Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tell It Better: A story in a tweet that makes the customer the hero

As I pointed out in Who's the hero when storytelling your customer's journey?, part of this Tell It Better storytelling series, the story about your customer's "journey" needs to put the customer front and center. And now I can share a great example in the form of a Tweet from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk to the customers for his electric cars.

Here's the tweet:
Let's break down the story: Here, Musk is the storyteller or observer, expressing appreciation--something any storyteller can do to enhance the story by witnessing its excitement, value, or impact. That's expressed three times in this little story: In the thanks, in "it matters to us," and in "We won't forget." The phrase "you took a risk on a new car company" is a compact hero's journey that puts the customer squarely in the hero's seat. Risk and challenge, and the implied false starts and failures on the road to success, are all stalwart parts of any good story with a hero. They're implied here in the word "risk." Best of all, in the great tradition of storytelling, concluding with "We won't forget" suggests "this is a favorite story, so we will be telling it over and over."

Twitter being Twitter, you can see the tens of thousands of likes and retweets, with many customers proudly posting pictures of their Teslas. Beautiful, emotional, free advertising and customer testimonials, all out of a tweet that is well shy of 140 characters.

In Elon Musk just sent a beautiful message to Tesla customers, the emotional intelligence behind the tweet is analyzed, with an emphasis on the appreciation of the customer. That's precisely what we do in traditional storytelling with the hero of the story, and a great reminder that, in telling the story of your product or service, it's the customer--not your company, not your product, not your service--that is the hero you are appreciating. Psychologically, that's a significant shift in focus and approach. If your corporate storytelling can share how and why you appreciate your customers, you'll be that much further ahead in connecting with them through that story.

(Creative Commons licensed photo by Sam Felder)

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