Using voice of customer research in your copy

Written by Meghan Downs

Using real voice of customer research is one of the most effective methods to create compelling copy. In this article, I will run you through these important questions.

  1. What does voice of customer research mean?
  2. How can you get voice of customer insights?
  3. Why is voice of customer research so valuable?
  4. How do you use it in your marketing?

By the end, you will know how to craft your message using voice of customer (VOC) research.

voice of customer research for persuasive copy

What does voice of customer research mean?

Voice of customer research is literally just that. It’s using real conversations and communications with your customers to get their authentic words. By asking customers questions and getting feedback, you are finding out what they really think of your company.

As the phrase goes, hear “straight from the horse’s mouth” –

  • What triggered them to buy
  • Why they picked you over competitors
  • Their feelings throughout the buying stages
  • Their honest feedback on what they liked
  • What you could have done better
  • What their perceptions of your brand were (and what they are now)


How can you get voice of customer insights?

You can get VOC data from online reviews, forums, and discussions about your brand (read Customer Camp’s guide on review mining here). That’s great for well-established brands. But if you’re a small business owner, you might not have much research to go on.

The best way to get an insight into what your customer really thinks about you is to get them on the phone. You want to ask them questions they don’t know in advance, so they give you an honest answer they’ve not had time to think about before.

This gives you a raw, unfiltered answer to their opinions on your brand. In a few minutes, you can learn a lot. It’s great to do with all your current customers. It’s even better to get a third-party person to speak to them (like me or someone else on your team they didn’t work with).

That way, you will receive a much more candid answer and are more likely to get the valuable voice of customer insights. They won’t be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. Taking that to the next level, the BEST way to see what you need to improve on is to call up the customers who DIDN’T buy from you. If they bought from your competitors or did not even consider you, ask them why.

If you can’t get your customers on the phone or via video call, create an online survey. Allow them to write free text for their responses. Remember to avoid closed questions.

The best way to interview or survey your customers is to start with questions like –

  • Tell me how you felt about…
  • Why did you choose us…
  • What made you need our product/service…
  • How did you find your experience with us…
  • What could we have done better…

These are all questions that ask for more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply. When you’re speaking to customers, follow these up with more ‘why’ questions if you feel they haven’t given you the full picture.

Looking for inspiration to write better copy?

Download the FREE guide here – 5 easy ways to add personality to your website.

Why is voice of customer research so valuable?

Getting these candid conversations with your customers (or could-be customers) is valuable for a number of reasons.

It may be that your marketing message focuses on one aspect of your service but when you ask your customers what they liked about you, they answer with something different. That would mean that your focus is in the wrong place and putting a shift in your copy could speak to more people.

You will also find out the real words that your customers are using to describe you. You can write down phrases they say and use these as direct phrases for your copy.

Not only can you get great quotations for testimonials and case studies. You can use this throughout your company copywriting, including your web copy and sales marketing.

It also helps you to improve your marketing message, your offer, and your audience targeting. Carrying out the voice of customer research may highlight opportunities for improvement you wouldn’t have otherwise discovered.


How do you use voice of customer research in your messaging?

Taking the VOC research, you can change your brand message to focus on what your customers REALLY care about.

From good voice of customer research, you can identify this by reviewing the data. What’s their biggest concern about buying from you? Why did those people not choose you? What did people like most?

Tailor your content to address these things. It might be the unique selling point (USP) you’ve been using isn’t that important to your readers. Flip your message to focus on what you find from the voice of customer research instead.

Take snippets from your customer interviews and highlight descriptive phrases. When customers say what their favourite part about your service is, analyse it. Do they explain things in clear and easy to understand language?

Sometimes, the best marketing messages come from direct customer quotes. They are saying messaging gold without realising it. It’s your job to mine that gold and polish it into something valuable.

Need help carrying out your company’s voice of customer research? Get in touch. I can interview your customers for you, analyse the data, and use that to create messaging gold. All you need to do is fill out a new project enquiry form – I’ll take it from there!

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