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25 Ways to Use Customer Success Stories to Grow Your Business

Increase buyer confidence throughout your sales, marketing and PR

A customer story is one of the most versatile and powerful types of promotional content any organization can create. Here are the top 25 ways you can use case studies or success stories - or summaries of them - to establish or reinforce credibility, educate audiences, and validate products, services and organizations.

Note: "Customer stories" refers to customer case studies or success stories.

  1. Web sites - Tease and link to customer stories right from the home page, and include customer stories with all relevant product and service pages.
  2. Newsletters - Run customer stories in newsletters that go to customers, employees and partners.
  3. Direct marketing - Highlight a customer success in a mailer to prospects and customers, either a full story or overview.
  4. Case-study booklets - Create booklets that highlight several of your key customer stories.
  5. Email - Capture the attention of prospects or customers by using a compelling customer story in an email campaign or to a single contact.
  6. Advertising - Showcase a customer success in an ad run in a key industry publication or web site.
  7. Webinars - Invite a successful customer to present its story on a webinar for prospects or customers.
  8. Events - Invite customers to tell their story at industry conferences or other events.
  9. Training sales reps - Integrate customer successes into sales training to educate and excite them about the value that products and services deliver for customers. Then make sure those sales reps are armed with those same stories.
  10. Examples in PowerPoint presentations - Add slides into sales presentations that showcase a couple of customer successes.
  11. Sales letters - Get the attention of busy prospects by kicking off a sales letter with a compelling customer story.
  12. Sales conversations - People immediately respond when someone starts telling a story. Engage prospects in live or phone conversations with a relevant example of a successful customer.
  13. Voice mail - Mention a customer success, preferably with a specific measurable result, in a voice mail to a prospect. Mention another key result in the next voice mail.
  14. Proposals - Include a couple of customer stories in a proposal for new business.
  15. Venture-capital proposals/presentations - Do the same when making your case for investment capital or loans.
  16. Press releases - Catch the attention of busy editors with a "story press release," one that highlights the success of a specific customer.
  17. Pitching stories to the media - Send a short pitch to a targeted media contact with a compelling customer success story as the angle.
  18. Contributed articles - Submit an article featuring a customer success (written by the vendor company or customer) to a publication or website targeted your audience.
  19. Industry awards submissions - Include full or summarized customer stories with awards applications.
  20. Employee/volunteer orientation - Before any employee or volunteer begins work, use customer stories to educate them about the organization's value to those it serves.
  21. Fundraising appeals/grant proposals - Nonprofits can weave success stories into every printed, verbal or other appeal for support.
  22. Annual reports - Bring life to an annual report by showcasing the people and companies behind the numbers.
  23. Public-service announcements - Nonprofits can powerfully communicate their messages by telling the successes of those they serve.
  24. Your hold message - Why not refer to a customer success story right on your phone hold message? As callers wait, they'll learn about the value of your products or services.
  25. Online communities - Showcase success stories in online customer or partner communities.

More Stories By Casey Hibbard

Casey Hibbard is the founder and president of Compelling Cases, Inc. and author of "Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset." She has helped dozens of companies create and manage nearly 500 customer case studies and success stories over the past decade. Casey is featured in numerous books, articles, and teleclasses. She consults with organizations one-on-one and conducts online customer-story classes.

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