That perspective especially makes Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) storytelling the fulcrum for customer acquisition, not just retention.
Ever think about these stories in quite this manner?
Most of the time, a “good enough” IIoT customer retention story talks about a specific incident requiring fixing something that is broken.
Think about the plot of most “typical” IIoT customer retention stories. Usually something epic and awesome and complex (like your product or service) is broken. There’s a power grid failure due to Mother Nature or someone ignores the “do not push” switch and does, anyway.
First, the customer (or the M2M interface) makes your organization aware of the situation. Then, you resolve their issue. Ta-da! End of story. Or is it just the beginning?
Consider that most customers (current and future) do not buy from companies with the understanding that things are going to go sideways.
Ever. No matter how lengthy the capital equipment lifecycle or your software contract. Rather, they anticipate a continuum of better and better customer experiences.
As a result, resolving the customer issue makes for a “good” customer retention story. However, from the customer’s perspective, there is some heart, soul and bigger picture vision that’s missing. The “what’s missing” part leaves potential customers feeling ambivalent about selecting you as their vendor, service provider or consultant.
Remember, the focus of each customer retention story is about the client, not you.
While this statement should be obvious, often it isn’t. I read (and you do, as well) lots of articles about companies which showcase how great they are and how well they treat their customers (especially when things are broken). Except, customers really want to know how great your company is going to make them even when nothing is broken.
As a result, most self-serving customer success / customer retention stories stop short of where the story really begins. Is demand generation and storytelling strategy really a short story when it should be a book or perhaps an epic tale? Does the story speak about your organization’s vision for working on behalf of customers or does the story focus on driving your company profitability?
Humanize your IIoT customer retention story, even if you think it’s only about inanimate objects.
The pace and cadence of Industrial Internet of Things environments is overwhelmingly complex. There’s a tendency to place emphasis on stories focused on the success of products and services, the “Things” part of that Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem.
However, the last time your clients checked, they still were human beings, even though they partner with software interfaces. Yet, do you focus your demand generation strategy storytelling totally on product and service “things?? As a result, is the value of the people factor lost (or omitted) from the storyline?
These are the stories clients crave. The human stories; the compelling stories.
Is it time to move beyond telling just a “good,” or even mediocre, IIoT customer retention story? Consider my storytelling workshops and coaching programs. Hire our group to bring your most compelling IIoT stories out of the darkness and into the light of day.
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, consults and coaches about collaborative value creation for customer success and customer retention. She connects the dots between strategy and execution. She works across leadership, human capital / HR and technical/IT/engineering teams within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Her focus? Creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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