This week I was honored to be interviewed by Wayne Hurlbert on his Blog Business Success radio show.
Now on demand, the one-hour interview covers the role of customer success stories in building trust and sales. We also get into the steps to take in creating customer stories, interview tips, and ways to get customers to say yes to being featured.
Hurlbert also reviewed my book, Stories That Sell, on his Blog Business World blog. He says…
For me, the power of the book is how Casey Hibbard demonstrates the power and relative simplicity of customer story telling as an organizational credibility building technique. The author shows the reader step by step, how to utilize stories to transform everyday sales and marketing programs to great ones, that really connect with the customer on a personal level.
In customer case studies and success stories, specific results impress. But not every product or service is easy to measure.
Coaches, consultants and other service providers, for example, often provide services that lend themselves to qualitative benefits, rather than measurable.
If you think you can't measure what you do, there's hope.
Lisa Koss, president of International Advantage, has found a way to measure her clients' results.
The organizational development consulting firm works with medium-sized to large companies in cross-cultural environments on organizational change, team development, or individual development - all areas that aren't simple to measure.
Before each client project - typically several months long - Koss performs a pre- and post-climate survey. She asks the exact same set of questions at the start of the engagement and upon completion.
The survey asks customers about their feelings on certain areas by indicating “dissatisfied,” “very satisfied,” or varying levels in between on a scale of one to 10, hitting on important but hard-to-measure improvements such as employee satisfaction and teamwork.
From there, Koss determines the changes between the pre- and post-survey results to come up with percentages representing improvement - a very clever way to put numbers on what she does.
This was particularly valuable when Koss created a customer story about a major project. The client improved significantly in seventy-five percent of the areas surveyed. Instead of nebulous discussion about improved productivity, the survey showed exactly where and how much of a leap the customer made.
When conducting your follow-up survey, be sure to pick the best point in the relationship to reassess. Choose a point when the customer has had enough time to experience benefits but not enough time to forget the impact of what you delivered.
It’s not only valuable data for customer stories, but also helps you and customers clearly see the impact of the solution. Look for the most impressive gains between the before and after.
Consider performing this assessment with every customer and using this as a basis for which to feature as case studies.