Even B2B Storytelling Is Made For People: Crystal Garrett

Even B2B Storytelling Is Made For People: Crystal Garrett

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This week on the Voices of CX Podcast we hosted a special guest: Crystal Garrett, Sr. Copywriter at Salesforce and – if you’ve been listening to the pod long enough to remember – our original host! Crystal and Mary reminisce about the origins of the VoCX Podcast and about how even B2B storytelling is made for people.

About Crystal Garrett

Professional writer, storyteller, and creator Crystal Garrett is a Sr. Copywriter at Salesforce, with over 15 years of experience creating content for television and film and demand-generating copy for digital media. Crystal has penned several episodes for Black Entertainment Television Network, optioned an original one-hour television series to Warner Brothers, had a screenplay adaptation stream on Netflix, and has a Hallmark made-for-television movie currently in production. Her collaborators include industry professionals Will Packer, Oscar-winner Regina King, Stephen Sondheim, Tyler Perry, and Sheldon Epps. Crystal earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the prestigious Old Globe Theatre’s Professional Actors Program, University of San Diego on a full-ride scholarship and went on to hit the Broadway stage in a lead role. She has spent her free time volunteering at Riker’s Island’s high-security prison, Hosea Feed the Homeless, Charity:water, and Toys for Tots. She was born and raised in Seattle, WA, and has an affinity for the outdoors and travel.

Connect with Crystal Garrett

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Connect with the Voices of CX

Follow Worthix on LinkedIn
Follow Worthix on Instagram: @voicesofcx

Follow Mary Drumond on LinkedIn
Follow Mary Drumond on Twitter: @drumondmary

About Voices of CX Podcast

The Voices of CX Podcast is a podcast that covers all things business strategies, customer decision insight, empathetic leadership practices, and tips for sustainable profitability. With a little bit of geeking out on behavioral science, A.I. and other innovation sprinkled in here and there. The guests span multiple industries, but all of them have years of experience to bring to the table.

📩Got something to say about CX or want to be featured on the show? Let us know! Email the Producer ([email protected]).

Transcript

Mary

Hello and welcome back to Season nine of Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Today I am joined by a very special guest. She is the O.G. host of this podcast. The person who started it all with me, ladies and gentlemen, Crystal Garrett!

Crystal

How are you? So this is like so exciting to be on the show with you, Mary.

This is like, full circle, right? It feels like…I was laughing when you say, like, OG, I’m, like, original guineapig. Wow. Like, I was the original host of the podcast, which wasn’t my idea, it was your idea.

Mary

It was my idea.

Crystal

It was your idea. And I jumped in headfirst. And so here we are.

Mary

I just bullied you into it. I was like, no, Crystal, we’re going to do this.

Crystal

You’re doing it. I believe in you. I’m like, okay. She believes in me. I guess I should do this thing. Hey, you know, it worked out awesome, though. I mean, look, were you all right?

Mary

I mean, we hit 100. Yeah, it’s really you know, we’re going dedicate a portion of this recording to talk about how we started it all.

But before, I want you to be able to introduce yourselves to yourself, to our listeners and viewers who didn’t catch you on season one. So the floor is yours. Tell us a little bit about Crystal Garrett.

Introducing Crystal Garrett

Crystal

Absolutely. So where should I start? I’m a Seattle-bred African-American woman. I love the beach. I guess I can say I’m moderately traveled love.

I’m a fair-weather fan of baseball. So I can be found at any given day at a soul food restaurant or a Mexican restaurant or a Chinese restaurant. Love, different cuisines, And I’ve been blessed to do what I absolutely love, which is to write. I’m very passionate about it. I’ve always loved, you know, giving a voice to individuals or characters or companies or brands.

And I really call it a calling because it’s sort of beyond passion. It’s more like a purpose. So here I am.

Mary

That’s great. That’s great. And what are you doing nowadays? What are you currently involved in?

Crystal

Oh, currently I am a senior copywriter at Salesforce for their design team, and that’s amazing. On the side, I’ve also been very excited to be able to write for Black Entertainment Team Television.

I’ve done some episodes for Black Entertainment, but start again. I’ve done several episodes for Black Entertainment Television. Just penned a screenplay for Hallmark, made for TV movie that’s in production currently. So, you know, it’s kind of cool. I get to dabble in TV and film, which is where I started, and also do copywriting for brands. So very cool.

