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.
What did I do with this story?
- 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.
- All the implications about problems that were hinted at in the original last paragraph I moved into the beginning of the story.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- In episode 70 I go on at length about using stories in your go to market processes.
- Episode 71 continues the storytelling theme with “more proven secrets for brilliant storytelling.”
- Episode 61 is all about reducing your prospect’s perception of risk during the sales process, by pre-handling objections using customer stories and other techniques.
Up your product management skills!
If you are just getting into product management, or you’re busy leveling up into more senior PM positions, don’t forget there are a ton of resources in my previous episodes – on storytelling, persuasion, prioritization, working with developers, working with marketers – and on my website The Secret Product Manager Handbook.
And if you want to accelerate your product management career, go to calendly.com/nilsdavis/consultation for a FREE 45 minute coaching and discovery call. (No obligation.)
Don’t forget to subscribe!
If you want to help me out, and more importantly, help other product managers find and enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on your podcast system of choice. And consider giving me a review on iTunes or “starring” the episode on your player. It helps other people find the podcast, and makes me a little happier as well. I might even read your review in an upcoming episode.
If you have comments, questions, or complaints about this episode or the podcast, please leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you immediately.