One of the most powerful tools your company has in its marketing arsenal is the stories that your customers tell about your products or services.
A great story captivates potential customers and helps build trust with them, eventually compelling them to purchase your brand.
But, it is not only positive customer stories that have a huge marketing impact. According to Forbes, on average, a customer who had a positive experience will share that story with nine people. However, a dissatisfied customer will share their negative experience with an average of 16 people.
If you think that those stories don't have an impact, look back and remember the last time you went to dinner at a restaurant, to a tourist attraction, or purchased from a store because someone you trust recommended it to you – you probably don't have to look back too far. You can also look back to the reverse. A car dealership you avoided because a friend had a bad experience with a salesman or a course you didn't take because your sister had a bad experience with the professor.
Good customer stories attract more customers. Bad customer stories repel them. In this article, we will share with you how you can start to get customers to tell positive stories about your brand.
You need to put the time and infrastructure into collecting stories from your customers.
In the same way, you probably have a dedicated social media manager (or whole department) to manage sharing your brand message, you need to include finding and utilising customer stories in your marketing strategy.
You can include the task within your marketer's responsibilities. Give a member of your team the specific job of collecting, editing, and sharing stories from your customers, and then analysing the results.
Exceed Customer Expectations
To source positive stories you need customers who have positive experiences. And we don't mean the run of the mill, I purchased a product and it did what I wanted kind of customers. You want to find customers that have exceptional experiences, where your product or customer service went above what they were expecting.
To exceed expectations, you must first know what customer expectations are. Take surveys, invite clients to a coffee meeting, and ask them what they expect from your brand – and then do more.
We are not all gifted writers, speakers, and storytellers.
Customers who have great stories might not be great at sharing them – so give these people a helping hand.
Create a template to follow or share some examples of previous stories customers have written.
T.S. Eliot once wrote, “good writers borrow, great writers steal.” In this case, it's great advice.
Offer customers an example of what you hope they will deliver to you. Most of the time they will be extremely grateful for the guidance – you are making their lives a lot easier.
In your examples, it is important to consider the following:
For example, if you want a customer to provide a short story of 300 words don't give them an example that is 1000 words long.
In many industries, rewarding your customers for sharing their stories is a great way to incentivise them.
You are asking your customers to do something for you. They are going to take the time to write, or record a story, so why shouldn't they be rewarded for the time they have given up? It helps you show you are grateful and appreciate your customers and means your customers feel appreciated in return.
Some examples of rewards programmes include Vionic Shoes, who for every story they share receive points for a system that when they reach a certain level receive a $50 cheque in the post.
Customer stories are a powerful and often underrated marketing tool. And they are often easier to find than you would think. By incentivising customers with rewards and providing them with templates and examples to follow in their writing, you will find you soon have so many customer stories, you don't know what to do with them all.
See inspirations here:
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