Want to hear something shocking?
When I write for established business owners running 6 and 7-figure businesses, I ask them to fill out a questionnaire about the words and phrases, the Voice of Customer, that their audience uses, and they don’t have it!
Now, 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 of their copy.
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 definition 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 in-house stylist and mentions she’s looking for a form-fitting summer dress in silk-blend crepe de chine to wear to a cocktail party with her husband hosted by his boss. She says she wants to look chic but sexy.
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.
Key Takeaway: use active listening to hear what the customer is saying and then take it one step further to understand the desired feeling beneath the stated want.
Where Do You Find Voice of Customer?
Now that we’ve established what Voice of Customer is, and what it reveals about your customer’s deep desires and pain points, you’re probably wondering where to find it.
The good news is that it’s everywhere!
Here are the places I advise my clients to look for the words and phrases their customers are using:
- 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.
PRO 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.
Key Takeaway: Make it part of your marketing and copy process to mine for the words and phrases your customers use to describe their pain points, desires, challenges and goals.
Mirror this language back to them in the words you use to sell your products and services (your copy).
What Difference Does Voice of Customer Make to Sales
Voice of Customer makes all the difference to sales. It calls your target reader in and holds their attention because they see themselves in what you’re saying (and selling).
There is a lot of data and history to support including VoC in your copy, but before I get into the data, I have a story for you.
The head writer and founder of Morelli Writers, Licia Morelli, recently 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 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.
As you can see, including your customer’s voice and feedback in your copy will not only increase your sales, and connect with your audience, it’ll set you apart from your competitors.
Key Takeaway: Voice of Customer used in your copywriting will increase conversions and help you get more marketshare because not many companies are doing it.
BONUS: How to Use It In Your Sales Copy
Now that you’ve collected and made note of your VoC, you’re probably wondering how to use it.
All sales copy, no matter what it is, should answer a variation of the following questions:
- Why do they need it?
- Why this product or solution?
- The results they’ll get by buying it
- Why spend the money?
- What problem does it solve?
- Why now?
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 pricing, I felt like she was in my head.” (I’ve highlighted the key phrases and words)
Testimonial from sales page that addresses common objections clients have to purchasing a coaching program.
If you were struggling with fees in your business, would this not make you want to learn more about Karen?!
Key Takeaway: Use Voice of Customer to answer the sales questions above, and in at least 50% of your copy.
When you have their words it helps make writing easier, and will connect with your clients on a personal level.
SUMMING IT UP
Voice of Customer is everywhere if you pay attention to it. Once you get in the hang of noticing it, be sure to take a screenshot and make a note of it in a document.
Set a reminder to solicit feedback from customers regularly and use that in your copy.
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.