When expanding your organisation’s customer success story library, you must ask yourself a few questions.
How many customer success stories do we need? How do we get those customer stories? Do we already have those customer success stories somewhere in existing assets? Have we identified the gaps in our story offerings?
Conventional wisdom suggests that you need at least six customer success stories to make an impact. Many companies get to six and stop there.
We’d argue that the sky’s the limit depending on your company, industry, target audience, and growth goals. Why stop at six?
The more stories you have, the better your chances are of generating genuine interest from prospects because they can truly relate to your content. Make the story unique, customized, and avoid being too generic.
If you’re in a rapidly growing industry or targeting new verticals, you must ramp up your customer storytelling efforts to outshine your competition.
Take Stock of the stories you already have
Before going crazy with asking your sales teams to conduct new interviews for additional stories, take inventory of what you already have at your disposal.
You may have a wealth of customer stories just waiting to be dusted off and given new life.
Look at old interviews, blog posts, social media posts, and any other customer-facing content. You may find some gems that you can repurpose for your new storytelling.
Make sure to categorise your stories by customer type, industry, geography, primary problem/use case, gender, ethnicity, story type, etc., to maintain order.
Plus, staying organised will serve you well as you determine what types of case studies you need and how to fill the gaps in your library.
What stories do you need?
Once you’ve taken inventory, it’s time to determine if what you have is enough or not.
If it isn’t enough, what do you actually need? Are you focusing on the right priorities?
Many organisations think too short-term when they really need to think more long-term (along the lines of six months or longer from now).
Too many companies create a bank of stories about clients in industries they don’t intend on expanding further into, so it’s best to narrow your focus and prioritise based on geography, industry, job title, and so forth.
Writing customer stories is a lengthy journey, but just because it takes a while doesn’t mean it has to be all on you as the marketer. That’s why you need to rely on internal support more than ever.
Identify the Gaps
Gaps are stories you want minus the stories you have, so you need to be able to take a step back, look at your customer stories, and identify where there are gaps.
This will help you determine what kind of stories you need, how many you should produce, and which ones to prioritise.
Look out for primary gaps in your story library, such as diversity, geography, and customer type, to ensure you hit all the major categories applicable to your business.
Once you’ve identified the gaps in your customer story library, you’re close to getting started on the writing process. But first, contact your team on board to help.
Lean on your internal teams
The process of gathering customer stories will be a lot easier and more successful if you have the support of multiple teams and departments.
Your Customer Success team is one of the most important groups you’ll need to lean on because they’re the ones out there talking to customers every day. They know which They know the customer’s journey, what questions they get asked the most, and what their hesitations and concerns are.
They know which customers are successful and outgoing and which customers are struggling. They’ll also have a good inkling of which customers have an interesting story to tell.
Your sales team will know which stories work best at converting prospects and where the gaps are. They’ll also tell you what social proof formats work best at overcoming objections and pain points from prospective customers during the sales process- such as video customer stories, testimonials, case studies, or simple quotes.
Your product team will identify new products or features that are due to be released that will need social proof for the buying process
So lean on them, and collaborate effectively. It will go a long, long way. Plus, the collaboration gives you an opportunity to show your teams how these stories can help them do their jobs better.
Communicate the Game Plan Internally
The more buy-in you have from your company, the better.
So, we advise getting as many departments and team members on board with the game plan as possible.
After all, you’ll need the help of multiple teams and departments to get this show on the road. Here are a few quick tips on how to get buy-in.
Share the target list you’ve created and train your staff to stay on watch for your ideal story candidates as they go about their daily routines
Create a repeatable process of collecting information from sales or other departments
Showcase the results and highlight successes of the process to keep up the momentum
Communicate, communicate, communicate. As with anything in life — but especially in business — communication is key to the story-building process.
We’ve got you covered with our Wizu Story Planner if you need additional resources.
Check it out to help you identify gaps between your current and target advocacy assets.