102: How To Transform A Customer Success Story From Meh to Wow!

Transforming a customer success story

I happened across this customer success story on a random website I visited. When I read it, I thought there were some opportunities for improvement.

So, with a little bit of anonymizing and changing of details, this episode shares the original story, my observations about it, and a newer version that I think makes the story more powerful and engaging.

Key actions

What did I do with this story?

  1. I strengthened the problem-solution-transformation structure. This is the fundamental story structure, but even though the original version did have a problem and a solution, the transformation was weak, and the problem section left a lot of great material “on the cutting room floor” as I discussed before.
  2. All the implications about problems that were hinted at in the original last paragraph I moved into the beginning of the story.
  3. I also made the solution into two parts – the first part of finding the right pieces, with the focus on saving costs – but then realizing that major obstacles still remained.
  4. I made the main product more of the star of the show. In a great customer success story, the customer’s discovery and application of your solutiton is the last thing that happens before the transformation. How they were failing before your solution is interesting. How their lives transformation after the solution is interesting. How they implemented your solution is not interesting, it’s boring.
  5. In the transformation section, the final section, I made sure to “pay off” all the issues that were plaguing them in the first part – the late shipments, the errors, the costs – and to show that they gained even more. In this version I said they were able to expand their business, which I did make up, but there’s always something more that they achieved or experienced. That’s what makes it a meaningful transformation.

Related podcast episodes

Up your product management skills!

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