Wanna hear something shocking? When I write for established business owners running 6 and 7-figure businesses, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire that asks about the words and phrases, the Voice of Customer, that their audience uses, and they don’t have it!
You may be thinking, ‘Wait, Laura! You said they run incredibly profitable businesses! Does it matter then?
And to that, I answer, if they can accomplish those results without speaking to their customers in their unique language, how much MORE could they be earning?
Hands down, Voice of Customer is the most critical part of any sales copy – sales pages, sales emails, landing pages, ads – literally anything you want your target audience to take action on- yet so many business owners leave it out.
Side note- if you interview a copywriter, and they don’t mention the voice of customer, move on! You’ll waste your money.
So what is Voice of Customer, where do you get it, and what difference does it really make in the customer journey?
Let’s talk about it.
Voice of Customer
If you’ve heard this term bandied about but never really understood what it is, I want to share a definition from Qualitrics.com:
Voice of the Customer (VoC) is a term that describes your customer’s feedback about their experiences with and expectations for your products or services. It focuses on customer needs, expectations, understandings, and product improvement.
This is a good one, but I’m going to ask you to take it a step further. Let’s say you have an online boutique. Your customer starts chatting with your stylist and mentions they’re looking for a form-fitting summer dress in silk-blend crepe de chine to wear to a cocktail party with their husband hosted by his boss.
Let’s break down what she really wants.
Form-fitting – she wants a silhouette that celebrates her figure.
Silk-blend – luxurious material to signal she can afford an expensive dress, likely with a designer label.
Crepe de chine – she wants a lightweight fabric that will keep its shape in the heat, with a bit of stretch, likely because she wants to feel supported by a tighter fabric with give (aka hides any of the areas she feels insecure about)
So let’s say you’re writing a sales email or you’re training your client services agent. You will want her to mirror back the words “sexy,” “luxurious,” “elegant,” “flattering.”
Because these are the deep desires the Voice of Customer reveals to you, and well, it may not come naturally to look for these key indicators, it’s what will make or break the sale.
Where Do You Find Voice of Customer?
Most of my clients are service providers operating digital businesses, so there are many opportunities to garner Voice of Customer.
These are some common places to look:
- Email correspondence
- Online chats, interviews, customer service situations
- Facebook groups
- Social media comments
- Amazon reviews
- Surveys or short questionnaires you send out to your email list asking for feedback
- Conversations! Go out of your way to have actual conversations with clients. A crucial part of my process is a Copy Call to get as much information about the company, the client, and their customers as possible because it informs my writing.
The more I sound like you and capture the essence of your business, the more it will land with you and your customers.
TIP: when you are mining for Voice of Customer, look for keywords like “feel,” “think,” “want,” “need,” “wish,” “hope,” “dream.” The words that surround these verbs are where the magic lies.
Customers want to buy a product or service that fulfills all of the above; be the one to mirror those things back to them, and you’re off to the races.
What Difference Does Voice of Customer Make to Sales
Before I get into the data, I have a story for you.
A colleague of mine at Morelli Writers took over a sales page for a client. What started as a requested “revision” turned into a total rewrite because virtually no Voice of Customer was on the sales page. After the new sales page went live, there was an increase of 6% in conversion (sales). What would a 6% increase in sales mean for your business?
Active listening, which is the basis of Voice of Customer works, and it’s worked in sales forever.
Here are some more stats:
- Gartner research recently discovered that collecting customer feedback can increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15% to 20%.
- The same report found that customer feedback can also help decrease the cost of retaining those buyers – as companies that actively engage in a voice of customer programs spend 25% less on customer retention than those that don’t.
- Competitive advantage. Only 42% of B2B marketers collect feedback from customers as part of their audience research.
So remember, when analyzing your VOC data, try to look for phrases your customers have used to describe the reasons why they use your product, the benefits it offers them, and the outcomes they have achieved with it.
BONUS: How to Use It In Your Sales Copy
All sales copy, no matter what it is, should answer a variation of the following questions:
- Why do they need it?
- Why now?
- Why this product or solution?
- The results they’ll get by buying it
- Why spend the money?
- What problem does it solve?
So, in all of your sales copy, you should look to answer these questions with the words and phrases of your clients.
Here’s an example:
“I was looking for someone I could finally understand to make sense of my money blocks. Why was I so afraid of telling people my rates. Why did I cringe? I’ve read so many books, I’ve tried to pay attention to free webinars, and filled out workbooks, but when I heard the way Karen explained it, I felt like she was in my head.” (I’ve highlighted the key phrases and words)
If you were struggling with fees in your business, would this not make you want to learn more about Karen?!
SUMMING IT UP
Voice of Customer is everywhere if you pay attention to it. Once you get in the hang of noticing when a comment stands out to you, take a screenshot and make a note of it in a document. If you host an annual event or launch a course a couple of times a year, make sure to solicit feedback from the attendees and use that in your copy for the next time around.
Take note of the metrics and compare them to the next launch. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you see.
Like this post? Check out how to make more money with email marketing here.