How to Tune-in to the Voice of the Customer [+Checklist]

Ever feel like you don’t know who you’re marketing to? Want to know who exactly is on the other end of that ad campaign? Will your messaging even resonate? Are you actually providing value – addressing their individual pains, needs, and challenges?

Sometimes it helps to take a second – take a breath – and take a deep dive into the world of your ideal customer.

Marketers are people pleasers, desperately searching for the perfect campaigns and messaging to woo our potential customers and win new business.

But we’re not mind readers, so how are we supposed to know what will work? I mean really know what will really work?

Marketing should never be a guessing game.

Enter: Buyer insights. Because it’s no longer enough to be customer-centric. To be successful at breaking through all the digital noise vying for your prospects’ attention, you need to be customer-obsessed. It’s time to learn about your customers from, well, your customers.

But where to start?

We as marketers typically stray from the front lines, but it’ll surprise you how much you can learn by actually listening to and engaging with your customer base. After all, the best campaigns and messaging align your solution’s capabilities with your customer’s expectations.

Listen, Linda!

To start gathering insights, start by listening to the voice of your customer. Your customers are out there, ranting and raving, voicing their frustrations, and hopefully even singing your praises – so grab your AirPods and tune in.

Here are some tips and tactics to hone-in on the voice of the customer:

Buyer insight interviews – Pick your ideal customer’s brain – asking them probing questions about why they decided to buy from you (or instead chose a competitor). This is where you roll up your sleeves and hop on the phone (or schedule an in-person meeting) to uncover buyer insights directly from your ideal customers.

Advertising and marketing reactions – Think for a minute: When you publish content or send out advertising and marketing emails, what types of reactions do you get from clients and prospects? These insights will show you how your content is likely to play out in your market as a whole.

Social listening – Monitor conversations on social sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to see what people are saying about you when you’re not around. Start by entering your company’s name or branded hashtags into LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

Product and service reviews – When you’re deciding which pizza place to try out in a new city, you trust objective, third-party review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Review sites are also important for B2B buyers, with 71% of B2B buyers looking at product reviews during the consideration phase of purchases.

Sales interactions – Talk to sales to uncover insights about your customers as they move through the pipeline. Mine the data in your CRM, or have weekly 1:1s with your favorite AE; uncovering insights about the customer journey and your prospects’ path to purchase.

Customer success interactions – Do quantitative and qualitative analysis of private messaging looking for sentiment, tone, common issues, and trends. Leverage this information for a more relevant approach to future campaigns and messaging.

Customer metadata – Marketing automation tools can track your customer’s online behaviors, giving you insight into what your customers care about most. Search and intent data are also great ways to learn more about your customers; for example, you can use Google Analytics to see what kinds of keywords your audience is searching for.

Surveys – Good ol’ fashioned customer profiling surveys can give you the insights you need, directly from the customer. Ask your customers exactly what challenges they’re facing, and what they expect from you. And once you’re finished, you can aggregate and then analyze the data for more informed campaigns and messaging.

But do you really need buyer insights?

Buyer insights with will give you a better idea of what channels will be most effective, what messaging will resonate, and what features or benefits matter most to your buyers. Use those insights to build data-driven campaigns that speak directly to your target customers.

Using buyer insights uncovered by listening to the voice of your customer will inform your marketing strategies for data-driven campaigns that speak directly to your target audience.

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