Mary

When I met you, you were fully immersed in writing scripts for film and TV, right? And that was the beginning of your shift into copywriting for B2B enterprise. What was that like for you? What was that shift like?

Crystal

Well, it was it was pretty amazing. How it happened. Let me just go back a little bit. I’ve always loved sharing voice.

From the time I was very young, writing plays and my teachers would sit me next to children that had learning challenges. And I get so frustrated because I wanted to, you know, sit with my group of friends. They became my friends. And it’s because I would sometimes I would take up for them and I would sometimes speak for them, like to say if they didn’t have the words.

So I’ve always loved sharing voice with people. That’s kind of where it started for me. Fast forward, I actually was going to go to law school and I started studying the LSAT, but I always had a love for storytelling. I remember, and acting as well, just being immersed in stories somehow, someway. And I remember I went to my mother and I said, Mom, I said I could go to law school, but I really love writing and acting.

She said, We’ll go do it! And I was like okay! I will go do that. So I did. So I went and got my MFA. Long story short, ended up on Broadway stage in the lead role and on my off day, which is called a dark day in theater. I would volunteer my time at Rikers Island, and I had about 40 kids in two different pods to do a drama writing workshop that I created.

And the stories that I heard, I thought, Man, the world needs to see this. I need to create a show about this to bring some awareness right and some education and maybe start some conversation about what it means to be in Rikers Island, how these kids get there and kind of give them a voice so that people can hear from them.

Well, a Warner Brothers executive caught hold of it, loved it, and optioned the show. And really, for me, Mary, it was an aha moment because I did not know as a young kid that I could write stories for TV and film. Like, I just didn’t even know that was possible. I didn’t know how was done. Never even thought about it.

I just love storytelling. And so that’s what it got me. So I started honing my skills as a storyteller. And when I moved here to Atlanta, Georgia, I discovered there isn’t a writer’s room – all the writers rooms are in Los Angeles or in New York. So I needed to pivot. I needed to do something with my storytelling that could still make a difference.

And so I thought, well, there’s copywriting, but I’d never done it. And so I see this company advertising on LinkedIn hiring. And I said, You know what? I’m just going to, I’m going to entertain myself. I’m going to apply So I applied. I got one call, and I thought, Oh, I will get past the call. Got another call.

And I go in and I sit down and this lovely company is yours. Worthix. And so really, truly, that is what launched my street, my copywriting career because I was super green. But I’m so thankful that you and Gui saw value in storytelling. You knew I had the ability to tell a story, and that’s what you knew you needed.

And so I became, like, the content person. And, man, we ran hard. We ran fast. I learned a ton, and it really did change my life completely. So thank you for that.

Mary

Well, thank you for everything. That you did in the beginning. I mean, at that time, there was it was three of us. And I always tell people that we were scrappy, but I don’t think people know how scrappy we were.

And we, you know, till this day, we still fight to get our message across in the best way. We were finding our voice.

Crystal

Absolutely.

Mary

And I remember that, like, one of the most important things was we kept thinking about how are we going to hack this? How are we going to do this different? We don’t have the resources.

We don’t have the platform. We don’t have the visibility. We do how to work our way to make people aware.

Crystal

Exactly.

Mary

And we had to find an alternative path because the mainstream wasn’t going to work for us, you know? And we did. And one of the ways that we decided to do that was through this podcast now.

Crystal

Yes. Let’s talk about it.

How the Voices of CX really started

Mary

I have told this story a million times without you. So having you here is going to be so much more fun. We decided to do this podcast like, no, we’re just going to Trial Run. No podcast ever gets a whole bunch of listeners is just going to be a couple of people, maybe some friends, maybe some customers.

Crystal

Oh, sure.

Mary

You know, eventually, eventually we’ll start getting some heavy hitters on here and then we’ll gain a little bit more traction

Crystal

Yes.

Mary

And then and then somebody well, do you want to tell the story or…

Crystal

You have to tell everybody how every influencer rejected us ever. Oh, my goodness. Do you remember when we had all of these?

We can craft a, let’s craft a really, really great email that’s going to make them say, Hey, I want to be a part of that. We did all that and they all said no. And I was like, Mary, everybody’s saying no. What are we going to do? And so it’s so funny that I happen to have this wonderful Wharton MBA connection who had worked with the Godfather of CX.

