Want to tell a great customer-success story? Follow this process.
A great story requires crafting. The process I outline below for crafting a customer-success story is simple, efficient and, most of all, effective.
Write out a story spine.
Work out the backbone of your story using the following template. The template allows you to construct a minimally viable story prototype. Stick to it, carefully revising and editing each of the 8-10 sentences:
Once upon a time there was... [introduce the customer and what they do]
And everyday... [describe them doing their work as it was before their problem]
Until one day... [the customer encounters their problem]
And because of this... [they attempt to address the problem or just put it off but the problem persists]
(optional) And because of this... [their second attempt and failure]
Until finally... [your company enters the picture and begins its work]
And because of this... [the customer makes progress toward resolving their problem]
(optional) And because of this... [your company does more stuff and the customer makes more progress]
And ever since that day... [describe the customer in their new, better normal with their problem resolved]
The moral of the story is... [describe the unique approach or insight your company brought to the customer]
Talk through the story repeatedly, adding muscle to the spine.
Stop writing and start talking through the story in four parts: sentences 1-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-10. Focus on one part at a time. Experiment with dropping some language while adding new words and sentences. Don't indulge too much. You want to keep the story lean while:
enhancing the emotional tension and release of the story
adding a few vivid details to help the listener experience a movie in their mind
making the story more human by making it about people (not "the customer")
Once you have each part of the story somewhat honed, talk through the entire story repeatedly letting it evolve without adding fluff. The goal isn't to memorize the story word-for-word, but instead to secure the essence of the story in your memory for easy recall. Maintain your freedom to improvise.