When it comes to talking about how great your company, product, or service is, it doesn’t get much better than testimonials from your own customers. After all, we can all talk about how great we are, but that message has a lot more power behind it if it comes from someone else. However, it can be slightly difficult to actually get the information that you need to write an effective story. Here are some tips for effectively and appropriate obtaining the right information from your happy customers, as well as forming it into a great customer success story that shines.
You need to make it as easy as possible for your clients to supply the information you need. Don’t give them long forms to fill out; this is tedious and boring, and quite frankly will make them not want to help. It can be much more effective for you to ask for 15 minutes of their time via phone, where you ask them questions and record the answers yourself.
It is easier for people to answer specific questions than to have the burden of figuring out what to say for open-ended questions. Some great examples of specific questions for writing great customer success stories include:
• How did you hear about us?
• What made you decide to use us?
• Which goals did we help you to achieve?
• Was there anything else noteworthy about your experience with us?
Numbers don’t lie. People like numbers and statistics. They’re a concise way for you to convey information, and provide your readers with an easy and quick way to digest the message. Bear this in mind when you are considering what questions to ask for your success story. Just be sure that when writing your story, you don’t overload it with numbers, but rather use the data as a supplement.
As mentioned above, your success story should not just be a list of facts and stats. After all, it is called a success story. With a storytelling style, you can use your brand voice and resonate more with potential customers. Celebrate your customer’s distinguishing traits and successes and acknowledge them as a valued customer. Then use your facts and stats to add color to the story and support its overarching theme.
Make sure that your success story focuses more on the successful outcome the client experienced from your product or service, rather than the initial problem that they had. This is first because highlighting their problem will not present them in a positive light. Also, people aren’t interested in others’ tales of woe, but rather in seeing how your business resolved their problems and led them to success.
The trick to creating an effective success story is in making it skimmable. Readers should be able to review the easily digestible elements quickly (bullet points, headlines, numbers, etc.) and get a general sense of the story right away. This often prompts them to want to go back and read the finer detail. Or, if they do not want to read the whole story, they can at least receive the intended message. To make your success story skimmable, try these techniques:
• Add detail to the title.
Rather than just a success story, add in the industry type (for B2B), or details about the person (for B2C).
• Make it immediately obvious which products or services of yours were used.
This way potential customers know that they are going to be reading about what they are interested in.
• Highlight or call out important statistics or facts.
By doing this you can ensure that even if your reader isn’t reading every single word, they will at least get the important information.
Before you publish your success story, give your customer the chance to review it so that they are happy with what you have written about them. This respect will go a long way in securing your relationship.
The secret to writing an effective and compelling customer success story is in taking the right approach from the start. Use these tips and you’ll be equipped to come up with some awesome content to guide potential customers.