Providing the best customer experience is a priority for most businesses. As a result, brands collect customer data to produce valuable insights and revamp customer experience (CX).
Data is essential if you want to design or improve the customer experience. But, one of the most significant factors brands often overlook is storytelling. Storytelling is an incredible marketing tool that undoubtedly impacts your CX. When you deliver brand messages as stories, this can be 22x more memorable than facts alone.
The online world is overwhelmed by noise. Storytelling has proven to be an effective way to break through the noise and connect with customers. So, how do you use storytelling to improve customer experience and create an unforgettable customer journey?
1. Explore your brand story through a customer perspective
It would be best if you experienced your brand story through the customer’s point of view. This ensures your story aligns with your customers’ needs. You can also create buyer personas, a representation of your ideal customer, based on market research and data.
Buyer personas will help you understand the problems your customers face and their overall buying journey in more granular detail. The goal here is to ensure a flawless storytelling experience across different buyer personas. It’s also worth creating multiple stories in different formats to achieve this goal.
2. Use storytelling to build an emotional connection
Did you know nearly 90% of all purchase decisions are made subconsciously? When it comes to shopping, our emotions tend to overpower our intelligence.
Shopping behavior largely depends on the feelings and emotions we have towards a specific brand. That’s why connecting with customers on an emotional level is considered a crucial aspect of brand storytelling. In your storytelling journey, describe what motivated you to go from idea to conception and development. Use the following blueprint:
- What problem does your product or service address?
- What need(s) are you fulfilling?
- How does your company stand apart from the rest?
- Where have you missed the mark?
The last point is essential. Don’t be afraid to share your failures. We often try to skip the tough times in our stories and omit our authentic and vulnerable experiences. In reality, these are the small passageways that resonate with most of your audience. If you want to connect with your audience emotionally, incorporate their challenges, and struggles into your storytelling. Not only does it create a memorable experience, but it also humanizes your brand.
3. Build your personality, authenticity and empathy
People love stories that are genuine and interesting. Compelling stories spark a sense of belonging –– allowing them to remain more loyal to your brand.
Every memorable story includes three key elements: personality, authenticity, and empathy.
- Personality –– Storytelling should reflect your brand personality. It doesn’t mean you need to share every detail. Instead, let your audience subtly know who you are and what your brand is about. Share enough details to help your audience feel as though they have known you for years.
- Authenticity –– Authentic storytelling helps you win trust by building a deeper connection. Often brands deceive themselves about what they need to stand for to be loved or followed, but that doesn’t work. Do some soul searching to understand what your organization really stands for and communicate core values and purpose. Also, understand and incorporate your audience’s version of authenticity into your storytelling.
- Empathy –– Stories that are built on empathy can go a long way in creating a memorable customer experience. Understand the pain points of your audience and empathize with them in your story. Create characters in your story that focus on the challenges and frustrations of the customers. Explain how your product or service can help customers succeed.
4. Leverage the power of visual storytelling
Studies estimate that 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. We process visual information much faster than text-based information. That’s why every brand storyteller should give serious thought to visual storytelling. Bring stories to life by adding visual contexts such as pictures, videos, and graphs. Build powerful visual stories and create emotionally rich and memorable experiences.
5. Promote user-generated content and stories
Today, people trust user-generated content (UGC) in the form of stories more than conventional marketing. According to a HubSpot study, 90% trust suggestions from family and friends, and 70% trust consumer reviews.” While 75% of people don’t believe adverts. These findings suggest people trust friends, family (and even strangers) more than they do ads. So, encourage existing customers to tell their stories to earn trust, loyalty, and improve customer retention.
Storytelling can be powerful when you aim to improve the customer experience. When done correctly, it can capture attention, engage potential customers, and drive more sales. Get started by creating a compelling, honest, and authentic story using the above-mentioned techniques as you build your brand and ultimately win more customers.
Michael Georgiou is a Co-Founder and CMO at Imaginovation, a full-scale technology company. He oversees the marketing, sales, and branding initiatives as well as the creative direction at Imaginovation.
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