Well, we didn’t even tell the story about how we came up with the name, but that’s a whole we’ll talk about the minutes. And it was Joe Pine. It was Joe Pine. And when we secured Joe Pine, that was the game-changer. Then we had to pick numbers when we so and so said yes. Wait, wait, this person said yes.

I mean, it was like really everyone. Oh, my goodness. We were so thrilled, but we still didn’t know how it was going to pan out. We had no equipment. I think I was talking through the computer at that time?

Mary

I remember that the audio was so bad that Anthony spent two weeks editing that track just to make it.

I mean, it sounds like something.

Crystal

Oh, my goodness. And then Joe Pine had, like, the state of the art, you know, equipment. So he would sound really great. And then I come in, all extra muffled.

Mary

And of course our Internet connection was just the worst. It was so bad. Yeah. So there was this robotic kind of alien thing that happens every other sentence.

Yeah, it was exactly right. I have no idea how we pulled that off till today. I have no idea how we pulled it. Off. And that episode, that one episode, it has so many plays at this point. And also, like, even like the YouTube version it’s got thousands and thousands of plays. And until today, it’s so one of the top tracks.

If people only knew.

Crystal

Right?

Mary

And then after that, we were like, oh, no, we have to up our game now. It was thrust upon us, if anything. You know, I kind of think that the best things really do kind of start on accident, you know?

Crystal

I love that. I was just going to say that, you know, we didn’t know what we didn’t know.

And sometimes when people don’t know what they don’t know, they just do it. You know, we just jumped in and we did it. And look at you now. You’re 100 episodes in that is like you should just sit back and applaud yourself for that. And all the people that finally said yes to, you know, to doing the Voices of CX, and you’ve through it change lives and leadership and I mean, wow, that’s a lot to be proud of, Mary.

Mary

It really is. And I do need to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for believing in this crazy idea and for doing this. And today I look at you. You’re a senior copywriter for Salesforce, which is one of the biggest companies in the world. And you’ve got this power to tell stories and such a great channel to do so now.

Let’s talk a little bit about that because you’re I mean, you know, the years have gone by and you’re still in B2B SaaS sales So, yes, when you are now looking from the outside at where this podcast is, what sort of value do you think this kind of podcast, not even particularly this podcast, but any podcast that has this mission, what do we bring to the market?

What sort of value do we add?

What value do branded podcasts bring to the market?

Crystal

Well, I mean, there’s value in education, right? There’s always value there. What I love about your podcast is that it enlightens. It brings experts to the table to answer questions. It’s ubiquitous. You know, podcasts are great in that way, right? You can listen to it anywhere. I think you said you had people in Cambodia listening to this podcast, which is unbelievable, you know, but look at what they’re getting.

Look at who they’re listening to. I mean, these are people that you probably could never access. If you try to get to them on social media, you likely would not because they have so many followers and so much influence. And here you are bringing them to the table saying what is your offering? You know, how can we learn from you?

How can we share our thoughts with one another? How can we disagree? You know, how can we agree to disagree? I mean, those things are very, very important. And that’s where I see the value. You know, when we talk about Worthix, just what you guys do alone is so special, like for people to know you exist. I mean, a podcast is like, why not?

Mary

Yeah. Yeah. In general, I think that people shy away lots of times from vendor-branded content. This is something that you and I were talking about in our pre-call back in the day when we started doing content marketing and inbound marketing. Nobody was doing it. It was still really new. But at this point, it became so popular so quickly that it flooded the market with vendor-branded content.

And sometimes what ends up happening is that when it’s not done right, when it’s done solely for the purpose of trying to capture leads and not truly what the driving force is supposed to be, which is to create that reference and that identification. Where it’s happening is that people get disappointed a couple of times and then they stop looking for information or they feel like vendor branded content is no longer valuable.

So, for you working in this space and knowing that this obstacle kind of exists, how do you overcome it? How do you work past that? How do you try to make it so that that value is always there?

Crystal

That’s a great question, and it’s a very difficult thing to do even as a storyteller. And I would imagine as a large company, especially the one I work for, it’s a challenge to be able to do that.

Right. But I think you can never go wrong if you’re authentic. I think you can’t go wrong if you’re empathetic. And I know those are like buzzwords, but we were talking about this stuff before it became like a buzzword, right? So this is true to who we are. You know, it’s important I think the most important thing is to listen.

