Making SaaS Sassy: Identifying the 4 Key Pain Points

Saas Pain points
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Have you ever come across a SaaS tool that does NOTHING of significance to you?

In theory, the tool sounds great, but when it comes to application, it’s almost like the makers never understood you.

Now if you are a founder looking to pinpoint pain points (try saying that fast), you may as well start with looking into your own needs.

Do you wish there was an app to manage something that you did manually? Do you wish an app that you are using right now could have been a little better?

The answer is almost always, YES.

As you can see, SaaS products are born out of necessity, convenience, and a tinge of luxury. However, instead of the founder, customers and businesses become the real connoisseurs of your product.

SaaS products often tend to be well thought out in terms of its functionality and engineering. However, where most companies fail, is how the product fares when it comes to alleviating pain points in potential customers.

With the ever expanding SaaS market, the number of products aiming to solve the same problem is huge. At this point, effectively communicating the solution to your customers is key to getting their attention..

What exactly is a Pain Point?

Imagine driving down a smooth road. You become comfortable with the speed, wind blowing in your hair. You may even feel a little confident to step on the pedal.

And then you hit a puddle! A pothole! Rocks and gravel! Suddenly your journey becomes uncomfortable.

That’s exactly how disrupted a user would feel when a product does not meet the advertised expectations.

Pain points are any issues an individual faces during any phase of their customer journey. Ideally, these pain points would fall under the general realm of a broader business issue when it comes to SaaS.

There are 99 problems, but a half-baked solution won’t fix them.

Identification is not enough.

You have to be able to empathize with and understand your customers throughout the entire sales funnel. You can build several products based on use cases. But without understanding your target user’s psyche, it’s going to be impossible to get them to like and be an advocate for your product. 

For example, Growth Labs was a startup that came out of a use case. It was hailed as the ultimate marketing tool for Instagram creators. They could measure several KPIs based on hashtags, content type, and a whole bunch of features.

However, the product came with a massive learning curve!

Influencers were given extensive guides to navigate and automate the whole process. Considering the user persona here is someone who wants to get things done FAST, the learning curve pretty much destroyed their flow. The paying customers eventually bounced. And now Growth Labs exists as a free entity that no one wants.

In the SaaS space, the pain points generally fall under 4 broad categories.

  • Finances
  • Productivity
  • Processes
  • Support


Let’s say there’s an amazing product. The user research has been to the T, UI/UX is top notch, and customer support lines are ready to solve upcoming issues. The landing page is seamless, and the potential customers are guided through the sales funnel.

…And then there’s a ridiculous pricing structure slapped on at the Point of Purchase (PoP). And without a FREE TRIAL!

Put yourself in their shoes. Would you be okay with paying a hefty sum for a deceivingly comprehensive service, only to be shocked by the number of essential features that you have to pay for, AGAIN?

Or what if a solution similar to that product exists. But their competitor offers all the essential features at a price equal to the existing product. Naturally, in most cases you would prefer the latter.

Similarly, customers love to feel like they are getting a good deal for the amount they spend on your product.

Your existing customers may even shift to your competitor simply because their pricing is extra friendly.

Financial pain points are more sensitive in nature; both for the founder and customer. This is because the Endowment Effect is strong here. The behavioral phenomena happens when one overvalues an item more when they own it, regardless of its market value.

In this case, the founder may attach more value to the product owing to the time and effort to build it. But from a customer PoV, the pricing just doesn’t seem fair. 

In the SaaS world, some example of pricing plan oopsies are:

  • Hidden costs
  • Dramatic increase in subscription fees
  • Lack of clarity in the final price
  • Fees added during checkout (personally dislike this one)
  • Essential features marketed as paid add-ons
  • More than 5 pricing options

Avoid friction during the PoP as that sets a precursor to how your customer perceives your product from thereon.


“Make the most of your time.”

This is not just your everyday quote etched across the table calendar. This is an incessant human need – to be as efficient as possible.

Nobody likes to do repetitive tasks.

That’s why productivity tools are on the rise. It reduces repetition, automates otherwise manual tasks, and gets things done faster.

The pain point here is to alleviate redundancy and friction when performing an activity. The easier it is to learn and the faster it is to execute, the happier your customer will be.

Taking Growth Labs’ failure as an example, the tool was meant to enhance productivity. However, the learning curve and the difficulty in understanding the product caused a friction, leading to a loss of interest.

If your app is meant to increase productivity but the interface itself isn’t streamlined properly, you are basically defeating the purpose. In turn, your customers perceive your product to be less reliable.

Some ways to tackle the productivity pain points:

  • Onboarding – You will be surprised with how effective a planned and optimized onboarding process could be. Your product may seem easy to traverse to you. But your customers would require a compass, map, torch, and a guide to get to the point in the beginning. That’s where a detailed step by step, personalized onboarding process is required. Use videos, ebooks, knowledgebase, FAQs, tutorials, and even customer support to help them get started.

