Every company has customer stories to tell. Some don’t know they have them, some don’t tell them well while others miss the mark by using them to carry marketing too overtly.
I like the focus of this SlideShare piece because it distinguishes between a customer story platform and other customer contact models. And it makes the case for having a customer story platform very well. So I think you will receive lots of good insights here.
But this is what disturbs me about it:
- There is no understanding about the power of story sharing -- which is a dynamic inherent in storytelling. Story sharing is all about engaging with your customer in an ongoing story swap about you and them. If you go after customer stories, then you have to add this into the equation and internal company conversation if you want to get the highest value from your story activities that continues to spiral upward. Otherwise you head into issue #2:
- The tone of this piece is heading into the realm of exploitation. A customer is viewed here as a commodity, and so is that customer's story. But whose story is it anyway??! The tone here is "Let me extract a story from you and then push my message to the world using you." Ugh!! This leads us into issue #3:
- Ethics. Nowhere in this piece is there a discussion of story ethics -- permissions, ownership, shareability rights, over-storying, editorialism, transperancy, and the like. In the happy world of the 'storytelling bandwagon' these thorny issues -- and the dark side of storytelling -- are being ignored. At a company's peril, I might add because ignoring these means eventually breaking the covenant of trust/credibility/authenticity that you create with your customers through stories. Which leads us into issue #4:
- Lack of training. This piece is pretty comprehensive in its treatment of customer storytelling. However, they make a big point about the story evoking process being important, but never really giving anyone guidelines for it. Learning how to evoke stories is critical because how you do it will depend on if you get data, description, narrative, or an actual story. So if you are going to work in business storytelling/ what training do you need? Story listening, story evoking, story crafting, story tools, story ethics, story dissemination, story dynamics, and story applications.
Oh, and I can't stand it that at the end of this SlideShare, you can't get out of the contact screen (give us your name & email) without reloading the page. Sigh.
So take what you can from this piece (whose focus I really like), understand the critical missing compotents, and then go round out your knowledge.
Via Gregg Morris, Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)