Writing is hard.

Writing to sell your stuff is even harder.

But you’re a good writer and nobody knows your offer better than you. So, you give it a go and it actually sounds pretty good.

Problem is – who knows if it will actually ring true with your audience? And how will you know whether it’s going to deliver the results you’ve staked your second mortgage on?

It turns out, there’s a better approach to writing your copy.

And the world’s best conversion copywriters have been using it for years to…

  1. cut the time it takes to write effective messages
  2. find the messages that are most likely to persuade – over and over again

 

What is this wizardry?

It’s a voice-of-customer (VOC) led approach to finding and writing high-impact messages.

With this approach, you’ll take your customers’ own words — from surveys, interviews, review sites and elsewhere — and mine them for messages. Because to sell, you need to enter into the conversations already happening.

Whaaat? So my customers are my copywriting secret weapon?

Yep.

Not only does this save you from the slow, painful process of writing from scratch…

…it also saves you from unproductive guesswork by painlessly serving up the messages your audience will do a double-take over.

Follow along as I walk you through the process.

 

First up, what is VOC?

When we talk about VOC we’re referring to your customer’s feedback about their experiences with your products or services.

It tells you…

  1. What your customers care about
  2. The order in which they care about those things
  3. The words they use to describe their experience with those things

 

Why it works

There are a variety of reasons and psychological principles that could explain why mirroring your customers’ language is so persuasive.

Perhaps prospects find you more likeable when you show that you think, write and speak the way they do.

And what do people love above all else?

Seeing themselves reflected back at them.

But reasons aside, all we really need to know is that it works – and how we can do it ourselves.

Why should you care about VOC?

If there’s one thing you take from this post, let it be this: the best copywriters don’t guess at what people want. They take insights straight from the people who use your products and services and shape it into high-converting copy.

By diving into Voice of Customer research, you’ll find out how to gather qualitative insights to understand the wants, needs, pain points, and hesitations of your target audience. You can use that insight to:

  • Help your customers reach their goals faster and easier, i.e. improve the customer journey
  • Increase conversions
  • Drive more leads, sales, and revenue

 

Ok, so how do you figure this stuff out?

It all starts with being curious. Find out about your audience and prospects. Get to know them. Find out how they speak. What language they use.

This is how you do that….

Step 1 – decide what to ask

Before we launch in, we need to be clear on what we want to know. Typically, the kinds of questions you’d be asking would look like this:

  • “When did you realise you needed a product/service like ours?” – This is a question that will help you find out what the trigger events are going on in a person’s life that motivate them to seek out your solution.
  • What problem does our product/service lessen or fix for you?”- Here you’ll be able to find out what your customers consider the problem to be. You may find there are problems you’re solving that you didn’t know about.
  • “Did you consider any alternatives to buying/working from/with us?” – It’s always a good idea to know who your customers see as your competition.
  • “What concerns or hesitations did you have before you decided to buy/work with us?” –You can reflect your customers’ concerns back to them in terms of how you or your business will alleviate them.

 

Step 2 – decide how to ask

Once you’ve identified what you need to measure, you’ll need to determine how you’ll collect feedback. And the answer to that is to pull data from multiple sources: surveys, interviews, and online listening.

These are the ways I’d normally go about it:

  • Surveys: you can use something as simple as Survey Monkey.

 

  • One-on-one interviews: this is where I’d set up a time to speak to individual customers and have them open up about their experience.

 

 

  • Online listening: head over to your reviews, comments, customer feedback. It’s filled to the brim with gold. You can also check out the comments or reviews of your competitors. If they’re smart, you can bet they’re already doing it to you.

 

Step 3: Mine the answers

Now that you’ve asked your questions and have your answers, it’s time to pull out phrases and sentences that will give you the best insights into developing your copy.

Here’s what you’re looking for:

  • How do customers talk about their needs/wants?
  • How do they describe their biggest pain points?
  • What do they say was their hesitation or concern about purchasing?
  • What tipped them into purchasing – or not purchasing – with you over someone else?
  • What are their complaints?
  • What are they loving?

 

Step 4: Analyse

This step is really about taking a microscope to all the data you’ve gathered in the previous step and start looking for patterns and little nuggets of gold.

Chances are you’ll start noticing recurring themes. Let’s say you’re finding over and over again that people almost didn’t purchase your product because they were struggling to justify the price.

You’ve just been told, straight from the horse’s mouth, where you might have a leak in your sales funnel. No need to panic. From a copy perspective, it just means we can get on the front foot and address buyer objections head on. And that’s a really good thing.

 

Now what?

Once you’ve pulled out the best bits you uncovered in research, this rich customer data needs to find its way into your copy.

But where do you actually use all of this customer language?

Everywhere.

It should go in:

  • Emails, websites, ad campaigns, landing pages, social media

 

And be used in:

  • Headlines
  • Body copy
  • Calls to action
  • Button text
  • Image captions

 

Recap

A VOC approach to writing doesn’t just save you time. It improves your chances of success by telling you what your audience cares about, their priorities, and how they speak. Give it a try and let me know how you go.