There’s a lot of information out there on how to create customer success stories (we know, we’ve published some ourselves) which means it’s hard to find the best, up-to-date information. To help you avoid drowning in content overload, we’ve compiled our top three tips for creating a compelling customer story.
#1: Make Sure Customers Are Happy
Sure, this may seem like an obvious suggestion. But you’d be surprised how many companies are so eager to get case studies they forget to make sure the customer is actually happy with the solutions and service. You should approach every project as an opportunity for a customer success story so be sure to proactively address customer concerns. Then, when you ask them to speak in favor of your company in a success story, they’ll say “Yes!” with enthusiasm instead of “No, thanks.”
How can you focus on customer satisfaction?
- Map customer interaction points and review messages. Review the copy in your automatic email responses, nurture campaigns, and other important touchpoints; keep your tone positive and upbeat.
- Ask customers for their opinions. Questionnaires after project completion and annual surveys are a great way to address and resolve any issues promptly. Always be sure to include an open comment section.
- Establish a customer engagement plan. Map out any customer stories and case studies you’re wanting to create with a calendar of customer touchpoints and a plan for thanking the participants. Having the end goals in mind for your stories will help you strategize your customer engagement and messaging.
Keeping your customers engaged and happy will allow you make them your hero when publishing their stories!
#2: The Interview is Everything When Creating Customer Stories
The scariest parts of a customer success story are asking the client and interviewing them. Be concise and upfront about your expectations in your initial email or call to the client.
Plan the questions you’d like to ask both your client and the project manager ahead of time so you can accurately gauge how long the interview may take, which areas and metrics you want to cover, and what the customer can expect.
- Introduce yourself (if you don’t know them personally)
- Congratulate them on the success of their project
- Inquire about an interview with them
- Plainly state the time commitment, interview expectations (Zoom, in-person, phone call), and some of the questions you plan to ask
- Include examples of previous customer success stories to show them what the end result may look like
- Ask for permission to record (preferably in advance) so you can review the real responses later, and spend less time taking notes during the interview
- Start from the beginning: What were their challenges? Why did they choose your company? How did the project go before, during, and after? What results are they seeing?
- End with their overall satisfaction and any feedback they may have to offer
- Follow up with a personalized thank you, and send them the end product once the story is published
The interview process of a customer success story is crucial to ensuring your end product is valuable. Don’t cut corners here; really take time to talk with your customer while being mindful of their time. Being thorough but concise is key to receiving all the information you’ll need to put your story together. Hubspot offers a great resource for interview questions and content curation in case studies.
Or, better yet, contact us to take care of everything for you – the interview, writing, design, and strategy to help you get the most value and traction from your success story. You may get one shot at this so leaving this important conversation to amateurs is not recommended. You want experienced, professional storytellers!
#3: Get Creative with Mediums to Create Customer Stories
A simple blog or social post simply won’t cut it anymore. It’s okay (and good, even!) to step outside your content box and try new, fun ways to deliver your customer stories. You can read our blog, The New Case Study: More creative ways to tell your customer stories, for some fresh ideas, including:
Infographics. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Infographics provide a visual way to tell your customer success story. You can use call-outs, graphs, images, quotes, and more to create a stunning, engaging piece that can be shared on all of your content channels.
Check out our customer success story page for an example of an infographic case study. See how our Virtual Marketing Director Program helps OTT, Inc.
Podcasting. A fairly new method of delivering B2B content, podcasts provide a personal way to share stories. Podcasts allow you to highlight someone in your organization as a subject-matter expert (who is comfortable with public speaking). It’s also a great way for customers to hear the stories of multiple successful projects all in the same place. You can invite customers to participate in the podcast. If you’re afraid of the technology of podcasting, this is something that can easily be outsourced!
Videos. Most social media channels have become video-centric over the last few years. You can interview your client via video, and/or turn an infographic into a series of animated graphics. Videos allow you to put audio and visual components together, which is a great way to put a voice and face to your customer story.
And as always, find ways to repurpose your content into other mediums for other channels.