Customer experience leaders are often called upon to do presentations. But what they deliver should be a story.
What's the difference?
What comes to mind when you are asked to deliver a presentation about the experience of our customers? I tend to think about preparing an outline, developing data, coming up with my content, developing a sequential order, putting together PowerPoint slides, rehearsing delivery a little bit, and getting in front of a group to make my presentation. All logical and common in today's business environment.
When I think of telling the story of the experience of our customers, it's different. It's not a one-time, deliver-it-and-I'm-done event. A story is a richer representation of what's going on with our customers. It may include a presentation to a group of people, but may also include informal conversations, meetings with individuals, and follow up discussions. It is less about the format (PowerPoint) and more about the message. It may include data, but only if it helps tell the story.
As customer experience leaders it is easy to get caught up in data, facts, and figures and forget to tell a story that connects with people at an emotional level and prompts the desired impact. The following quote by Luigi Pirandello in Annette Simmons' book, The Story Factor, captures the essence of this:
"A fact is like a sack - it won't stand up if it's empty. To make it stand up, first you have to
put in it all the reasons and feelings that caused it in the first place."
As customer experience leaders, let's improve the way we tell the stories about our customers.