Anything with the word “data” in it sounds intimidating if you’re not a spreadsheet junkie, but it’s not that scary! In fact, we could remove the word “data” entirely from the term, and it would still mean the same basic thing.
The voice of the customer (VOC) is basically how a customer would describe you, your products, and services. But it’s their voice, right? So instead of you and your marketing team sussing out what you think customers think, using VOC channels lets them tell you.
In their own words.
Why is that valuable in copy?
Copywriting is how you convince a potential customer that your service or offering either solves their problem or improves their lives. So doesn’t it make sense that speaking in the language of past customers will make it easier to connect with potential future customers?
Of course it does.
You probably already have access to more voice of customer data than you know!
Without a full service marketing firm on board, how are you supposed to collect VOC data? Chances are, you’re already collecting this information in the ordinary course of business. To start, look at your existing online reviews. And not just the bad ones!
In fact, good reviews can be a goldmine of information about what you’re doing well. You can then use that language in your website copy.
Here’s an example. A local Austin hotel has half a dozen 5-star Yelp reviews that refer to the space as tranquil, quiet, and peaceful. The hotel’s website—while not badly written by any stretch—doesn’t focus as much on these attributes. While it does include words like escape and oasis, they’re not heavily featured.
If happy customers are raving about how peaceful and calm the hotel is, maybe the copy should also play up those features?
You don’t only have to rely on your own reviews
How can new businesses with very little feedback benefit from the voice of the customer?
Try looking at the reviews for your closest competitors.
What do their positive and negative reviews say about the competition—and what does it tell you? If a similarly priced and positioned wedding venue in town has feedback that their event planners aren’t responsive enough, you can edit your copy to highlight how quick your planners are to get back to calls and emails. (And then make sure you’re following through on your claims!!)
Consider social listening, too
Marketers really like their terminology, man. A shared language can obviously help marketers communicate, but it also makes things sound way more complicated than they are and leads to some really vomit-y bro terms.
Case in point: social listening (shudder)
Social listening is simply doing the exact same thing we discussed with regard to reviews and applying it to your and/or your competitor’s social media. While some customers will go to the effort to leave a review on a site like Google or Yelp, many others will simply send a DM or post a comment on your Instagram or Facebook feeds with accolades or complaints.
Look for patterns in this feedback. If a few people comment that they loved one particular part of your service, talk that up in your copy!
While online reviews and social media feeds are great resources, they’re not the only places to get good feedback. Another great option is to send out a survey after a client interaction.
Reviews are open-ended. By providing your own survey questions, you may get more specific responses that can be of more use. Go beyond basic “customer satisfaction” and help them creative a narrative in their customer feedback.
You could as questions like:
- What was most important to you when choosing a wedding venue?
- How did [our venue] deliver on that most important factor?
- Why did you choose [our hotel] for your recent stay?
- What was your favorite part of your stay?
Look for the patterns! Your customers may have needs that you weren’t even aware of—and may see the solutions in your services and products.
Small businesses who only work with a few clients at a time can manually send out a thank you email with a link to your survey. Others can set up an automatic message in their email service provider to reach out for customer feedback after an event, hotel stay, or meal.
The voice of the customer is good for more than just copy
VOC data is a great tool to help you write copy that connects with your market. But you can also use it to get useful information on customer preferences and expectations to improve their experience with your company.
It can be a valuable asset in product development as well. When software updates add new features, VOC data is often the inspiration.
In the end, voice of customer data helps you keep tabs on what is important to your customers. By adopting their language and understanding where they’re coming from, you can create a deeper connection with potential clients and guests.
BTW: A good copywriter will