    Here’s another benefit to that. Once your customers are comfortable exploring and working with your product on their own, your customer service department can take a breather instead of answering basic queries. 
  • Fewer Steps – As trivial as it sounds, getting from Point A to Point B should be as simple as just a click away. Frustration keeps building up with every single extra click in between. Therefore, take our advice, and keep the breadcrumbs to the minimum.


This goes hand in hand with the Productivity pain point.

While Productivity pain points refer to the ease of use of the product, Processes pain points refer to the hiccups caused from the maker’s end while the product is in use.

For example, a critical process in a company is disrupted because the project management tool they are utilizing is taking forever to update.

In this case, the customer’s productivity flow is slowed down because of an ongoing issue from the maker’s end.

Naturally, this pain point nudges them towards a better tool, even if it is slightly more expensive.


There’s nothing more frustrating than getting automated replies during a critical snag.

Oh wait, there is! Customer support portals that are NOT functioning 24/7!

Especially in the SaaS world, where time zones are irrelevant for most tools, providing the right kind of support makes a HUGE difference in elevating customer satisfaction.

Support pain points are a result of failing to make an app customer-centric. Bombarding them with waiting tickets, insufficient responses, automated replies, etc will only drive them away.

Your app can stand out, simply by offering a better support system than your competitor. Making your potential customers feel like you genuinely care about their issues will land you the kind of loyalty you are looking for.

Here are some examples of a better support system

  • 24/7 human abled chat portal
  • A countdown timer of waiting time
  • Multi-platform support – utilize social media handles

Unearthing the Pain Points

Google (the gold mine)

We have always “googled” something we needed help with. Whether it’s a definition of a word or ways to become more productive, Google search has been our go-to.

Not surprisingly, Google also keeps a note of the most searched queries. This is the ultimate gold mine for figuring out pain points.

There are several tools available such as  that help you gather a list of the most common queries. Obviously this is not a list, but it gives you keywords with the highest volume, from which you can figure out the baseline topic that people are looking into.

You may even turn to Google’s autocomplete to get an insight. The autocompletion is based on the most searched queries. And you know that we almost always turn to Google when we hit a roadblock.

Chances are a lot of people aka your potential customers may have been ravenously searching for an answer. And that answer is just a SaaS away.

Ask Around

Your ideal solution might actually be closer to you than you think. Many times, your friends, colleagues, or even family members might simply be harboring dormant wishes for an app that makes their life easier. All you have to do is observe, gauge, and get talking.

You may not get clarity in terms of the exact cost-revenue model, but you may be able to understand whether your solution to their problems might be valued.

Even Better, ask your own Customers

If you already run a SaaS product, you can make use of your customer support to let your customers support YOU, instead of the other way around!

Lend a keen eye to what your customer support team is solving on the daily. Issues that come through the portal, if mirrored by many other customers, are pain points already!

Generate reports around the commonly asked questions, most faced issues, and you can already begin working on a feature or update that would help your customers.

Naturally, when your customers know that you are following their feedback and concerns with an action plan, their loyalty is reinforced.

The Fault in their Stars

Oh boy do we LOVE review sites! Especially in the SaaS world, there are a bunch of reliable and honest sites that are dedicated to listing reviews on products by actual users.

Capterra, G2 Crowd, GetApp, TrustRadius, SaaS Genius, and more churn out positive and negative reviews of SaaS products that hit the market.

This is the perfect venue for you to focus on competitors to understand why their solution got ranked for success or simply failed to impress.

The negative reviews often are detailed in terms of expectation vs reality scenarios. And you can start collecting insights and possibly generate better solutions to ease these pain points.

Bird Watching

How many times have you turned to Twitter to tag a company or its CEO directly to share an issue you are facing?

Unlike a review site where reviews are filtered (often for language) and verified for validity, social media sites offer better freedom of (often uncensored) speech.

In psychology, negativity bias is when the psychological effects of a negative event are inflated in value compared to an equally positive event.

Social media platforms are the epitome of this heuristic in action, because customers tend to be overtly expressive when it comes to hiccups in a service


Reflecting a give and take attitude, many online communities like Github, Reddit, and Medium often have threads on a single topic. This is your ultimate tool if you want to delve deeper into an issue.

With social media, the problem in hand is blatantly expressed, but the kind of insight you need for the solution is rare.

That’s when online communities can help. Especially if the people involved in the discussion come from a niche group, your insights tend to be backed with heavy data. 

And BONUS, you have already identified your first set of potential users!

Pain is Good

Aligning your product to that of your customers’ pain points is the most fool-proof way of getting a good user base.

The idea is to not focus too much on the features, especially in the beginning. Those come as a bonus to your potential customers.

Ideally what you need is a way to get new customers and convert your competitors’ customers into yours. Both sets of the cohort are looking for a way to alleviate an issue. The former seeks a way to make things convenient and the latter looks for a better alternative.

However, simply band-aiding the pain point isn’t enough. Continuously taking care of your customer is key in converting them into a loyal user base. Successful SaaS businesses focus on acquiring new users. However, they also ensure that their existing customers are happy.

Like Guy Kawasaki said, “Great companies start because the founders want to change the world. Not make a fast buck.”

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