For brands working on their customer engagement strategy, the temptation to overload customers with information can be huge. It’s only natural: you’re excited about your offering, and you want to get that across to your customers, so they’re as enthusiastic as you are.
But here’s a CX secret to consider – people don’t think in terms of facts and figures. They think in stories. Because, although most of us think our decisions are logical, the reality is that our emotions are generally in the driving seat. Storytelling is the best method of conveying emotions, so next time you’re thinking about improving the customer experience, it’s time to put stories front and centre.
The art of customer stories: how to build a happily-ever-after
If you’ve got a cuppa ready and you’re ready to settle down and hear the full tale, download our Storybook: Emotionally Ever After to discover all you need to know about the power of storytelling. Only got time for the short story? Here’s some key points you need to consider on the quest to make all your customer tales happy ones…
Get to know the characters in your story
If you want to create true customer engagement, think of your customers as characters. Just like a good writer, you’ve got to get to grips with their motivations and emotions. Do this successfully and you’ll understand their journey and harness the power to shape it.
Wondering how to put this into practice? Sage – a market leader in cloud businesses and one of the CX stars speaking at this year’s Raveolution – has got this down to an art. Sage wanted to understood how its customers really felt, so it partnered with Rant & Rave to capture feedback, increasing its Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction as a result. Sage has now rolled this globally, making sure every customer gets the happy-ever-after they deserve.
Make sure that's every character
Think you know your customers pretty well? You might need to think again. In stories, it’s always the big, impactful moments you remember: when the dragon sets fire to the city, or when the hero smites the villain down. For brands, the same holds true.
It’s easy to only listen to the stories of the Ranters and Ravers – those that sit at the extreme ends of the spectrum – but to create a fully-rounded engagement story, you need to listen to the voice of all customers, no matter how quiet they are. These ‘silent shoppers’ have a lot of insight to give you and it’s about time their voices were heard.
Empower your employees to engage with customers
You can spend a lot of time planning your customer engagement strategy and perfecting your brand story. But it’s important to remember who’s actually going to be interacting with your customer characters – your frontline heroes.
As the ones who deal with your customer base – whether that’s resolving their problems or assisting with a query – your employees should be central to your customer engagement strategy. A positive interaction can delight a customer, while a negative one can make your brand look like a villain.
If you’d like to know more about the role your employees play in your customer engagement strategy, check out our blog on that very topic. But the main thing to know is, your employees need to be part of the plan, and they also need the power to actively react to your customer – which leads to the final point…
Drive the action in your brand story
Remember that, as much as your customers might be the most important characters in your story, they aren’t actually the ones responsible for driving the action. The brand is the narrator, so it’s your responsibility to tie up the loose ends and create a happy ending. Which means, if the story does hit a bump in the road (hey, the best ones often do… Jaws would have been pretty boring without the big shark!) you need to be prepared to act on the problem and recover the situation.
If you can keep all these points in mind, you’ll be well on your way to generating great customer engagement that makes every customer story a happy one.
It can’t be overstated how valuable storytelling can be – it’s why we dedicated Raveolution 2018, our annual CX event to this very topic. This year, we brought together 500 CX leaders to celebrate the power of stories, hearing from Sage, Next, UK Power Networks and Make Good Grow to share their tales of true CX success.
To learn more about the power of stories, check out our eBook, Emotionally Ever After which is the essential guide to better understanding the motivations and emotions of the protagonists in your story, be that your customers, employees, partners or candidates.