In our recent post An Overview of Persona Creation, we touched on the importance of validating your hypotheticals to confirm if your hunches about your buyers are correct. No scientist would claim “fact” without experimenting to prove or disprove their hypothesis. In the same way, no good marketer would go to market without first proving or disproving their beliefs about who their customers are and why they make the decisions they do. There are a few different ways to validate the personas you created, but one of the best is Voice of Customer.
The Voice of Customer Process
No one knows your customers better than you… except for your customers themselves. Instead of simply believing your gut instincts about them are correct, confirm them by going straight to the source. Voice of customer involves interviewing some of your best customers so you can have the most accurate persona profile data at your fingertips before you develop and deploy your marketing pieces. Here’s how the process works:
Start by taking the psychographic information from your persona reports, and formulate questions for each of your hypotheticals. For example, if you believe that one of your value propositions is your company’s ability to make durable products, phrase the question as, “What values do you find in our products, and why did you choose us?” This will let you find out whether or not your assumption is correct. Follow suit with questions for each of your remaining hypotheses. Demographics aren’t always applicable in the purchase decision process, but if you believe they do apply in your situation, include those questions as well (age, job title, education level, etc.). Once you have your list of questions, schedule a time to call some of your best customers and interview them. The more data you have, the better, so interview multiple customers.
Pro Tip: Rather than interviewing customers yourself, have an unbiased third party do it for you. If you are talking to them, they are likely to hold back or simply tell you what you want to hear. If they’re talking to a third party, there’s a better chance they will answer honestly.
Once your interviews are complete, compare the answers collected to your hypotheses. Update your persona profiles, revising as necessary. This exercise may seem small in the grand scheme of your marketing strategy, but taking this scientific approach provides smarter, more efficient marketing with predictable results. Leave the guesswork out of your marketing!
The Agency Approach to Voice of Customer
At Adventure, Voice of Customer is one of the many services we offer. To learn more about how we can help improve your marketing, contact us.