Capture and deliver authentic customer insights,
to win, grow and retain customers.
When we design key sales conversations and messages for clients we always ask:
“In who’s voice should this message or story be delivered?”
Often clients conclude it’s not the voice of the sales rep or even the company that is most authentic or compelling.
People prefer the voice of the expert, especially a customer. Prospective buyers like hearing directly from customers who were previously in their situation and navigated a similar decision process.
It’s likely your organization may have one or more of the following initiatives:
- Customer Case Studies (for content)
- Customer Reference Program (for prospect reference support and site visits)
- Customer Success Group (for retention and renewal)
- Voice of the Customer Program (for customer insights)
- Customer Advocacy Program (for product reviews and social amplification)
How is Customer Voice Different?
Customer Voice vignettes are very short (2 minute) audio or video microcontent.
Customers provide answers to specific buyer questions. They share insights and experiences related to specific situations.
Scale to hundreds of message assets is possible due to the simplicity, low friction and cost of acquisition and processing.
Why hundreds of assets?
Relevance and usefulness is a function of context and purpose — for both content users and consumers (audiences):
- Users — marketing, sales, training, channel, customer service,
- Consumers — internal, customers, prospects, industry influencers, investors
- Context — specific topic, industry vertical, persona, stage
- Purpose — establish credibility, answer questions, provide proof, share insight
Relevance that is surgically precise based on the above variables inevitably leads to the requirement to scale. The ability to meet this requirement is a competitive advantage.
For example, if you go-to-customer into six industry verticals, answers to key questions, proof points or customer stories will perform better when delivered by a customer from the appropriate industry. This applies to personas as well.
Why Customer Voice?
Audiences want to hear about experiences and insights other customers have had, that help them address specific questions they have. They prefer short, one to two minute focused explanations. They want authentic not scripted or filtered delivery.
The traditional and still prevalent approach to customer videos features customers talking to an off-camera person, acclaiming the vendor and their products or services.
These videos are over-produced and expensive. They require too much time, effort and interruption to everyone’s schedule. They require marketing and legal review. As a result, customer proof content is sadly lacking.
CEB (now part of Gartner) conducted research on customer testimonial and case study videos. They concluded 90% of these videos provide little value to prospects or sellers. Principally because they don’t address the specific needs of buyers or sellers.
Microcontent customer voice vignettes can be injected into other content across all functions and use cases. This optimizes reuse and the return on incredibly low acquisition and processing costs.
Avitage Customer Voice Program
We believe customer voice vignettes should be cornerstone assets in any B2B content strategy. This is an especially important asset for sales and channel organizations. We’ve learned some important factors that optimize the business impact of customer voice videos.
Acquire — Timely spontaneous and convenient acquisition, at scale, makes a huge difference in the quality and breath of inventories of customer stories
Adopt — Sales and marketing users must adopt this customer engagement method
Apply — The content must be used effectively
Content — Contextually relevant, specific content, must be created the right way
Coverage — Content must fully support key use case scenarios — no important gaps, critical mass matters
Continuous — Content and inventories must be continuously refreshed and expanded
Friction-less Production — Simple, easy, and spontaneous acquisition of customer stories — the instant customers are read — is essential (there’s no going back)
Universal Delivery — Injecting stories into content for all key use cases, and delivering through all channels is essential
Program Management — Sales, marketing, customer service, and channel partners are constituents to be served. They also provide front-line identification of key points and opportunities for new customer voice vignettes.
The Avitage Customer Voice Program will help you realize the full potential of this important communication tactic.
Examples of Customer Voice Use Cases
There are potentially hundreds of use cases that benefit from this approach. Here are primary examples. But the best way to determine how this can help your business is a discussion of your top business objectives, initiatives, constraints or risk points. Here are a few example use cases:
Recorded References — avoid reference burnout with targeted customer voice vignettes
Case Studies 2.0 — — Help buyers understand how customers like them addressed specific decisions at each buying stage (See article linked below)
Focused Differentiation — use customer stories to focus buyers on specific attributes and express your differentiated value
Acquire Customer Insights — acquire share customer learnings, gain deeper understanding about buyers and audiences
Sales Prospecting and Referral Support — have customers validate the value each reps provides to improve sales credibility with new prospects
Objection Crusher — have customers talk about important questions or issues that regularly stagger reps or channel partners, and are more credible in the voice of the customer
Urgency Creator — remove buyer fear, uncertainty and doubt, increase organic urgency through customer explanations of the costs of not taking action
Competitor Knockout — have customers re-frame or counter competitor claims
A conversation is the best way to understand how this program works to determine the fit of this capability for your business situation. Set a convenient time here.
For a deeper understanding please read ebook From The Horses Mouth — How To Get Customers To Share Their Voice