Everybody loves a good story. And the best stories are true stories. And every customer has one.
Every customer has a story about how your product or service has improved some aspect of their life.
When a customer tells their own personal story, and you hear it directly from the customer, you’ll begin to see all customers differently; you’ll see them as real people, and begin to develop a stronger sense of empathy. And this can have a strong ripple effect.
I used to work in a soup kitchen, where we would feed meals to the homeless people in the city. One particular night after the meals were served, I sat down at a table where five homeless men were quietly drinking coffee. I asked the man to my left where he was from, and how he found his way to Portland.
The man told me his story – slowly at first, but as the conversation went on, he opened up, and became more eager to share his story; his background and how came to become homeless. I started to see him as a another adult who simply had more misfortune than I. Hearing him tell his own story caused me to see him differently, and develop a stronger sense of empathy.
Once you hear a person tell their own story, you see them differently, and treat them differently. You feel a connection, a connection you can act on.
So, what does this have to do with improving customer focus? How can you use it to improve the customer-focus within your organization?
Create a forum where your customers can tell their stories directly to your employees. Invite one or two customers to a weekly meeting with your service team, so they can tell their stories to the group. If it’s not feasible to have the customers on site, then record a short video, or do something to capture the customer telling their own story.
Repeat the process on a regular basis, and over time, by hearing the customers tell their own stories about how your product has made their lives better in some big or small way, your service team will grow closer to the customers, and act with stronger empathy, and sharper focus.