Um, there’s a lot of opportunity there if you know your users and I didn’t say know your audience because people say that, but an audience member could just be sitting there and really not a part of what you’re doing. They’re not necessarily users. They could just be followers just because they saw something they liked one day and they click follow and they never see anything else.

But your users are your people. You know, that’s like your tribe. That’s your community. Those are the people you built relationships with. So I think if the focus is always on the customers, we used to say customer-centric? I think you can’t go wrong because you’re hopefully constantly listening to what their needs are, what their goals are, what their desires are.

And if you’re keeping that open feedback, like what surveys are purposed to do, then you should always be in tune with what it is, should always be relevant, you know, because you’re keeping up with them. You’re checking in as an outside-in approach to what your job is to do, right? It’s kind of like when you have that community, you can also co-create together.

So you’re always in step or in stride with what it is your customers desire of you. Does that make sense?

Mary

Yeah, but that’s exactly the message that we try to get out there.

Discovering what’s important to your most important customers

Mary

You know, I remember, you know, throwing it back once again when we were creating these initial concepts, and we thought that these concepts were so clear and that they were so obvious and you basically thought that every company in the world had those concepts as true.

And then you step out and you realize that it’s not the same. Right?

Crystal

It’s not. It’s not the same. In fact, when I first joined, not the design team, but it was a different team, I was surprised to hear that they were just starting, like how-to content, and that they needed to become more customer-centric.

But I think what happens is when you have such a huge reach, if you’re not tapping in, it’s easy to lose that connection. And not know how to navigate that. That’s why it’s so important to listen.

Mary

Yeah. You know, when we talk about content as a growth strategy, and not as just something that you’re doing, I think that’s when it becomes important to, as you say, find out what your users need.

So the people who are truly your customer, they do deserve a special kind of attention. Do you remember when we spoke to Peter.

Crystal

I know where you’re going! Yeah. Yes, I do not. Yes. Yes, I do not think every customer deserves the same amount of attention. Yes. And that’s very controversial. But I mean, you think about it, there’s a lot of truth there.

Mary

Yeah. So his concept was, if you’re a business, you have to not only know your customers, but you have to know who your customers are. And you need to know which ones deserve effort and investment. On your behalf. And this was essentially the guide to customer centricity that was published so many years ago with Pete Fader and until today, people still dispute and discuss this.

Oh, no. All customers deserve equal treatment. And while everyone deserves equal respect. But not all deserve the same treatment. And there are some companies that do this really well and I think that a company that does this really well, you know, our local homegrown Delta tends to do this really well. If you are a frequent flier they make you feel special.

They treat you really well. And yes, everybody receives respect. But Delta frequent fliers receive special treatment because they understand what you mean to the brand. Right.

Crystal

That’s right. That’s right.

Mary

Are there any other companies that come top of mind to you that kind of managed to do this really well?

Crystal

Oh, jeez.

Mary

I mean, we talk remember, we were always using like Nordstrom as a good example.

Crystal

Oh, yeah. You know, Nordstrom, Chick-Fil-A. Yes. I’m sorry. Yes, of course they do that. They do those things very well. It’s funny, because I’ve written a post and I use Nordstrom as a case study because it was the place they know their customers.

And you always know if you want to bring something back, you bring you back to Nordstrom because they want to do better. They want you to have the best of what they can offer. And so, yes, that that is a very good call back at Nordstrom and Chick-fil-a’s just like, the gold standard.

Mary

Yeah. And it’s interesting because if we dig a little bit deeper into back to Pete Fader’s message, and if you guys want to hear this episode, it’s all the way back in season one. I think it was episode five, if I’m not mistaken, in season one. And it’s a great episode, one of my all-time favorites.

And the one thing he talks about is using predictive analytics, using data, using research to understand who your customers are using CRM to track their purchases and understand what sort of share of wallet you have with each of those customers.

So you know how important they are to your business, and their opinion should carry more weight. So his example was, understand a customer who every single month without fail, walks into your store and buys a pack of socks versus a customer who once a year comes in and makes a passive purchase. It’s not the same frequency.

You may even consider that one customer is demonstrating more loyalty than the other, who, when it comes down to it, the customer that you need to be listening to and the customer that has a stronger impact on your business as a whole, needs to be identifiable and needs to be listened to. And it’s the same for producing content.

There are individuals in your reader base, in your listener base, if you’re a podcast that identifying them and using them as a sounding board for the direction of your content is so crucial, right?

