Getting a great testimonial from your clients is an easy way to add credibility to your company. Anyone can say great things about themselves, but getting a positive story from someone who has tried your product or service is even better. Writing a solid customer service story can be tricky as you need to stay balanced between telling a good story and making your point nice and succinct.
In a 2017 Demand Gen Report on content preferences survey, it was found that people prefer using case studies to make a decision rather than any other content. This was found for business to business purchases, though reviews are still found to be highly effective in getting the attention of any customer. When you think about it, that’s fair. Wouldn’t you rather see a third party source and how the product or service actually impacted them in a positive or negative way?
If writing a good testimonial sounds daunting to you, don’t worry, you can write a great customer success story with a little guidance. Customer success stories tend to follow a specific structure as customers have certain things they would like to see and know. This is great news as it means you can learn just a few tips and guidelines to get started.
1. Make It Easy For The Customer
To get the information and quotes you need for their success story, you need to have good communication with the customer. The best way to get the necessary information is to make the survey or interview process as simple as possible. Your clients are busy people with their own things that they need to accomplish each and every day. Most people will not want to sit down and answer a long list of questions.
If you are going to give a survey, make it short. One way to get the information you need is to set up a phone call interview and ask if you can record it. Make sure to have a set time frame for your interview for yourself and inform them how much time you are going to take. This will make it easier for them to say yes if you can tell them exactly when you’d like to call and how long it will take. Give them a nice time-frame of around 15 minutes. That along with a short survey (don’t overlap the questions) should be enough to get the information you need along with any fun quotes to liven up the picture.
It is also a good idea to ask open-ended questions. This allows the client to think of information that they would like to share that maybe you didn’t think to ask about. It is also a better way to get great quotes from your customer. You don’t want to end up with a bunch of yes or no answers.
Make sure you follow your word. Do not take longer than you intended and do not send out more surveys than you said you would. Definitely be prompt on your phone call and do not leave the person on the other line waiting. It is true that some customers will be more friendly and forgiving than others, but don’t count on that. Be professional and considerate with the other person’s time as they are doing you a favor that will continue to benefit you as long as you have the story.
2. Give Highlights
We all know that people have short attention spans these days. There are always a million things going trying to distract us on our phones, laptops, and tablets. Our days can also become pretty busy fairly quickly and usually we don’t have time to read testimonials, even if they seem interesting.
Some viewers will take time to sort through the whole story, but you need to make sure that you have a summary that readers can easily spot and learn the main point from. Of course great writing and solid information should still be a focus when writing your story, but keep in mind that many people who partially read your story are busy and distracted. These highlights should be given at the top of your story. If you have an infographic with key information, go ahead and put that up top as well. It won’t give the full effect of your story, but should communicate the main information that you need to express to your leads.
3. Numbers Help
Speaking of infographics, people love numbers and statistics to follow. This will add even more credibility to your success story and help people see the importance of your field. The more third party affirmation you can get, the better for your business.
Make sure the numbers aren’t the full picture of your story. Though extremely useful, you want to use them to simply add to the success story that you already have. They are a great way to give a lot of information in a short and simple way.
4. Challenge And Outcome Focus
You do need to give the appropriate company or customer profile so that your readers can relate to the issue your client had. The main focus of your story, however, should be the challenge itself and the intended outcome. People are reading your story to see if your business can provide the service or product necessary to help them with a similar issue.
You don’t want to spend too much time on the problem as your reader, if truly interested, is probably already familiar with it. Keep that focus on how your product or service can overcome that challenge and better the costumer’s life. Whether your product makes life easier, saves time, saves money, or is entertaining, focus on that.
5. Your Customer Is The Star
You are writing a story, so who is the protagonist? The client. People love to read the stories of other people. Resist the urge to make your business the hero, even though you must stress your services strengths. Use fun quotes from your customer so that people have a chance to relate.
Though you should use the voice of your brand, make sure that you are still focusing on the triumph of your client or customer. Your readers want to relate and follow their story, not just read about your business and how it can help. This is simple human nature. We love relating. We aren’t just robots buying products. Don’t be afraid to stay in touch with your story loving side and keep your story human focused and less corporate sounding.
6. Add Potential Future
At the end of your story you should hint at the future. Explore how the service or product continues to benefit the customer. Learn what other new uses the client has found that are nice. Now is also a good time to invite your audience. Stress how this customer was so happy with your business that they shared their story to help people just like the reader.
7. Allow Your Customer To Review The Story
Make sure you offer to let your client or customer read the story before sending it out to be published. Now is the time to make sure that your client is happy with the results, not after. All information should be accurate to what actually happened.
Ready To Write A Great Customer Success Story?
If you need help writing customer success stories or creating any other marketing content, our team at Elevare Agency would be happy to get you started.
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