«Return to Blog List Speeding Up Customer Story Approval – One Thing You Can Do

Responsiveness is an important part of all our business and personal relationships and interactions.

When you ask for extra mayonnaise at a restaurant, you want it right away.

When you send a coworker or colleague a meeting request, you expect a timely response.

And when you call a friend about getting together, you anticipate they will call back soon.

It’s about mutual respect. And one person’s level of response often mirrors the other.

The same goes for the customer review and approval phase of a case study or success story project. The amount of time that it takes a customer to get back with feedback is always an unknown part of the project.

One way to encourage a timely customer turnaround – deliver the story to the customer without delay.

After you interview a customer, the customer expects to see that story soon. If writing and internal (vendor) review take weeks or months, the customer gets the impression that their story isn’t that important to you.

If you’re not moving on it quickly, then when you DO deliver the story, the customer will very likely MIRROR your slow behavior.

I’ve seen it happen again and again. A vendor takes 2 months to review the story and then the customer takes as least that long to look at it.

Here are a couple of tips to help expedite internal review in order to be responsive in delivering stories to customers:

  • Minimize the number of people who review the story internally. Max this at 3 people, or fewer if necessary. Pick 1-2 people who can truly review with an eye toward company messaging and value of the story for sales and marketing uses.
  • Make sure internal reviewers are on board and ready for review before starting a case. If someone will be out on vacation or tied up on other priorities, then it’s not fair to the participating customer.

One client of mine is particularly cognizant of this. She says that getting product managers and others lined up to make a case study a priority contributes to her approval success.

It doesn’t guarantee a quick customer response, but it helps.

Two more reasons to hurry in getting a story to customers: (1) the customer contact may leave, or (2) something could happen in the meantime that affects the customer’s happiness level.

Be responsive and respectful – don’t delay!

One Response to Speeding Up Customer Story Approval – One Thing You Can Do

  1. Great advice Casey! Another helpful technique — at the end of the interview, tell the customer when he or she can expect to see the first draft, and get agreement on a prompt review. The customer either agrees, or explains why the review may take a bit longer (e.g., a key reviewer is out of the office or busy). Either way, you have a better sense of when it’s reasonable to follow up with the customer.