In an age where immediacy and instant solutions are the order of the day, being able to connect your customers to the problems they’re having and the ones you solve is critical. Half the challenge is ensuring that you’re talking to the right audience; meaning their problems match your solutions.
While that’s a separate conversation entirely, what is relevant to what we’re trying to talk about today is the dot-to-dot game we play of matching customers with the correct solution.
So, where to start? Let’s open the lid on working out what problems you solve.
Working out the problems that you solve
Now, in theory, this should be a process that you’ve already been through and have a deep understanding of. Understanding the problems that you solve is foundational to the success of your business, as it’s what keeps you relevant and helps you to continue to innovate.
This process should be part of your product strategy and value proposition work. It should also be something that your revisit periodically to ensure that you’re still on the right track.
The real skill is understanding the problems that need solving before your customer does, which enables you to offer the solution before they’ve even considered where to find said solution.
That puts you streets ahead of your competitors in terms of being the only choice in the minds of your customers.
Working out the problems you solve comes from talking to your customers, past, present, and prospective. It means truly getting under the skin of your products or services and how they perform and staring hard into the mirror.
Another format for working out these problems is online tools. Using SEO analysis, you can marry up the keywords that you’re found for and the products you sell. It might be that you’re being searched for and found for totally different keywords than you thought you were. Therefore, are you really solving the problems you thought you were?
Connecting customers to the problems you solve
The challenge we all face is connecting prospective customers to the problems that we solve.
Now, that can be done through education in the form of content and social media, or it can be done digitally on your website. If you’re educating through content, whether that’s a podcast, blog, or Instagram post, you can highlight common problems and present the solution or inner workings of the solution within your content.
Alternatively, you can use your website to funnel customers into the right place according to problems. It’s unorthodox, but it works.
Through problem statements.
Coming up with problem statements in the first place
So, what is a problem statement? Well, to us, it’s a succinct statement that summarises a common issue that your audience has, something that they’ll resonate with. We tend to recommend four to five problem statements that you can categorise your products under.
But coming up with them isn’t easy.
Using your value proposition to help decide upon a set of problem statements is a helpful process, as it defines you and your business.
This means that, in theory, the process of working on your value proposition and staring into the mirror should uncover the problems you solve and define the meaning behind them.
Don’t overcomplicate it, though. The statement should be short, to the point, and be a neat little bundle of “ah, yeah, that’s the problem I’m having.”
Categorising your products using the problem statements is a useful way of finding out if the statements work. If you can drop your products into four or five categories (it doesn’t matter if some fit under two or three statements simultaneously), then you’re on the right track.
Using problem statements as signposts
As mentioned previously, you can use your problem statements as signposts. Placing them strategically on your website can help guide your audience towards the product they need the most – saving them time and speeding up the sales process.
Your problem statements can also inform your content strategy.
You can build out whole topics and rafts of content around one problem statement alone – take this article, a blog about problem statements themselves!
Bringing it all together
It’s critical, however, that it all ties together. Your problem statements should link back to your value proposition and product strategy. You should know what problems you're solving and understand the problems that your customers are having. This enables you to create the statements, but also continue to innovate and find the right solutions.