Have you ever watched a movie or TV show and gotten so wrapped up in the storyline that it motivated you to act on something? It’s not just a coincidence. It’s because stories hold an immense power to draw humans into the lives of its characters, causing viewers to take a desired action.
When it comes to inbound marketing, experts often recognize, “facts tell, but stories sell.” In fact, HubSpot suggests that consumers make up 60% of their buying decision long before speaking to a sales representative. They take to the internet to browse through all available information before making a purchase. What are some of the main pieces of information consumers consider before making a purchase? Testimonials and customer success stories.
What is a Customer Success Story?
Consumers want proof that the product or service they are considering fits their needs and is worth the investment. Testimonials and customer success stories offer real-life experiences with products or services by people who have already purchased them. This provides consumers with the information they are looking for to better inform their purchase.
While the terms “case study” and “customer success story” are used interchangeably, they’re actually quite different. Let’s examine some of the differences between case studies and customer success stories.
When consumers are weighing available options to their problems, they often want to cut to the bottom line. They want to know whether or not a specific business can offer an adequate solution to their problem and what the experience is like using the product or service.
What is the Purpose of a Case Study?
In short, the primary goal of a case study is to report. Case studies commonly detail consumer problems and pain points and outline how a company’s product or service has offered a solution. These typically include data, ROI reports, cost savings, and revenue growth. Technical businesses, such as manufacturers and software companies, commonly use case studies.
Case studies are a great resource for those in the decision stage of the sales process. This can help inform consumers on how a specific product or service addresses a problem, which offers a positive impact on their overall buying process.
What is the Purpose of a Customer Success Story?
While case studies outline the facts, customer success stories sell the overall experience. A customer success story outlines the customer’s precise problem and the change that occurred as a result of using a business’s product or service. An emotional impact often wins over a case study report when buyers are sorting through their options.
Customer success stories are often implemented in the consideration stage of the sales process. When consumers are weighing available options to their problems, they often want to cut to the bottom line. They want to know whether or not a specific business can offer an adequate solution to their problem and what the experience is like using the product or service. The best way to get answers to these questions is by reading the experiences of people who have already bought and experienced the product or service.
So, how exactly do you write customer success stories that effectively engage buyers and guide them down the sales funnel? How do you write compelling customer success stories that encourage prospects to book a demo or consultation? Keep reading to find out.
Writing a Compelling and Engaging Customer Success Story
When you’re writing a customer story, the goal is to leave an emotional impact on your readers so they are more inclined to take action. A compelling and engaging customer success story involves telling the story in extensive detail with lively language. You’ll want to structure it around four important scenes: situation, obstacle, solution, and outcome.
Use this scene as an opportunity to outline the situation and introduce the customer. Keep in mind, you want your reader to empathize with the customer so it’s important to keep the customer’s story relatable by humanizing the business. You should tell your readers about the brand and why they should care. Here are some questions you should answer in this scene:
- What are some of the customer’s goals?
- What is important to them?
The next scene is dedicated to describing any roadblocks the customer faced when attempting to achieve their goals. You should aim to help the reader to feel empathy toward the customer. Here are some questions you should attempt to answer in this scene:
- What are the primary obstacles the customer is experiencing?
- What does the customer need to solve their obstacles?
In this scene, you should focus on explaining how the customer knew your business provided a solution to their problems. You should describe the benefits of your products and how those benefits factored into their decision to buy.
In the final scene, you should describe the result of your relationship with the customer. Here are some questions to consider:
- What successes has the customer experienced since purchasing your product or service?
- Did the customer achieve their goals?
- What impact has this product or service had on the customer’s business? Has their business grown?
The Power of Customer Success Stories
Customer success stories are highly powerful pieces of content that can have a significant impact on your conversion rate. They supplement all types of web content and validate why consumers should purchase your product or service. Further reading: 4 Ways to Leverage Customer Success Stories in Inbound Marketing.
Make an effort to ask your customers for testimonials, but also for important details on their experience with your product so you can define their customer story and share it with other potential customers. Compelling customer success stories hold a high level of value and adding them to your web content should be a key component of your overall inbound marketing strategy.