It’s ALWAYS About the Customer’s Story

Friday night I attended my first Moth Live Storytelling Event. Five individuals told their true, personal stories of heartbreak, courage, forgiveness, and joy. It was a fabulous evening of laughter and tears.

Saturday night it was hot. Hot enough that I turned on my AC. For some reason, a previous owner of our house installed a second set of ductwork for air-conditioning instead of tapping into the existing furnace. Every summer, I ask, “What is the story behind that decision?”

Last night, I watched Game 7 of the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks playoff series. The Mavs hammered the Suns so profoundly that I wondered, “What is the story behind Phoenix playing so poorly at home?”

Three nights. Three settings. All stories.

John Eldredge wrote, “Story is the language of the heart.”

He missed the mark just a bit with that quote.

Stories are the language of our lives.

Why is this important to you as a leader worth following?

Because once you understand that our lives are all about stories, you recognize that you must figure out how your business, product, or service fits within the story of your customers.

  •  If you are in the dryer vent cleaning business, your customer’s story is about clothes that won’t dry or lint that won’t disappear. You step into their story to solve THAT problem.
  • If you are in the fuel delivery business, your customer’s story is about heating their home or doing their work. You deliver the fuel that provides the energy for their needs.
  • If you are in the small engine repair business, your customer’s story is about mowing her lawn, but her lawnmower won’t start. You fix the mower so her yard looks good for the neighborhood. 

Once you accept the “life is a story principle.” It is easier to create positive ways to talk about what you do as a business.

At Leadercast, our mission is to fill the world with leaders worth following.

Therefore, our customers are leaders or aspiring leaders. So, our role is to ask: How do we step into their story and provide them with experiences, resources, encouragement, and communities that help them become leaders worth following?

I encourage you to get out of your office for a little while (It can be for just 30 minutes.) and ask these questions:

  • What is our customer’s story?
  • How do we fit into that story?
  • Is our communication making that clear?

After all, it’s ALWAYS about the customer’s story.


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Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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