Aaron Regev: “One of the leading principles that guide me when it comes to my work is: to treat all of our customers’ pain as if they were my own — in that way, I am able to more closely identify exactly what we’re not doing correctly and fixing it.”
Aaron Regev is the resident sales expert in the home warranty company that he’s working for. He’s been training the entirety of the sales team from the beginning and has done a lot to improve the company’s reputation when it comes to providing the best customer service in the industry — thanks to his own personal experience as a salesperson.
We were able to catch up with Aaron recently to ask him if he could share some insider tips on the subject of customer pain points — a running hot buzzer word in the marketing world:
First, please introduce yourself to our readers! Who do you work for? And what kind of work do you do?
Aaron Regev: I work for a home warranty company called Total Home Protection — and have been working there for a while now as a Sales Manager. I was initially hired on the team for my long years working as a salesperson. They wanted someone on board that would be able to train everyone else so that we started off on the right foot.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
Aaron Regev: It would have to be the fact that we are good at what we do. Too often, people forget the importance of treating your customers right — of treating them like the people that they are, rather than just numbers on a screen or a report. Our ongoing mission then is to make sure that we are safeguarding our customers’ interests — just like how the warranties that we offer them are protecting the appliances and expensive home systems that keep their home going, we protect them in turn.
Now, we invited you over to talk specifically about Customer Pain Points. Briefly, can you explain what it is to our readers?
Aaron Regev: A customer pain point is a specific problem that a regular customer (or a potential customer) has with your business processes OR the marketplace at large. These pretty much encompass every issue that they might encounter throughout their entire journey — from the moment that they decide that they have something to buy and the moment that they receive the product that they’ve purchased.
It can be a specific problem, it can be a small problem, it can be a glaringly large problem, it can be a problem with your product or your service, etc. It’s really just any problem wherein they suffer in some way.
As an extra note, it should be said that these pain points will vary throughout industries and marketplaces — so some level of personalization is definitely required.
Why is it important for marketers to be able to identify these customer pain points?
Aaron Regev: For any business, customer satisfaction is key to finding long-term success. Do you want to beat your competitors? Then you need to be able to offer your customers something that they cannot. And most of the time, these days, that all comes down to how you are able to address customer pain points and enhance their experience — so that they will have a reason to choose your goods and/or service over other alternatives.
How does one go about actually identifying pain points?
Aaron Regev: Well, it all starts with getting in touch with your customer service and sales teams. They’re the ones that are out there, talking to your customers.
Chances are, they’ve already run into all the specific types of pain points that your customers are dealing with right now and have helped them along with it. So, that makes them an invaluable resource for finding out what your customers need. Once you’ve got the baseline from them, and figure out where the likely problem areas are, you can go even further by heading directly to the source (your actual customers) to figure out what changes they’d like to be made and how you should go about doing so.
As someone in a leadership role in the sales team of the company that you work for, how do you help the members of your staff deal with customer pain points?
Aaron Regev: I have one key principle when working with customers — and this I teach everyone in my team to follow as well — and that is to ‘treat a customer’s pain as your own’. The point being, by placing yourself in their shoes, you can better understand what they’re feeling and, even, be more motivated to fix it.
As mentioned before, I think some companies kind of close themselves off too much by keeping their customers far far away. And that, well that’s just not going to work in the long run. If you want to establish a long-term relationship with the customers under your care? You need to treat them as human beings and give them the respect that they deserve.
What is one common customer pain point that you find yourself dealing with on the job?
Aaron Regev: The biggest thing that really hurts a customer’s experience is feeling that they are not being listened to. Referring to what I said in my previous answer about putting yourself in their shoes, picture it now.
You’ve come across this block. You’re stressed. Perhaps this is the first time you’ve ever bought goods or services from this company, perhaps not. Either way, you’re not sure if you can trust them to take care of the problem and treat your case with the importance that it deserves. You really didn’t want to have to call them up in the first place, you’d have preferred if the purchase had gone smoothly and without any complications. But here you are. So, you call, and then you get a person that keeps asking you to repeat what you’re saying — a sign of inattention that goes to show that they could care less about your problem. Suffice to say, you probably won’t be feeling great about yourself OR your purchase decision after that.
What do you tell your staff to do when faced with the pain point that you described up above?
Aaron Regev: The answer is simple: all you have to do is talk to them. Simple as that may be though, it’s actually pretty difficult to pull off correctly when you’re just starting out.
My advice? Be clear and honest. Sometimes, there’s nothing that can be done about communication problems when communicating remotely. But the more transparent you can be during the conversation? The better. The customer wants to know that they can trust you, and for that, they need to be given the full picture.
To round off this section of the interview, what is your favorite quote? And how does it relate to what you do for a living?
Aaron Regev: There’s something that my grandmother used to tell me all the time: Always be content. That quote has resonated with me throughout my exploration of the sales ecosystem. I’m not the kind of person that likes to sit around — something I learned from a very young age from parents that moved countries in order to pursue their dreams.
That means that I get things done but, it also means that I have a tendency of getting ahead of myself. It’s led to a few teachable moments during my early years as I did what I could to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of my career. Now, I see ‘Always be Content’ as an encouragement to continue pursuing my dreams — just with a bit more patience and a bit more humility.
Do you have any last-minute advice that you want to give to an aspiring marketer who might be interested in pursuing the same career that you did?
Aaron Regev: The advice I would give to any aspiring marketer is really the advice that I give to just about everyone I get a chance to teach: whether you’ve just started the job or have been doing the job for years, educate yourself!
There’s truth in the saying ‘the real world is different from what you learn in school’ but I actually think that getting secondary education is important. If nothing else, it certainly will help you push ahead of the competition when you finally do get out of there. So, while you won’t necessarily be learning the kind of trade secrets (which you can only gain from personal experience) in school, what you do learn should at least be of some help with giving you the kind of discipline and know-how required to be able to acquire that personal experience.
In the end, I guess what I’m saying is to learn what you can — whenever you can. Whether it’s school or while you’re on the job. Never stop learning!