The best resource for sharing the value and impact of your business is right in front of you: your customers. Customer success stories add a personal touch to marketing and showcase your customers as trusted brand champions.
Part-case study and part-testimonial, customer stories focus on the people and real-world application of your business. For a customer story, it’s less about the facts and the problem you solved and more about the emotions, connection, and application customers feel with your brand.
The Impact of a Customer Story
Because a customer success story takes a human-centric approach to your business, it can have an incredible impact on sharing your message and building your brand. Instead of your company touting the benefits of its own services, customers share their personal experiences, which builds trust far more effectively with potential customers.
For this reason, you should make the customer story a cornerstone of your marketing strategy. The more people who see your customer story, the more likely they are to feel a connection with your customer and want to become one themselves.
How to Craft a Customer Story
A compelling customer story is a powerful resource in your marketing arsenal. Consider these steps for a smooth process:
Choose a Story to Share
The goal of a customer story is to share a compelling application of your product or service. It needs to be specific enough to paint a picture of the use case, but also relevant and applicable to a variety of potential customers.
As you consider the story to share, look for a loyal customer who saw significant growth because of your product, actively advocates for the brand, or has succeeded only because of your partnership.
As you do this, consider trends in your funnel. Are customers coming from a particular industry or facing a specific challenge? Match your customers’ demand with a customer story that will resonate with their needs and challenges.
Interview the Customer
After choosing a customer, schedule an interview to learn more about their story. Follow this format to find the best elements to include:
- Background – This is an overview of the company, including a brief history, its products and services, and its customers.
- Challenge – What was the struggle of the company? It could have had difficulty managing inventory, having the proper workspace, shipping materials, monitoring patients, etc.
- Solution – What solution did your company provide? Highlight how your product or service helped meet the company’s challenge and solved the problem.
- Results – What benefits did the company receive from your solution?
Don’t forget the human element. Ask follow-up and clarifying questions to understand the details and the customer’s emotions.
Tailor the Story For Various Channels
The beauty of customer stories is that you can share them on various channels. You may want the full version on your website, complete with pictures and pull quotes from the customer, but you can also create shorter versions for social media channels or in-store signage.
Don’t forget the power of video. A video interview with the customer can add a new dimension to the story as they share their story and photos of their business. Short videos thrive on channels like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn and can be a great addition to your social platforms.
Customer stories allow for creativity. Consider these customer success story examples:
- A restaurant can share a story about a customer who used their catering services to host a successful event.
- A construction company can share a video of a client’s project and walk through the before-and-after pictures.
- A healthcare company can share stories from patients who have undergone treatments at your facilities.
Include a Call to Action
Like every aspect of marketing, your customer story should include a call to action. As you craft the customer story, consider the next steps you want interested people to take. Do you want them to visit your store, schedule a consultation call, or send you an email? Whatever the call to action, include it at the bottom as an easy way for people to move forward.
Customer success stories can follow the same processes and structure, but the details and finished product vary based on the industry. Crafting a customer story is as much an art as a science. By sharing the human element of your business, you can build strong connections and fuel growth.