Customer Problem Statement

Customer Problem Statement Template

Create a problem statement to understand your customer's point of view. The Customer Problem Statement template helps you focus on what matters to create experiences people will love.

About the Customer Problem Statement Template

The customer problem statement template helps you focus on what matters. You can figure out how your product or service meets your customers’ needs, allowing you to create experiences people will love.

What is a Customer Problem Statement Template?

The customer problem statement template gives you the guidelines to create a problem statement. As part of the Design Thinking methodology, the problem statement is essential to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and gain empathy when building services or products, besides tackling the real issues behind your customers’ needs.

What is a customer problem statement?

A customer problem statement outlines problems that your customers face. It helps you figure out how your product or service will solve this problem for them.

The statement helps you understand the experience you want to offer your customers. It can also help you understand a new audience when creating a new product or service.

A well-articulated customer problem statement allows you and your team to find the ideal solution for the challenges your customers face. Throughout the process, you’ll also be able to empathize with your customers, which helps you better understand how they perceive your product or service.

It’s important to validate your customer's problems by running user research. This template is a way of crafting your problem statement, not analyzing your customer profile or needs.

How do you create a customer problem statement?

A strong customer problem statement should provide a detailed description of your customer’s current situation. Consider how they feel, the financial and emotional impact of their current situation, and any other important details about their thoughts or feelings.

Creating a customer problem statement is easy with Miro. Using our collaborative online whiteboard, you can create an online problem statement that’s easy to follow and shareable with your team. All you have to do is sign up for free, select this template, and follow these steps to fill in your template.

There are five quadrants in the template with different propositions. Answer each of them to create your problem statement:

1. I am...

Who is this person? Are they a young working professional? Are they retired? Are they a CEO? Anything that identifies your customer and what problems they might face.

2. I’m trying to...

This is where you place your customer’s action. Do they have a financial target they want to reach? Are they trying to live a healthier lifestyle? You need to know what they want to achieve so you can figure out how your product or service will help them reach this goal.

3. But...

Now you need to think about what’s stopping your customers from achieving their goals. Do they have a restricted budget? Are they struggling to prioritize their spending? Whatever it is, figure it out so you can better understand their challenges.

4. Because...

This is the root cause of their problem. If they’re struggling to prioritize their spending, what’s the reason behind it? Find out the cause of the impediment to better understand how they’re feeling.

5. Which makes me feel...

As a result of all the previous points, your customer feels a certain way. This is where you can fully address how your product or service will solve this problem for them. Will you offer your product at a discounted price? Or provide additional services? You’ll be able to figure out the best course of action with this statement.

Why use the customer problem statement?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why using a customer problem statement is beneficial.

  • Provide clarity. To find a solution, you need to identify the problem. Creating a concise problem statement gives you the clarity you need to figure out what the problem is and how you can address it.

  • Better understand your customers. When you use the customer problem statement template, you’re thinking about your customer’s thoughts and feelings. You’ll increase your likelihood of creating something valuable for them because you understand them better.

  • Improve your product or service. The customer problem statement allows you to identify the best areas of improvement with your product or service. You’ll know what your customers are experiencing, what challenges they’re facing, and how you can find a common solution to improve your product or service.

  • Enlighten your team. A problem statement shows team members why you’re offering a particular product or service. They can see firsthand what challenges your customers are facing and how your product solves those challenges. Problem statements will also help you keep your team on track to reach a common goal and align their efforts.

When to use the customer problem statement

There are various situations where using a customer problem statement is helpful. Let’s outline a few examples to demonstrate:

  • When you’re aware of a problem. If you know that your customers have a problem, you can use the statement to better understand it. As a result, you can tweak your product or service to address this problem and provide customers with a better experience.

  • When you want to improve your product or service. Using a problem statement is a great way to identify how to improve. You’ll get a deeper understanding of what your customers want, and you’ll make sure that any changes you make provide them with something they want.

  • When you’re entering a new marketplace with a new product or service. To make sure you fully understand your buyers and what they want from your product, use a customer problem statement. You’ll be able to anticipate their problems before you launch and make any amendments to your product ahead of time.

Tips for creating a successful customer problem statement

It's not always easy to write a successful customer problem statement. To help keep you on the right track, here are some tips and tricks you can follow:

  • Don’t mention your product or service in the statement itself. You’re focusing on the problem, not the solution.

  • Articulate the status quo. Remember, that’s what you’re trying to disrupt.

  • Think about limitations your potential customers may have.

  • Target a specific group with whom you can build empathy.

  • Provide measurable outcomes. This makes it easier to come up with metrics you can use to track your progress.

  • Use a template. You’ve got a lot of information to condense into one sentence, so it’s helpful to have a template in place. That way, you know exactly what you need to include, and you won’t veer off-topic.

What are some examples of problem statements?

To give you an idea of how to write a meaningful customer problem statement effectively, let’s take a look at a couple of statement examples.

Example of a well-written customer problem statement

“Customers find it cumbersome to carry their textbooks around and risk forgetting textbooks when they need to bring them to class. This makes them feel ill-prepared for their lesson”

This customer problem statement hones in on a challenge that your customers are facing and elaborates on the problem. It doesn’t mention your product or service. Instead, it specifies what’s particularly difficult for your customers and what’s the consequence of it.

This makes it clear what their problem is, and that’s the information you need. With this statement, you can now address this problem.

Example of a poorly-written customer problem statement

“Customers need this product because it would allow them to access their textbooks on their phone.”

This customer problem statement focuses too much on your product and not enough on the customer problem. It tells you why your product is convenient, but it doesn’t provide enough detail about the problem.

To make this an effective problem statement, you’ll need to take a step back and refine your focus. Think about what the actual problem is and go from there.

FAQs about Customer Problem Statements

What are the five elements of a problem statement?

The five elements of a problem statement are: “I am,” “I’m trying to,” “But,” “Because,” and “Which makes me feel.” Following these directions, you can find out what problem your customer is facing and how they feel about it. As a result, you can figure out how best to solve their problem with your product.

How do you create a problem statement?

To craft a problem statement, start by running user or customer research to discover their pain points and needs. Afterward, summarize your findings and concisely build your statement using Miro’s ready-made template. The problem statement is about customer problems. Keep any mention of product features or your service solution out of the statement. Lastly, write a problem statement that truly highlights your customer experience and shows how you can measure the success of your solution.

Customer Problem Statement Template

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