Digital storytelling is crucial in customer experience. Before we get deep into digital storytelling and how to maximize your processes around it, let’s briefly set up why storytelling as a whole — and especially digital storytelling — is important in the current business climate.
The importance of digital storytellingHere’s a Wharton interview with Carmine Gallo, the author of a book called The Storyteller’s Secret. (I first found some of these resources here.) Here’s one quote from Carmine in her interview:
Vinod Khosla, billionaire venture capitalist here in Silicon Valley, where I live, tells me that the biggest problem he sees is that people are fact-telling when they pitch him. They’re giving facts and information and he says, “that’s not enough, Carmine. They have to do storytelling.”
When Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, another big venture capital firm, tells me the most underrated skill is storytelling, or when Richard Branson, who I interviewed, said, “entrepreneurs who cannot tell a story will never be successful” — at some point, I have to agree that maybe they know something I don’t.
We’re talking about multi-billionaires here. And all of them, to a person, are saying that storytelling is important.
Now, in the modern business climate, you need to extend that to digital storytelling. Right now, there are more mobile devices on Earth than people. You can’t ignore mobile or digital anymore if your company had been ignoring it. Even if you have the most amazing old-school business model of all-time, digital storytelling still needs to be a priority.
Digital storytelling: Be the storyteller
The role of the customer leadership executive is to engage leaders and the organization to want to be a part of one-company storytelling and prioritization of actions to earn the right to customer-driven growth. Storytelling — and digital storytelling — across the customer journey is a transformational element of my third competency: build a customer listening path.
So, how do you build a customer listening path?
Digital storytelling and building a customer listening path
Here are my three approaches:
- Collect feedback from multiple sources to tell the comprehensive story of customers’ lives. This is more relevant than ever in an age of digital and social. You need to understand where your customers are and how they’re responding to you. Digital storytelling comes from that. There’s a base-level science to part of it, sure — i.e. keyword research or good SEO — but it’s about multiple sources of feedback leading to the same issue or opportunity. This halts silo-by-silo debate. The power in converge moves you towards one-company, customer-driven leadership.
- Build one-company categorization of issues. Again, this is about moving away from silo-by-silo, survey-by-survey, controlled-and-owned metrics. It’s about rolling up to volumes that command attention.
- Present information from multiple sources by stage of experience: This is the true game-changer, as issues and opportunities now shift to always being in reference to customers.
For two good examples of Point (3) above — and of digital storytelling, honestly — check out two specific episodes of my podcast: Aisling Hassell of AirBNB and Scott Dille of Northern Trust.
If you have a hard copy of my book Chief Customer Officer 2.0, some additional resources around feedback, storytelling, and digital storytelling — with case studies — run from about page 116 to 122.
Your examples of better digital storytelling
I’d love to hear about work you’re doing online — social, your website, your e-mails, etc. — around customer listening paths and digital storytelling. Leave some comments!
We’ll be back next week doing our own versions of digital storytelling: a podcast and some new blogs.
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