Your customer’s story begins long before they become your customer. It starts when they see your logo for the first time, when they hear your name, or when they first engage with you. Their first impressions of your company and their initial experience become the first chapter in their story.
So how do you ensure your customer’s story is a never-ending fairytale filled with magical experiences rather than a melodrama?
You start by planning and documenting your customer’s story from initial contact through the process of engagement and into a long-term relationship.
To do so, you’ll need to take a trip down memory lane to fifth grade, when you learned about the five essential elements of your customer’s (and any) story: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.
How well do you know your customers? If I asked you to vividly describe the traits of your best customer, what would they be? Why do they choose to buy from you? What are their motivations and expectations? Write down all of these character traits. They’ll help you better understand the main characters in your customer’s story.
Where is your customer now? Where do they want to go? Maybe they are sitting at their desk, staring at a mound of paperwork, daydreaming about a beachy vacation. Or perhaps they are spending too much time in the trenches and need to find a way to out so they can better manage their business. No matter what the scenario is, if you understand where they are at currently and where they want to go, it’ll likely mean a happy ending for both of you.
This is where your planning gets really fun. Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. Your job is to map it out. The best way to do this is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk through a typical experience with your company. Here’s an example.
Imagine your customer is about to go on a roller coaster ride. As they wait in line, they are excited and filled with anticipation. This is how they feel when they first meet you and explore the possibilities of how you can help them.
As they make their way up that first scary peak, they are still excited, but a little nervous about their decision to work with your company. Now they are at the top and looking down at what’s ahead and about to shriek with a mixture of anticipation and fear. This is likely the point in the ride where they are paying for your products or services. After a brief, albeit steep decline, they are back on their way up to another crest and are now experiencing the joy of working with your company.
This rollercoaster ride is a great analogy for your customer’s story. We know there will be high points and low points in the relationship, so map them out. Is there a time when your customers are really happy with your products/services? This might be a great time to ask for referrals or testimonials.
Next, look at those low points. Is there a time when your customers might look to drop your services? What can you do to avoid that before it happens? Once you’ve mapped out the plot in your customer’s story, the next step is to understand the conflict and resolution.
The conflict in your customer’s story can be compared to their pain points or why they need your products and services. Do you feel like you’ve got a good grasp on what their pain points are? If not, we highly recommend setting up a call or meeting with your top 3 customers to ask them why they hired you and how your products/services have impacted their business. It’s also important to understand what their potential sales objections might be so you can address them before they actually become objections.
The last essential element in a well-written story is the resolution.
The solution to the problem is the way the action is resolved. Put more simply: the resolution is the products and services you provide your customers. The reason this element is the last of the five is because you have to understand who the characters are in your story, where they are at, and the conflict they are experiencing before you can provide a sound solution.
Two of the biggest mistakes we see at this point in the story are1) companies just talk about the features and benefits of their product/service. rather than address the impact their products and services can have on their customers and 2) they forget their customer’s story doesn’t have to end after the first novel is complete. They can continue to write the story and provide opportunities for their customers to continue buying from them and refer their family and friends, too.
Do you need help understanding and documenting your customer’s story? Or maybe you’d like your customer’s story to have a happier ending? We can help. Schedule your consultation with Wild Fig Marketing to start writing your customer’s story.