Sales Calls Infographic

Whether it’s related to pricing, product features, or service terms, understanding objections helps you tailor sales strategies to address these concerns proactively.

How to analyze sales call recordings to uncover pain points

1. Choose a Call Recording System

Use call recording tools such as CallRail, Aircall, or Gong to capture and store HVAC sales call recordings.

They use speech analytics to automatically transcribe and analyze call recordings. This way, you can identify key topics, sentiment trends, and areas of improvement.

2. Define Key Metrics and Objectives

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) like objection handling, average call duration, and conversion rates. 

Clearly outline the objectives of the analysis, such as understanding customer objections or evaluating communication effectiveness.

3. Randomly select and segment recordings

Randomly select a representative sample of call recordings. 

Segment them based on different factors, such as sales representative, product type, or customer segment, to ensure a comprehensive analysis.

4. Document Common Themes and Pain Points

Create a structured document to log common themes and pain points. 

For example, if multiple customers express confusion about warranty terms, document this as a common pain point.

#7. Check Reddit and Quora to find out what people are saying 

Members of HVAC communities on platforms like Reddit and Quora often share their actual experiences and challenges about HVAC companies. 

They share frustrations, difficulties, and solutions, giving you unfiltered insights into common and unique pain points.

Users also ask specific questions about HVAC maintenance, troubleshooting, or system upgrades. Analyzing these queries helps identify specific areas where users need help.

Hvac Compressor Keyword on Quora

How to find customer pain points on Reddit and Quora

1. Identify Relevant HVAC Communities

Find active HVAC-related communities on platforms like Reddit and Quora. Some examples are the r/HVAC and r/hvacadvice on Reddit or HVAC topics on Quora.

2. Monitor Discussions and Questions

Regularly monitor discussions and questions related to HVAC systems. Look for recurring themes or common issues users are facing.

3. Look for DIY Experiences

Pay attention to do-it-yourself (DIY) experiences shared by community members. 

For instance, if users discuss challenges they faced while attempting DIY HVAC repairs, it indicates potential pain points in user experiences.

4. Gather Insights on Product Preferences

Analyze discussions about specific HVAC brands, models, or features. 

Note user preferences, positive feedback, and criticisms to understand what customers value in HVAC products.

5. Use search filters for specific topics

For example, on Reddit, use search filters to focus on specific topics or keywords within the HVAC subreddit. This helps streamline your search for discussions relevant to your focus areas.

Reddit Filters

Always be on the lookout for raw customer feedback

Advertising Best Practices Graphic

Customers are almost always sharing their thoughts and feelings about their problems and experience with service providers. 

Asking clients about their experience directly, using social listening tools, and researching channels they spend time on are great ways to identify their pain points. 

Use these tips to gather raw customer feedback and take immediate action to increase your chances of generating more service requests and bookings.

Looking for a data-oriented partner to help you find customer pain points and generate qualified leads who ultimately become customers?

FAQs about Customer Pain Points

What is the difference between a touchpoint and a pain point?

Touchpoints are the various points of interaction between your customer and HVAC business throughout the customer journey. 

Examples of touchpoints include a website visit, social media engagement, or customer service call.

Pain points are specific problems, challenges, or frustrations that customers encounter during their interactions with a product or service. 

Examples of pain points include difficulty navigating a website, slow customer service response times, or product malfunctions.

How do you research customer pain points?

To find customer pain points,

– Create targeted customer surveys to gather direct feedback 
– Conduct one-on-one interviews with customers and transcribe them
– Analyze customer support interactions to spot common issues they face
– Check social media to gather raw feedback
– Read and analyze customer reviews on popular platforms like Yelp or Google
– Use web analytics tools to understand user behavior on your website
– Engage with your sales team to gather insights from their interactions
– Check Reddit and Quora to find out what people are saying

How do you map customer pain points?

To map pain points,

– Identify the stages in the customer journey, from awareness to post-purchase
– List all the key touchpoints a customer interacts with your HVAC business
– Review feedback to identify areas where clients express confusion or frustration
– Identify recurring pain points that multiple customers mention
– Use a timeline to represent the stages and include each touchpoint 
– Place symbols, annotations, or colors on the map to represent pain points
– Prioritize pain points based on their impact on the overall customer experience
– For each identified pain point, brainstorm potential solutions or improvements
– Roll out changes based on the identified pain points

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