Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Customer Stories2.0 - Fedex

Customer stories can be pretty boring. Historically boring. Lame corporate gobbledygook writing. Tediously long. Structured in a communistic concrete architectural story-style. Over-printed. Rarely read. However, they 're one valuable resource people check out to see if you can really do what you say you can. But they're so boring they're desperately in need of a extreme makeover.

Now comes Fedex doing something interesting. Telling stories. Real stories. That's right, real stories of their employees going the extra step to serve customers. It's a first step towards banishing the customer story of boring yore.

What's unique about Fedex Stories? It's the format. The presentation style. Web-based, personalized, visually appealing -- and engaging. And, more importantly, it's a tip of the hat to their greatest strength -- the Fedex employee.

You've heard of Web2.0., Sales2.0., PR2.0. well maybe this is the start of ... Customer Stories2.0.

The Fedex Stories web site (URL at the bottom of this post) starts with a spinning globe with little yellow dots sprinkled over it. Each dot represents a story, a customer and employee.

When you click on a yellow dot, satellite imagery hones in on the location anywhere on the globe they have tagged.


It zooms downward towards earth. Up pops an employee name, title, location, and the story begins.

Now this is not a pdf - or classic customer success story brochure format. It's a visually appealing, interactively engaging, textually minimalistic, powerful example of some world-class storytelling. Not only short, succinct text -- but pictures, imagery, and in some cases, audio and video.


Notice I said the dreaded five-letter word? Short? Followed by another nasty descriptive adjective long out of favor with corporate communicators? Succinct?

I traveled with their employees and customers to Dubai, (you have to click "back to globe" to start the globe spinning again - don't be childish like some people I know and left click and hold your mouse so make the globe spin really fast) China, Ireland, Wyoming, Australia and Chile. A good example of video was Samantha Byrne in Dublin, Ireland.

Buffaloes and a Box of Chocolates

I really liked the Sheridan, Wyoming video with Fedex Service Manager Debbie Knezovich. Not to crib the story, how can you not like a story that has a jack-of-all trades, buffaloes and a box of chocolates? My favorite story was probably in Santiago, Chile.

Why is this different? Why does it matter?

It brings to light and life real-people, real problems, real solutions. It highlights the employee efforts to provide the best service possible -- under difficult conditions. Who wouldn't want to do business with a company that has employees like this?


No matter how great the presentation style, how creative the writing is, a great customer story doesn't start with the customer. It starts with the employee.

Check it out or go to http://www.fedexstories.com/ - HOLD IT!
A question before proceeding. What are the two most clicked on words on the internet? "Skip Intro," take it for what it's worth.

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