Oral traditions and storytelling date back long before modern times. So long ago, in fact, that humans are physically hardwired to respond to them. We laugh at a friend’s weekend escapades and sigh in relief when the horror story wraps up, but stories affect our brains in much deeper ways too.
Studies have shown that a compelling tale makes its audience more open, trusting and empathetic by releasing the neurochemical oxytocin . In contrast, labelling a statement as “fact” makes us naturally question the statement more.
Stories also spread faster and farther than facts and statistics. Decades of social psychology research  has shown that people talk to form and strengthen social bonds. Stories support those conversations that allow us to connect much more than facts do. We share what we remember with others, and we simply remember stories more than facts.
In his underground marketing classic, “All Marketers Tell Stories,” author Seth Godin makes the case that it’s stories and not ideas, features or benefits of a particular product that spread from person to person. It’s how someone feels in a particular brand of car that compels their friend to shell out the cash for the same brand. Incidentally, studies show that people talk about approximately 10 brands a day, which means there is a lot of there is a lot of opportunities to be mentioned. But first, you need a great story.
Often we associate telling a story with a grand tale of heroic proportions but these aren’t exactly the tales we share with friends over dinner. It’s the short and sweet anecdotes that get repeated the most often.
Tap into this opportunity to be a part of the conversation and be memorable by looking at your customer reviews in a new light. Testimonials from verified clients are a gold mine for stories for a number of reasons. Generally, reviews are short and feature a before and after, which can offer the emotional hook needed to grab your audience’s attention.
Also, (since you’ve done your job) there is the happy ending to release all sorts of neurochemicals to help your audience feel more open and trusting. This explains in part why 88 percent  of people trust customer reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Even search engines recognize how powerful and relevant authentic reviews are when making a buying decision, which is why they account for as much as 10 percent  of how Google’s algorithm decides what to show and when.
Put a process in place and make a point to follow up with your customers to collect their reviews after the job has been done. Then, next time you’re looking to make the sale, try telling another customer’s short story instead of listing a few facts.