Crystal

That’s right. That’s absolutely right. And that’s where storytelling has a great opportunity too because storytelling is like in the middle of when somebody gets that first stimulus, that somebody sees your product and they make a decision.

Now, storytelling is an opportunity to say Hey, I think you should buy because of this reason, you know, and the storytelling has to be your product is only as good as the storytelling gives it.

What I’m trying to say is when you tell your story for your brand, that is what people see. That is what people connect with. That is what people understand your brand to be or your product to be. And if you don’t do that well, if you don’t tell the story in a way that customers can comprehend it, or understand it, then you’ll lose out, you lose out on sales, you lose out.

Storytelling to connect and educate people

Mary

Yeah, I think that the storytelling is what creates the emotional connection.

Crystal

Absolutely.

Mary

And when you study social psychology, you understand that emotions are what forms our memories – we don’t remember every single circumstance and situation that happens in our day-to-day life. But we remember how we feel, and storytelling is what makes us create that emotional connection to the purchases that we make.

And it’s storytelling it’s such a beautiful thing. And what do you think about it as humans storytelling has always been important to humans. That was how we created civilization and society and all of these things to begin with. Is this the idea of storytelling is maybe what sets us apart because it allows us to transcend time with knowledge?

Crystal

That’s right.

Mary

Because we keep repeating these stories over and over again.

Crystal

That’s why people tune in to Netflix is, right? Over what, 200 something [million] subscribers, and Disney, because we want to hear a story. We want something to have us feel, that we can connect to. Absolutely. And I don’t mean that stuff. When you tell us, what are you going to say?

Mary

No, I was going to say something very much along those lines, which is, we crave that. We crave understanding because I think that that’s what it allows us to create empathy, as you said, it allows us to connect and it brings a human approach to everything that we do.

And when we’re talking about B2B, when we’re talking about B2B, where people are like, oh, it’s just businesses. You’re selling to a business. You have to have a different approach. It has to be more serious. It has to have a corporate voice. It has to have a corporate identity. You and I, we’ve for a long time shared this view that companies are just a construct.

They’re not like people. It’s people behind on one side, people on the other side. Human and story and so human, you know? So if you want to do authentic marketing, if you want to connect on a human level with people then storytelling should be the center of that.

Crystal

Absolutely. And it’s like, I mean, I sound like a broken record, but it’s there to educate.

It’s there to create that change, to shed light to it’s an opportunity for us, for our companies to show that they care because at the end of the day, if customers don’t feel like you care and that you’re self-serving, they really don’t want to have much to do with you, you know, or that you’re not listening, you know, that you’re not in tune with what it is they need or they want.

If you’re not responding, you can lose them.

Mary

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It really is so amazing creating that connection. So how do you do it? What is the process for you? When you sit down, you get ready to write and you’re, you know, flexing your creative muscles and you’re going to get started and you’ve got a message that’s on your content calendar.

What is your process to create that spark or what is your inspiration when you write?

Crystal

Well, first, you have to start with the purpose of it. Right? And I know at Salesforce, you know, our job is to educate and inspire. So the first thing is to know what it is we’re writing about.

You know, you have to know if it’s a particular event, if it’s a particular campaign, you have to know what it is, what’s the goal here? That’s the first thing. And then you kind of plot it out from there. You want to be sure that it’s relevant and that it’s, you know, well focused and offers a solution. That’s the goal.

Mary

Do you kind of work your way backwards where, you know, you start off with your objective, you define what you want the value to be and then you work your way back from there?

Crystal

Yes. That’s kind of how we work. So, you know, we have a few mindsets that we try to work from in every piece of content that we put out.

We’re very intentional about it. You know, you have reciprocity, you have compassion, you have empathy. I think the approach always has to start there.

Mary

When you’re writing, whether it’s a blog, whether it’s a resource, social media, do you always have a persona in mind when you start writing? The reason I’m asking this because I watched Ann Handley, who’s a really famous copywriter, speaking and a story that she shared, I believe I’ve shared the short story on the podcast before.

I’m going to say it anyway. She talked about Warren Buffett and she talk about Warren Buffett’s letters to shareholders, which is essentially a letter that Berkshire Hathaway puts out once a year to their shareholders. And it became bestsellers and there were like five volumes or even more of letters to the shareholder who reads that? Well, everyone does in fact.

