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Everybody loves a good story

Try this sometime. At the next meeting you are leading, begin with a story. Make it personal and include several key details. Then, watch the audience. You will likely see all the non-verbal signs showing interest and engagement. Everybody loves a good story! It’s interesting and it’s memorable.

How does this relate to customer programs such as voice of the customer, customer retention, or customer listening programs?

Virtually every customer advocate who runs a program makes a lot of presentations. And they typically use PowerPoint presentations filled with charts and graphs. Don’t start feeling guilty – everybody does it. And while it is important to provide that detail, there is a tragic downside — they’re boring! We all see so many PowerPoint presentations laden with data that it becomes mind-numbing. 

Here’s an idea – spice up your next presentation by telling some stories. It’s not that hard to come up with stories that would complement the data you are presenting. Here are two ways:

  • Develop a metaphor. Come up with a story that explains some of the things your customers are trying to tell you. Tell the story and then say something like, “it’s a little bit like what our customers are saying.” You can build from a story to get your point across.
     
  • Use the words of your customers. Almost every customer study includes verbatim comments. These are rich stories waiting to be told. You can easily tell a story and then refer to these comments to reinforce what customers are saying.

To get buy-in for your program, you have got to get people engaged in your presentations. It is an important ingredient to achieving a customer centric culture. I love storytelling. I think it’s a great way to get your point across and promote employee engagement. Try it!

About the Author

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick Gibbons

As Principal and Senior Vice President of Marketing for Walker, Gibbons has global responsibility for definition, branding, and promotion of the company and its solutions. Gibbons has published and/or contributed to a number of articles, papers, and blogs on customer intelligence topics and has a regular column in CRM Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at a wide range of conferences, and has produced a series of educational events for customer experience leaders.

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