If you are a software, hardware or capital equipment vendor, you have lots of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) customer success stories to tell. Except, these stories lie dormant, unread or under-utilized.
Why? They are ineffective and not very compelling. In fact, these customer success stories sound robotic.
Something important is lost in translation across the sales-engineering interface®. It doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s explore together, shall we?
Customer success stories are not very convincing when readers do not understand what you are saying.
- For starters, many customer success stories focus on an organization’s own technological or engineering heroics. As a result, the story is all about the supplier. The client plays a supporting role.
- Then, storytelling verbiage is dominated by techno-babble instead of decision-making language. Consider what happens when stories are full of IT or OT (information / operational technology) acronyms. Perhaps no one else, other than internal tech folks, can translate these acronyms into business speak.
- Also, many alleged customer success stories really are not stories at all. Instead, these tales are technical product or service sales pitches focused, again, on the seller instead of the customer.
- Finally, far too many stories stop exactly at the moment they should begin. As a result, business decision makers remain unable to glean business value from the under-told story.
Most IIoT customer success stories fail to humanize the results of a vendor or supplier partner’s technical mastery. Instead, they leave decision makers wondering: “So What?”
When service providers ask field service technicians to chronicle how they help clients solve problems, they set everyone up for frustration. Consider that these technicians are just that: technicians. They have not been taught how to tell compelling stories.
Not surprisingly, a service technician’s idea of customer success storytelling reflects how they share tribal knowledge amongst their professional peers. As a result, these stories preach to the technical service choir, but not to business decision makers.
While technical audiences readily grasp the significance of the story being told, something major is lost in translation. For starters, business decision makers are unable to empathize with the story. As a result, they are not pulled into the business significance of a story which only focuses on technical drama.
Also, when the emphasis of customer success stories becomes overwhelmingly technical, the reader wonders whether any people interacted with the technology, at all.
Consider whether a continuum of human end user experience fits into the storytelling picture. Typically, listening for Voice of the Customer insights is not part of technical service folks’ job descriptions.
However, without a glimpse of humanity among all the technology, decision makers and internal influencers find it difficult to fit themselves into the story’s context. If the C-Suite is unable to relate to the story from both a human, as well as technical context, decision makers find it difficult, literally, to buy into the story being told.
Alternatively, do customers receive more human, emotionally-receptive responses from AI chatbots on your service site?
Chances are that initial problem-resolution involves a client-AI chatbox interface. After all, these AI chatbots are programmed to understand human language interfaces. As a result, they present to humans as personas. In addition, some chatbots are fairly sophisticated and responsive, even when dealing with complex problems.
Customer success stories just may start at this interface. Chew on that thought for a while.
Consequently, a good question to ask yourself is whether your AI chatbots sound more human – and compellingly empathetic – than your organization’s robotic-sounding customer success stories? If so, your organization effectively removes itself from executing a critical aspect of customer retention strategy. Instead, that responsibility is left up to software programming.
Why leave the fun of interacting with humans up to AI chatbots?
If you’d like to unearth customer success stories and put them to dynamic use, contact me and let’s discuss. There are so many wonderful customer success stories waiting to be told more compellingly and effectively.
Babette Ten Haken is a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker. She serves organizations as a strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer success for customer retention.
Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Do you know the Top 5 Negative Customer Retention Scenarios? Find out here.
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