And the reason that they do is because of the way that Buffett gets this message across. And one of the things that he talks about is how whenever he’s going to write that letter to shareholders, the person that he imagines, the persona that he imagines and who he writes that to is his sister and his sister is not in finances.

She’s not a big Wall Street buff, she’s I believe she’s a teacher. So she’s highly educated. She’s very intelligent. But she’s not involved in the day to day of the finance world. So when he shares his points of view, his analysis is he does it for her. And he figures that if he can get that across to somebody who isn’t in finance, then everyone will be able to get it.

And that’s for me, that was amazing. And that changed the way that I write copy it, change the way I write newsletters, I pick a persona and I write to them every time. Do you do that too? Is that something that you do sometimes?

Crystal

Not always. But what we do try to do is no jargon. Just talk to people like people talk, you know, not talking above them, not talking at them.

And the thought is always to help them do their job better, help make their day better. Fulfill a need or want, spark a conversation. How do we do that? We do it by being relatable, feeling accessible. At least that’s what we try to do at our brand. So no, we don’t. We don’t do it. We don’t think about a particular person.

I’m in social, we don’t think about a particular persona per se, but the approach is always the same.

Providing authenticity and real value for readers

Mary

So Crystal, when you’re working, how important is it for you to provide your readers with a sense of value as soon as they’re done with that piece? Because that’s one thing that happens a lot, and it’s what I talked about.

A lot of people got burned by reading vendor blog posts and believing that they were going to find something valuable, and at the end they just waste their time with empty copy. Is there an exercise that you do while you’re writing where you make sure that at the end there’s something valuable that’s being found across with that piece?

Crystal

I think what I aim to do at least is to look at the pain point first, examine what it is that’s missing, that’s needed, what answers that they’re searching for, and then from there, find the solution

Mary

Yeah. Now, is there something that’s true in any industry when it comes to writing copy, something that whether you’re working in health care or finances or retail, is there a concept that that will remain true across industries

Crystal

The main thing and I’ve said this already before it should be a good listener read the reviews, check in.

You know, I don’t imagine that you can pen great copy that’s helpful to people if you don’t know what it is they want to hear or what it is they need and respond. You know, when you get those reviews that may be negative or positive, I say respond because the companies that to me have my trust or built my trust are those who don’t mind responding to negative feedback.

You know, because other than that, it doesn’t feel like you care. It feels self-serving. So I guess I guess my thought would be my not so much a method, but more of a mindset you know, going into your copy that is always about the customer. At the end of the day, it’s what this gentleman I work with, his name’s Scott Larson says.

He says, B2P that is beyond B2C beyond B2B, its B2P, its business to people at the end of the day. And in your approach has to be with them in mind.

Mary

Yeah. Is it easy to create authentic copy what’s easier? Let me rephrase. What’s easier? Is it easier to create just jargony copy and is there actually is a challenge when it comes to being authentic?

Crystal

Well, I don’t think it should be a challenge to become authentic. I guess for some it is I think, you know, jargon to me is showing how intelligent you are and it sort of weeds people out in a way that should not be. Like Warren Buffett is speaking like he’s speaking to a sister who’s not a financier so that she can understand exactly what you want to write in a way that if someone picks it up, no matter what their background is, they understand what you’re saying.

And I think that is one of the keys of storytelling as well, being able to break those barriers down to where it can be digestible for everybody you know, that everybody can feel something and respond to it or want to be a part of it or want to know more about it. I think that’s one of the keys to great messaging and storytelling being relatable.

Mary

Yeah, I remember when we were first coming up with copy, we would write this whole big chapter, and then we’d go back and we’d make sure it was like a third-grade reading level, first-grade reading level, sentence, no longer than ten to 12 words and make sure it was quite simple and straightforward.

And the difference that it makes is truly, you know, I remember that our logic and rationale behind that is that hey, when someone is reading a blog for educational purposes, they’re most probably sitting at their desk with several tabs open learning, trying to learn to do something or to solve a pain that they have at them. Yes, they’re distracted.

You don’t have their full attention if they’re in their workplace, they’re busy, they’re skimming. So make sure it’s easy and simple and straightforward. And that and I remember how much we struggled and we still this do this today in my team, just a couple of weeks ago, we were we went through this exact exercise where we just slashed through paragraphs and just came up with the most straightforward and direct way to say something.

And it’s hard it is not easy. Saying it was hard is harder to say more.

