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10 questions you never asked your customer

How to create customer success stories that sing.


Interview questions at the ready… your copywriter is poised to strike up a conversation with a willing customer to capture their success story. Conf call ensues, and they dive into the interview process with a set of pre-rehearsed questions.


‘What were your challenges?’ They will ask. ‘What other solutions did you evaluate?’ They will read out. ‘What were the benefits?’ Yada yada yada.


They listen, they record, and then they throw the answers into their copywriting machine and out pops a perfectly formed customer story. Job done. But it’s dull. It lacks lustre. And if it doesn’t light your fire, how on earth will it stir the loins of today’s discerning buyer.


So here are 10 questions that your agency could ask your customers… just to add a little pizazz to your paragraphs, a little dazzle to your diction, and some chemistry to your content…


  1. What makes your organisation special and why do you work there?
  2. Was anyone against this investment and how did you sway them?
  3. Who was the unsung hero of this project in your team?
  4. Who would YOU benefit from hearing this story in your organisation?
  5. What went wrong and what did my client do about it?
  6. What’s the one part of your job you wish you could change?
  7. Tell me about one individual whose working day you made easier with this project?
  8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
  9. What makes you smile at work?
  10. What would you be doing right now if you weren’t on the phone to me?


What… real people sharing an emotional connection to their company and their colleagues?


Why the heck not? Whilst not necessarily yielding the traditional (and Holy Grail) kind of quantifiable evidence you’re used to clamouring after – the answers to these kind of questions, when shaped into awesome content, will get you noticed in a crowd.


We’re not saying ditch the beloved ‘challenge, solution, benefits’ Q&As, no. But today is all about securing curatable content right? So if you’ve only got one chance to interview your customer, why not also take the opportunity to uncover the individual behind the story if they are willing?


Then all of a sudden you’ve got a human interest story… and prospective buyers that think you are human too. Not to mention a customer that’s had a refreshing interview approach for once.


After all, ‘customer’ does not just mean ‘organisation’ any more – and storytellers need to adapt their approach to captivate audiences with the heroes behind the success.


Want to add some sparkle to your customer success stories? Contact Polly, Director of pureadvocacy services at purechannels, on 07769 687095 or click here for more info on driving success through customer advocacy.