«Return to Blog List Nine Steps to Featuring Customer Successes on Your Business Blog
This is a Guest Post by Casey Hibbard of Compelling Cases Inc., author of Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset. For more tips on creating and using customer stories, sign up for her monthly e-tip or get RSS feeds for her Stories That Sell blog.
Running interviews with industry experts and other individuals of interest to your audience is a great way to get engaging, keyword-rich content on your blog. You don’t need to go far to find viable interview subjects. In fact, one of the best sources is right in front of you— your own successful customers.
Sharing a story about a customer’s experience boosts your credibility, educates your audience, and validates what you offer. Plus, it makes your customers the stars of your blog. They are sharing a completely positive story about their best practices efforts— providing coveted positive PR.
Here are 9 steps to interviewing and featuring your best customers:
- Choose your topic – Choose a lesson or point you want to make to your audience.
- Pick the customer – Select the customer that is the best example of that lesson in action.
- Get the OK – Make sure the customer is willing and able to be featured, and let them know what topic and questions you’ll be covering.
- Schedule the interview – Schedule an in-person or phone interview.
- Ask the right questions – These questions are the foundation of a great success story:
What’s the customer’s business?
What are their goals and challenges as a business?
What challenge was the customer hoping to solve, or goal accomplish, with your solution?
Briefly, in what ways is the customer using (or did use) the product or service?
What is the end result? Try to quantify any business benefits.
Next steps or plans for the future?
What advice would the customer offer to other businesses going down the same path?
- Write the story – You can either write it in story format, or interview format (easier for non-writers). Either way, follow a storyline, taking readers from an orientation of who the business is, its goals and challenges, how the solution made a difference, and the successful outcome.
- Don’t be overly promotional – Always keep the focus on the customer and its successes, rather than how great your product or service is.
- Get approval – If the customer needs to approve the content before it runs, send it to them and ask for feedback by a certain day.
- Post it!