From Words to Emotions: Use Storytelling to Transform CX

Humans love stories. We love them because they make it easier to learn and understand new ideas. We love them because they can evoke strong emotional responses and a sense of connection with others. We love them for the sheer entertainment.

When taking a critical eye at your customer experience, how are you using storytelling to create more memorable and engaging experiences for your customers? Consider your favorite books or movies. Was there an expected twist? An immersive sensory experience? Humor? What were the common or repeated elements throughout?

Below are 4 different strategies to consider when optimizing your customer journeys using emotion-driven storytelling.

Consistent Storytelling

Take a step back from your omnichannel communications. Is there a common thread that weaves through all communications? Is there consistent imagery, messaging, color palettes, and tone of voice? Idea: create an overarching narrative that ties together all your communications across different channels.

Personalized Storytelling

How are you incorporating customers’ own data back into personalized stories for them? For example, could you leverage their purchase history to recommend similar products and share stories of other customers who have enjoyed those same products?

Interactive Storytelling

Augmented reality is a cool, engaging way to tell stories. But if you don’t have a big budget, how might your team use gamification or a “choose your own adventure” form of storytelling? A la Mad Libs, perhaps your customers can  input their own information to create a personalized story experience.

Technical Storytelling

Are your troubleshooting and FAQs as dry as the Sahara desert? Challenge your creative team to develop stories about customers who have successfully resolved a technical issue. For example, share a story on your website about how a customer successfully resolved a billing issue, and then provide tips and resources to help other customers do the same.

Next, Look for Smaller Ways to Emotionally Connect

Emotional connections do not need to live only in epic stories. Look for small ways to embed emotion and display empathy in everyday interactions throughout the experience—including error messages, voicemails and hold messages, confirmation pages and emails, survey invitations, chatbots, and call centers.

For example, when an agent acknowledges and apologizes for a mistake, it actually can create a stronger emotional connection with customers than an agent that lets the moment pass by without comment. Similarly, an agent that helps customers navigate a difficult or challenging situation—such as a health crisis or financial hardship—can create a deep sense of loyalty and gratitude. 

When crafting stories or writing microcopy, start with the emotion you want to evoke. By focusing on the emotional benefits of your brand or product or job to be done, you can create stronger brand affinity with your customers. 

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is a CX insights leader, UX researcher, and strategist in Minneapolis. She helps organizations drive significant business outcomes by finding and solving customer problems. She never misses the Minnesota State Fair and loves dark chocolate mochas, kayaking, escape rooms, and planning elaborate treasure hunts for her children.