“When I walk along with two others, from at least one I will be able to learn.”
Last week I talked about story, and in particular the telling of your own story and how it's the hardest story you will ever tell.
As in most hardships, once you've experienced them, life becomes easier in the sense that if you've survived it, you come to the realisation that you can survive anything. And telling your story is a bit like that. What you originally feared, once faced and experienced, loses its' hold on you.
But you know, when it comes to stories around your business, yours is not the only story that you can share. Story comes in many forms and has many applications. If you step back a little, get in the moment and just observe, you'll find stories in many places you never thought existed. Many of them unexpected and right under your nose.
What experiences have you had with your customers who have used your products and/or services, who have been satisfied and have acknowledged or shown their appreciation?
What did you do or provide that gave them great satisfaction?
How, in fulfilling their needs did it make a difference or change something?
And if they are repeat customers, why do they keep coming back?
Your customer's experience is one type of story. It's not your story, but it's a very relevant one, because it directly connects potential customers to you. It also lends credibility and trust, because it's not you telling it, so it's more believable.
One of the most powerful stories is the story of a satisfied customer who has become your biggest fan and evangelist. Is there one customer who fits the bill and that comes to mind?
And do you know why they are satisfied?
If you haven't already, then ask them. Pick up the phone just to say hallo and talk to them. Make a time to catch up in person and have coffee. And whether you're talking on the phone or whether you're sitting across from them, ask them why.
Ask them about what they do, the things they get up to on the weekend; do they have children; what do they love to do? Listen to everything they have to say. Be genuinely interested. You'll probably find that your best customers are in many ways, a lot like you and that they have similar values to your own.
Then ask them what brought them to you and what is it about your product and/or service that they love. Ask them about how they've found dealing with you and/or your staff and what they value most. What is it that keeps them coming back?
The answers that they give can become a story that you can then share.
That story can be told and used in a number of ways:
- as a customer testimonial
- as a case study
- as a story that shows a particular outcome or proves a particular point.
It can then shared on your website as blog post. It can be used to prove a point or outcome. It can be used to create interest and engage your audience if you're giving a presentation or speaking at a business or public event. It can be used as a supporting tool to include in your promotional marketing.
And your customer's story can also be captured on video. When shared on video, it becomes more powerful as it reaches out and connects with and evokes strong emotion.
A well told customer story will connect with potential customers who see themselves in that story, and say..."I can relate with that person. I totally understand and empathise and I really get them. I want that for myself."
So this week, I want you to think of just one happy customer that you have a good relationship with. And if you haven't asked them 'why', then take the time to pick up the phone and ask. If anything, to get to know who they are and to hear their story.
Have a great week!
Kerry :) x