Creating Marketing

What Is a Customer Story?

What is a customer story?
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We’re here to help you choose the most appropriate content types to fulfill your content strategy. In this series, we’re breaking down the most popular content types to their most basic fundamentals — simple definitions, clarity on formats, and plenty of examples — so you can start with a solid foundation.

What is a customer story?

A customer story is an engaging article integrating testimonial quotes from a happy client or customer praising the work completed together. (*To be used only with expressed permission.)

Different types of customer stories include…

Various ways of presenting client testimonials, customer interviews, use cases or case studies by detailing the story of a problem/solution given a collaboration of sorts.

Many customer stories might follow the standard “Challenges. Solutions. Results.” format. At ClearVoice, we’ve created our own “Aspire. Act. Achieve.“ format, which better facilitates participation and conveys ongoing success through positive, active language.

Standard length ranges for customer stories

The long and short of it

Lengths vary giving the willingness (and availability) of the customer or client. But generally speaking, the amount of praise they’re willing to give ultimately informs the length of the story.

A general guide to customer story length:

  • Short Form (250 words):  A testimonial quote or a quote couched in a contextual statement.
  • Standard (500 words):  A longer testimonial quote (or quote excerpts) couched in a longer contextual statement.
  • Long Form (1,000+ words):  A longer-form article broken into sections that gives further insight into a problem and solution solved by the company for the customer or client.

What can a customer story do for a business?

Whether it’s a five-star review on Amazon or Yelp, having the people who’ve used your business sing your praises is always a good thing. A customer story (with positive insight) offers credibility and immediate relevance to a business as they shine a light on a collaboration that worked — yielding positive upticks in sales and/or benefits from a specific relationship.

Businesses that benefit from customer stories…

Anyone can benefit from a customer story that showers a business with praise. Especially when the customer story is strategically placed on a company site or social channels as content… and as a way of getting the word out to new prospects who can envision their own relationship.

Popular use cases to consider…

When our team decided to build a section dedicated to Customer Stories on the ClearVoice website, many satisfied clients fortunately came out of the woodwork to offer time up for interviews. The section is now a highly trafficked adjunct connecting to our home page.

Here’s what generally goes into a customer story: 

  • Testimonial quotes:  From CEOs, CMOs and other C-suite executives invested in the success of a relationship. The quickest and simplest ask is for a single quote.
  • Case studies:  A more traditional approach, case studies often break down into sections how a problem was identified, tackled and solved by the company posting it — with permission from the client or customer. Quotes from both sides can be used.
  • Stakeholder interviews:  More Q & A-focused with the company asking questions of a key client stakeholder, who talks about the experience and results from the working relationship.

Customer story examples – short form

Customer story examples – standard form

Customer story examples – long form

Understanding content quality in examples

Our team has rated content type examples in three degrees of quality (Good, Better, Best) to help you better gauge resources needed for your content plan. In general, the degrees of content quality correspond to our three content levels (General, Qualified, Expert) based on the criteria below. Please consider there are multiple variables that could determine the cost, completion time, or content level for any content piece with a perceived degree of quality. 

Understanding content quality

More content types with examples:

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About the author

Gregg Rosenzweig

Over the past two decades, Gregg Rosenzweig has spent his career writing, producing and publishing engaging content for American mass consumption in the digital, TV and branded content spaces. From serving as a Creative Director on commercial spots to pitching/winning/executing branded content campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, Gregg's been fortunate to work for (and with) top advertising and digital media agencies... as well as some of the most highly respected publishers across the media landscape.