You can make a tremendous brand impression by telling stories – real stories that illustrate how your business has helped customers. Customer stories work for you in several ways:
- They’re memorable, making your business and brand more memorable, too. They stick in people’s minds, especially if they strike a particular chord with readers or website visitors. For instance, a story about how your service team went the extra mile for a customer could make a lasting impression on people tired of the lousy service they get else where.
- Stories sidestep the jaded scepticism with which audiences greet empty-sounding promotional claims. “We go the extra mile for you!” Yeah, right. Instead of spouting slogans, stories demonstrate the underlying truth without sounding boastful. A story giving a few details about how you walked the walk for one real, live human being will do more to build your business and brand than a thousand slogans will.
- Stories make you more credible. Stories are believable. Sometimes they even have emotional impact. Sharing real experiences of real people actually lends credibility to your business and brand.
- Stories give you a competitive edge. That’s because most businesses don’t makefull use of their customers’ stories to add oomph to their sales and marketing. If you do, you’re probably outdoing your competitors.
- Stories are endlessly flexible. They can be long or short, attributed (to the real person or company) or anonymous. You can pick and choose details that maybe important to different audiences. Stories can be told different ways to fit almost any media.
- Stories can be selected to reflect attributes that most clearly reflect your business and brand. Many smart entrepreneurs create logos that reflect one key attribute of their brand – reliability, innovation, whatever. You can develop stories that demonstrate how this attribute translates into actions that make for a great customer experience.
- Stories are recyclable. You get good mileage out of them because you don’t have to use them just once, in one format. You can retell a story in a different way, in a variety of lengths, to suit different marketing and branding purposes.
- Stories are readily available. If you have satisfied customers, you have customer stories. And if you don’t have any satisfied customers, don’t worry about stories – you’ll be out of business any day now.
If you want to start using testimonials here are a few action steps:
- Create a portfolio of possibilities you may be able to develop into customer stories
- Obtain details about their experiences from customers
- Refine customer details and
- Apply these facts to construct
- Real-world stories
- Take your well researched and well written stories, and insert them where they’ll add lustre to your sales, marketing and branding initiatives.