How to Use Customer Feedback to Improve Your Website Copy and Conversions

Letizia Zappa
By Letizia Zappa

Breakthroughs almost never happen by chance. Nobody doubles their marketing revenue through dumb luck. Game-changing increases in click-throughs and conversions arise through the application of meticulous customer research. But customer research is a slippery slope. You need a goal to guide your way or you could easily slide down a dank, dark rabbit hole of data.

Website_Feedback

Finding out every minute detail about your customers may seem worthwhile, but all too often marketers end up buried under a mountain of demographic data. That may be useful for your ad targeting on Facebook but it’s less applicable to optimizing your website.

Because when you’re trying to improve conversions — on any medium, really — you need to write better copy. And that takes qualitative data sourced directly from your users. That’s what helps you understand people’s motivations and emphasize those desires in your web copy.

In this article, we’ll cover why voice of customer (VOC) data helps increase conversions, how you can gather this qualitative data, and how you can put it to work on your site.

The power of qualitative data

Humans are temperamental creatures. Study after study shows people make emotional decisions and rationalize it after the fact with logic. The goal of any conversion-conscious marketer should be to tap into that decision making process.

Qualitative data helps you unearth the deep-seated emotions that drive people’s behavior and dictate whether someone buys your product or not. Instead of guessing, you get to peer inside the mind of your audience and join the conversation happening in their head — at least, the one they’re having about your product.

The process of gathering and analyzing qualitative data is typically referred to as voice of customer research. As the name suggests, the goal is to develop a coherent picture of what’s really happening with your audience — from their mindset to their pain points, and aspirations.

Quantitative data is good for identifying problems, like which landing pages are underperforming or where in the user journey people are abandoning the checkout process.

In contrast, qualitative data removes the ambiguity from your customers’ actions. It gets to the why of the situation and uncovers viable solutions. In many cases, good VOC research will provide you with ready-made copy you can apply directly to web pages.

When Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers needed to optimize the homepage of a rehab center, she made the headline a direct quote she found on book review about overcoming addiction. (Btw, Copyhackers is a treasure trove of knowledge for copywriting.)

Rehab_website_homepage

The original headline read “Your Addiction Ends Here.” The VOC version read “If You Think You Need Rehab, You Do.” 

The VOC version increased clicks to the primary CTA button by 400% — and increased form submissions, i.e., lead generation, by 20% on the next page.  That’s how potent VOC data can make your copy. 

And the growth potential isn’t limited to this example. Aberdeen Research found that the top 20% of businesses using voice of customer research grow by 48% year-over-year. (Their competition grew by around 5%, on average.)

By using words that your audience themselves uses, you can tap into their mental model and persuade them your brand really gets their pain points and knows how to solve them.

Conducting VOC Research

So how do you acquire this magical voice of customer data? You actually have several avenues available to you. You can conduct one-on-one interviews, send out email surveys, or run pop-up surveys on your website or in your product. 

Of these three, pop-up surveys are the easiest to scale. If you have the right user engagement tool, you can easily pick which places you’d like to run a survey and then publish it.

This leads us to two critical questions: 

  1. Where are the best places to run your survey?
  2. Which questions should you ask? 

Both of these questions have the same answer: It depends on what you want to learn. 

Before you even start writing out your questions, you need to have a clear idea of where you want to improve your knowledge of your customers — and how you’ll use that insight. 

Do you want to improve click through on your homepage? Or do you need to optimize conversions on your pricing page? Isolate a particular conversion point, define what you want to improve, and work backward from there. 

In general, getting feedback from website visitors will deliver more insight about leads and potential customers. Meanwhile, running surveys inside your app will invariably lead to more responses from customers. 

(This assumes you’re a SaaS company. If you’re in the ecommerce business, then it’s a bit different.) 

When you’re writing your questions, always make them open-ended. Again, your goal is to get detailed qualitative data, so the questions need to encourage people to articulate their thoughts. 

Here are a few standard questions to ask: 

“When did you realize you needed a product like ours?” 

This query helps you key in on the particular life event (or events) driving people to seek out your product. If you understand the trigger, you can anticipate it in your copy. 

“What’s the major problem our product solves for you?” 

This is one for customers. Unearthing the pain points your audience is trying to solve — and the way they describe those problems — equips you to more effectively market your product’s value. 

“What’s the best outcome you’ve experienced with our product?”

It’s a bit of a cliche to say “people don’t buy products; they buy a better version of themselves,” but it’s true. In most cases, people are thinking about a particular desired outcome they’ll achieve by using your product, not the product itself. 

The more potent you can communicate that outcome on your website, the better your conversions will be. 

Since you’re doing this in a pop-up format, you should limit each survey to one question. That way the experience feels easy for the user, thereby improving your response rate. 

Improving Conversions

Alright, you’ve got the VOC data. Now it’s time to improve conversions. That means testing the copy and recording the results. 

Conducting a copy test is as simple as picking out the best response (or responses, if you have multiple variations) from your research and dropping it onto the page. Verbatim copy often works best, but you could always do some editing if you need to. 

You can really tell when a piece of copy comes directly from the customer.  

 

FastSpring’s headline is exceptionally dynamic — presumably because they’ve pulled it directly from voice of customer research. No doubt one of their customers expressed anxiety about missing ⅓ of their sales opportunities.

So FreshSpring put that anxiety in the most important space they have: the headline of their site.

This is the kind of copy that stops people in their tracks and entices them to learn more.

And that’s what you want on the most important pages of your website.

So if you’re looking for places to drop voice of customer copy in, consider your most valuable touchpoints with customers and leads. These are typically demo request pages, pricing pages, or other landing pages that play a big part in the customer journey.

Start testing the headlines and subheads on those pages, and you’ll be on the right track.

There’s no such thing as a magic bullet in marketing; there’s no spell you can cast that will instantly make your stuff start converting at a higher rate. Reducing the amount of things you don’t know — and replacing them with insights sourced directly from your customers — is about as close as you can get.

When we’re talking about website conversions specifically, there isn’t a stronger catalyst for conversions than qualitative data that informs your copy.

 

Zach Watson is the content manager at Soundstripe, a royalty free music company that provides creators and businesses with music for video.

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