Customer Experience News & Trends

Put these customer stories to work for your company

By all means, share those stories – and you’ll help build a better company:

  • Had a fun email exchange with a customer?
  • Heard how your product arrived in the nick of time to help a customer?
  • Got a heartfelt thank-you note from a customer?

Feel-good stories shouldn’t stay confined to the people who are directly involved in the customer experience. When they’re shared throughout an organization, they help all employees connect with and rally around the company’s purpose.

“Stories are free, always available, and are such a core part of our human DNA that they automatically make us feel good. Especially when they’re true,” says Erica Keswin, founder of the Spaghetti Project, in recent research shared at Harvard Business Review. “And best of all, when a company brings true stories to light, the culture becomes one of paying attention.”

Stories being shared

Keswin has found that companies across a variety of industries use customer experience stories to build and bolster their company culture. Here are a few examples from her upcoming book Bring Your Human to Work: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Design a Workplace That is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World.

  • At restaurant chain Sweetgreen, employees are encouraged to collect and share stories of themselves or co-workers living the company’s core values daily or weekly. One legendary story: A loyal customer hadn’t been in her favorite Washington, D.C., location for some time, so the employee at the register said he was happy to see her back. The customer explained that she’d been undergoing treatments to fight cancer. The employee told her she looked great, remembered her favorite salad order and gave it to her on the house. The customer wrote a letter to Sweetgreen letting everyone know how much that kind of personal attention meant to her.
  • At an all-hands meeting of for the car transportation company Lyft, a woman told the story of her daughter who’d recently requested a ride from the home she shared with a violent roommate. The driver helped her quickly pack some of her belongings, got her to a hotel and then helped her unpack. The mother showed a photo of her smiling daughter and chocked up recounting the impact the driver’s kindness had on their family.
  • JetBlue airline shares customer experience stories with new employees from the onset. At JetBlue University, new hires watch a video of a colleague who works on an operations crew as he explains how his coworkers chipped in to help pay for the medical care of his ill granddaughter. Employees get daily doses of feel-good customer and employee stories on its internal homepage where they highlight crew members who go above and beyond, and inspiring stories they’ve heard or witnessed.

How you can do it

You don’t have to create a formal program to get stories shared throughout your organization. The first step is to start listening closer for winners.

“Stories make us all pay closer attention to what matters,” Keswin says. “Start paying attention to the stories unfolding in your organizations and figure out how to help the best ones spread.”

Some tactics:

  • Like JetBlue, if you have an internal website where employees get company information, add short customer stories. Invite employees to give “shout outs” to each other for extraordinary work.
  • Use your social media platforms similarly. Invite employees and customers to share stories of great interactions.
  • Add a customer success story to print or electronic newsletters or invoices you send to customers.

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