How to Become a Student of Your Customer’s Problems

Mar 08, 2022

Today we’re talking about how to become a student of your customer’s problems. First we have to ask, what for? If you’re selling a candy bar, your customer buys it because they want a candy bar. It’s simple, right? Not necessarily. 

Think about this for a moment. Mars Inc. once ran a campaign for the Snickers bar that focused on a pain point. They said, “You’re not you when you’re hungry. Snickers satisfies.” They played on the fact that people can get irritable when they're hungry, and this candy bar is going to fill you up and bring you back to your regular mood. You can be yourself again. 

Published ad from the “Snickers Satisfies” campaign

Now, is a Snickers bar going to satisfy your hunger? Maybe in that moment for sure. It’s still just a candy bar. But the pain point was relatable. What you want to do when you write copy is drive that relatability factor with pain points, because when you show that you can care about the customer’s interests, you build trust. You want to relate to their pain points like a friend. That’s why you need to be a student of your customer’s problems. You need to be a good listener. How do you do that? 

How to Listen to Your Customers: Survey Data and Product Reviews

Here are a couple ways to listen to your customers: read survey data and product reviews. Depending on the business you’re writing copy for, they’ll either have survey data or they may need to take a survey to discover their customers’ biggest challenges. If you’re a business owner, you definitely want to take this kind of survey. I talk about how to do that in my book Mission, Market, Message, which is an actionable guide to marketing that I wrote for small business owners. 

Another way to listen to customers is to read product reviews if they’re available. You want to pick up on common themes. What are people complaining about? What do they love or hate? What do they think is missing? The more you learn, the better informed you’ll be when you start writing copy for whatever it is you’re selling. If you’re writing for a business that doesn’t have customers yet, go check out the product reviews of their competitors. Find out what your target market cares about. 

Read as much customer feedback as you can. If customers have volunteered their contact information to you and you get a chance to talk to them on the phone, that’s even better. Good copywriting is founded on your ability to see through the customer’s eyes. Understand their problems, empathize with them, and offer the solution through your product. Don’t presume that you know what they struggle with. Be a great listener, and you can be a great copywriter. 

Interested in Learning Copywriting?

If you want to learn how to write better copy in just 3 quick lessons, I encourage you to check out my mini course, Intro to Copywriting. It’s completely free. Just sign up using the form below to get instant access!