If trust is the new advantage, then customer stories help build that trust between you and your prospects.
Don’t let the word story put you off customer stories. I’m not talking about once-upon-a-time stories.
I am talking about a satisfied customer telling the story of how they had a problem, how your business/service solved their problem, and the results.
I’ve seen cases studies/customer stories on mining suppliers’ websites, but they don’t really tell a story. It’s more scientific. It lists rather than tells a story. Problem. Solution. Result. One, maybe two, sentences under each heading. Sure, it shows how your company solved a problem for a client, but it doesn’t tell a story.
Other times the case study is more of a journalistic report from the company’s point of view, not a satisfied customer’s point of view.
Neither of these styles engage the prospect. It’s information. Which isn’t bad, it just could be better.
Many mining supply websites have no case studies at all.
In her book, Stories that Sell, customer story expert Casey Hibbard writes, “In fact, information put out by the actual companies ranks low on the list of trusted sources as buyer make decisions. The business itself is good for details, such as specifications, how something works, or pricing.
“But most of us don’t truly believe the benefits espoused by companies – unless they are verified by other trusted sources. Just about everyone else is more credible than the business itself.”
But her statement rings true. When I’m purchasing anything online, I check out the customer reviews on website, and they do sway my opinion. Even though I know the company many have written the reviews themselves or had someone else write it.
How to improve your customer stories and engage prospects.
Problem: Couldn’t keep track of small equipment. Losing production time.
Solution: We installed our IoT system.
Result: Customer’s workers got more done because they could find things.
A better customer story would read something like this.
“We weren’t able to keep track of our small equipment underground,” said Mr/Ms Mine.. “People were spending hours looking for a hammer, which meant people were standing around waiting. It was frustrating for the crew. They couldn’t get their work finished and it was pushed back onto the next shift. Tensions among all levels of employees were high. And, it was costing us money.”
I hope you can see the difference. The second example shows emotion – frustration. Potential clients could relate to those feelings. They can see themselves in this story.
Advantages of well-written customer stories.
Adding great customer stories to your content marketing has many benefits.
- Potential clients will see themselves in the story of the marketing customer story and want to connect with a company that understands their problem.
- A customer story shows potential clients the kind of company you are. They can see how you handled the client’s problem. Thus, building trust.
- Your sales team can use them as handouts to provide educational, interesting, and useful information to prospects to help them make an informed decision.
- Case studies can be added to your website and used as gated material to expand your email list. Customer stories also add SEO to your site.
- It’s another opportunity for a call to action (CTA). Adding a CTA to the top and bottom of a case study ups the chances that a prospect will contact you.
- Customer stories can be used as part of presentations, blog posts, and social, reusing content you’ve already prepared.
- Very few of your competitors are using good customer stories in their marketing. By using them, you will stand out from the crowd.
- Customer stories are useful at all levels of the sales funnel, but mostly in the mid section, when prospects are seriously deciding whether to choose your product or service over your competitors.
A great customer story can give you the competitive advantage, build trust, and boost sales.
Need help getting some great customer stories on your website? I can help. Let’s talk.
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