Crystal

Absolutely. But people respond better to it. Because they can go straight to it. You know, when people are reading, like you said, they’re skimming we used to use bullet points, a lot of bullet points and, you know, different color headlines and that sort of thing so that their eyes would go to it quickly.

They can get what they need and move on. They’re busy people, they’re busy people.

Mary

Yeah. To know what your customer is looking for and what their pains are before you start writing for them, right?

Crystal

That’s right. That’s absolutely I think we had a conversation about that, too. When people are in that research phase, your messaging has to be on point.

It has to be it has to speak to them, you know, so they can get what they need and make a decision.

Mary

Yeah. And another thing that we apply a lot in, in our copywriting is we make sure to make it abundantly clear who we are speaking to. And that makes it very easy for the reader to determine whether or not they’re in the right place.

Crystal

That’s right.

Mary

So in the terms that you’re using, the way that you’re speaking, when we do account-based marketing and we’re targeting specific industries, we add specific industry terms very early on, even on headers, so that the glance of an eye, somebody knows if they reached the right page and whether they should keep scrolling or not. You know, all of these little details that it requires a lot of meditation and a lot of empathy to think it truly is an exercise in empathy because you have to sit there and say get into the mindset of that individual, think what they’re thinking, feel what they’re doing with their imagine the pains that they have.

And what are they what do they need to see in order to stop reading and how can you show for it?

Crystal

Exactly. Exactly. That’s exactly right.

Closing thoughts: “Be a really good listener” – Crystal Garrett

Mary

So Crystal, what are some words that you would leave our audience with before you go as to the importance of storytelling and producing content and customer-centricity?

Crystal

Actually, like I said, a broken record, be a really good listener, be authentic, be vulnerable, be people-focused, be relevant. Remember? So I’m on social media, of course, and social media is kind of like live theater you know, they know who you’re talking to and know your brand and respond in kind.

Mary

Yeah.

Crystal

Don’t be defensive, respond in kind, and respond, it’s important. People need to know that you care.

Mary

Yeah. Whether you’re on social or anywhere you are, doesn’t matter, right?

Crystal

Yeah, that’s right. Absolutely.

Mary

Well, I definitely had a great time remembering our origin story. Before we go, you know, for the 100th episode, I told the story of the trailer that we made where we had everybody come into the room and just say little lines and stuff like that. Yes. You know, you and me did.

I think. I think we did every it was crazy. It was crazy because I remember how we came up with the name for the podcast where we did that kind of brainstorm exercise.

Crystal

I remember the brainstorm. We were throwing things up on the whiteboard. Yeah. And yeah. What were you what were you thinking?

Mary

Well, I remember that you came up with the name.

Crystal

Yes, we threw a lot of stuff on the whiteboard, you know, because we didn’t know if we wanted to say cx because it can be missed, you know. Right. We limit our audience. Yeah. Yes. Exactly how it could go across. And if we’re going to say customer experience and then this was lovely and it stuck and it makes no sense what it is.

Mary

And all we did was to add an S at the end of Voice of Customer.

Crystal

Yeah.

Mary

And that was that. That changed it because the idea is that we would be a voice for CX practitioners and that was, that’s how we nailed it. And I think that that exercise in itself was very much an exercise in empathy and, and trying to connect and understand our listener base and our future audience that we didn’t have and find out what would be meaningful for them. So yes, we are doing this since 2017.

Crystal

It turned out to be extremely meaningful. And I’m very, very happy for you guys. Congratulations! And I’m glad I was a part of it.

Mary

Yeah. We’re lucky to have you. Well, thank you so much for joining us. Do you hang out a lot on social media?

Is there a place where people can connect with you? Are you on Twitter or are you on LinkedIn?

Crystal

I’m on both of those, but I use LinkedIn a little more because of the company I work for what I do, so I’m more on LinkedIn. You can find me there.

Mary

We will add Crystal’s social media handles to the bio, and to our listeners and to our viewers, thank you so much for joining us again for this episode. Thank you, Crystal. It was such a pleasure.

Crystal

It was great. Thank you so much.

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Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond

Mary Drumond is Chief Marketing Officer at Worthix, the world's first cognitive dialogue technology, and host of the Voices of Customer Experience Podcast. Originally a passion project, the podcast runs weekly and features some of the most influential CX thought-leaders, practitioners and academia on challenges, development and the evolution of CX.

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