Visual vs Verbal: Reaching Out to Grab The Customer #storytelling

I love hearing stories about businesses. I'm sure you've heard the apocryphal story about Nordstrom accepting a return of a set of tires, even though they don't sell tires, just to please a customer. (If you haven't, click here to read the full story). The fact that people enjoy repeating the story not only reinforces the mythology, but enforces Nordstrom's reputation for first-rate customer service.

The web can be a pretty cold place when it comes to selling. As customers, it's tough to see through a sales pitch and feel the love for a product or brand. That's the reason why websites need to have comprehensive 'About Us' and Frequently Asked Questions pages. The very best About Us pages tell stories about the people behind the business. The FAQs should be written in an engaging manner - not just filled with techno-fluff and acronyms. Friendly word phrasing is important; just as important as the visual impact of a picture.

If you've heard me speak, you've no doubt heard "post enough pictures to tell the story as if there were no description, and write your description as if there were no pictures." By doing so, the pictures can appeal to those who have a visual learning style and provide equal punch to those of a verbal bent who get far more out of words.

Stories and anecdotes can create just as much magnetism as a dazzling seventy-five year art provenance. Words. When phrased well they speak to people - and carry your message.

Building trust goes a long way to nurture long term customers. One of the best ways to build trust is to tell stories.

While reading Lou Hoffman's blog, I came across SlideShare deck below produced by the Hoffman Agency: “The Return of Storytelling vs. Corporate Speak,” which shares some of the science and anecdotal evidence on why storytelling works. It's well worth the time to take a couple of minutes and enjoy the message.