Why Storytelling Is Crucial in Customer Success

Episodes of the Success/ful Podcast are available on:

In the fast-paced world of business, where data-driven decisions often reign supreme, it's easy to overlook the power of storytelling.

However, in the first episode of Vitally’s new podcast Success/ful: Winning Ideas From the World of CS and Beyond, AssemblyAI Head of Customer Success Ryan Seams, reveals that mastering the art of storytelling can unlock incredible impact within your organization, especially in the realm of Customer Success. After all, if you aren’t the one telling the narrative, someone else is going to fill in the gaps for you.

But how do you create a story that resonates with your audience? Listen now to hear:

  • Storytelling advice for C-suite conversations (02:34)
  • Advantages of using qualitative vs. quantitative techniques in storytelling (07:09)
  • Tailoring your story for cross-departmental messaging (16:01)
  • How to integrate storytelling into your team’s culture (21:24)
  • And much more…

Guest Quotes

Ryan on the importance of self-advocacy:

"I think CS teams compared to Sales are a little more bashful sometimes, and they're not going to be the ones to say, 'I did this crazy thing to close this deal.' And I would encourage you to think a little differently about that. The goal is not to sit here and brag and say, 'Here's what I did' and show off. Your goal should be, 'How can I get this information to the rest of my organization so that everyone can do a better job at understanding and helping our customers'.”

Ryan on tailoring your storytelling approach:

“It's really important to understand who you're talking to and what their incentives are. What are their goals? What are they trying to achieve with the information that you're providing them? When you think about it that way, you'll ultimately think differently about how you want to approach giving that information to that person.”

Ryan on understanding the broader business context:

“You need to understand how the business operates from a metrics perspective because ultimately, every decision that you make is going to have some trade-off one way or the other. If you don't understand the broader business context — specifically, what metrics matter to the business, what goals you're focused on, how those translate to different teams, the headcount that you have on those teams, the projects that they're running, the processes that they're using — you're going to have a tough time being able to contextualize the trade-offs that ultimately need to be made in the business.”

Taylor's Takeaways

  • Every decision is a tradeoff to the business: Find out what metrics and outcomes matter to the broader business to contextualize the choices you make in CS.
  • Gathering data is good, helping others interpret it is better: Don’t stop at gathering data for voice of the customer, take time to tell the story and value of that data to others internally so they can drive action from it.
  • Communicate publicly, consistently: Find out the way that your org likes to communicate and lean into it consistently — Slack, email, Powerpoint, etc. Avoid private channels, and ensure that your full organization can see what it takes to serve customers.

Links & Resources

  • New to Success/ful? Watch the series trailer here.
  • Connect with Taylor Johnston and Ryan Seams on LinkedIn.
  • Learn more about AssemblyAI.
  • One thing that makes Ryan feel successful is completing a triathlon! Take a look at the exciting course for his upcoming race, Escape from Alcatraz, where triathletes swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline, bike to Golden Gate Park, and run up the infamous Sand Ladder.
  • Check out this episode on our YouTube channel.

Ready to Follow Along?

Episodes of the Success/ful Podcast are available to listen on:

About the Featured Guest

Subscribe for Updates

Be the first to hear about new Vitally Success Network blog posts, resources, events, and more.

Ready to Put Your Data To Work?

Take a live look at Vitally's Customer Success Platform to learn how your data can help your teams and customers achieve greater success.