What a Campfire and a Quarter-inch Hole Taught us about Being Customer-centric
By: Stef Caldwell
A person walks into a hardware store and asks where they can find a quarter-inch drill bit. What do they really need?
A quarter-inch hole.
So goes an old adage for product managers that’s growing increasingly relevant for me these days. My husband and I have been renovating our home for the last four years. We spend a lot of time at a particular home improvement retailer searching for the right tools and supplies for our projects. One thing I’ve realized about the staff is that any time you go into a store asking for a product, their first response is always:
What are you trying to accomplish?
I lead the Narrative Science Customer Advocacy Committee. Right now, myself—along with my teammates RJ and Shawn—are leading a cross-functional meetup with folks from every department across the company. These meetups are where we share stories like the one I just told about my experiences at a retailer during this renovation/DIY phase of my life.
We’re calling this initiative “Campfire” because we sit around in a circle and tell stories to one another. These stories are about why we came to Narrative Science, why we stay at Narrative Science, and what we want the impact of our work at Narrative Science to be on the world.
As we share stories about the impact we want to have on the world, we naturally find ourselves sharing stories about how we are trying to solve problems for our customers. This leads to sharing experiences we’ve had as customers of other companies. Often times, it causes us to hold a mirror up to ourselves, critiquing our own ability to deliver great customer experiences against those of our peer companies whom we so admire. You may have seen my blog post about our Drift buying experience, for example. We think about how we buy and take action to emulate the things that work.
What does it mean to be customer-centric?
It means empathy.
It means putting yourself in the shoes of the other person and showing up one step (or more) ahead of their needs. Just as the employees at my favorite home improvement chain know that you come to their store because you have a DIY project you are working on, at Narrative Science, we know that you came to our website because you believe our products can help you accomplish something. You want to speak with a trusted advisor who can guide you to the right product to meet your needs.
Unlike a retailer, we don’t have a physical store where you can walk in and meet our employees. We cannot strategically place staff in the departments where they are most knowledgeable. So how could we introduce you to them? How could you get to know them and see how much they care about you and what you are trying to accomplish?
Just as I alluded to in other blogs, I’m starting to believe that the “digital retail store” for our B2B products is actually a quite perfect comparison for facilitating the same types of interactions you get to have at your favorite consumer outlets. Wherever, whenever, and however you choose to engage with Narrative Science, we’re here.
So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to some of our best and brightest. They can’t wait to meet you and they can’t wait to help you accomplish your goals on any channel you choose. Check out these videos where I sit down to chat with all of them.
Meet Paul, aka “The [kinda] New Guy”
Meet Shawn, aka “The Dad who Drinks Beer in Interviews”
Meet Celeste, aka “She Just Really Likes the People”
Meet Nick, aka “The Lexio Sales Guy”
Meet Gabby, aka “The Staffing Chick”
Meet Peter, aka “Mr. Robo Advice”
Meet RJ, aka “The People are Cool Too”
Our team came to Narrative Science to help you solve your problem. We can’t wait to have you come to our store so we can help you find the right product for your data storytelling project.
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