Prototyping Customer Experiences with Stories


Prototyping Customer Experiences with Stories – CX Quick Tips on CX Global Media TV with Mike Wittenstein

Customer Experience Strategy Updates as a LeaderPrototyping Customer Experiences with Stories in 10-minutes or less. Join Editor in Chief of CX Global Media Jim Rembach as he welcomes CX Expert Mike Wittenstein to the CX Quick Tips broadcast on CX Media TV.

The CX Quick Tips Show delivers quick tips and ideas in 10-minutes or less. It’s the fastest way to access the brightest CX minds in the world.

3 Things To Prototype Customer Experiences

There are three things that you can do when you prototype customer experiences with stories. When you share customer experiences, you might go through a journey mapping exercise and then turn the stories into sets of little storyboards, and then you can talk about them. It enables people to realize what your customer experience intentions are.

And it doesn’t cost much to work with paper and pencil and sketch artist. You have an idea, and you sketch it out, do your post-it notes, and then draw it into a storyboard.

Then you go from point to point to point, and you start talking about what happens to a customer as they go through that experience. You can also see what happens to the employee who’s serving that person during that experience.

Go step by step, and then you look at the other people’s reactions because you’re doing this as a performance. The audience is saying, well, I have a question about this. We could do that.

Then you iterate just like you’re doing software, but it happens in minutes and hours instead of weeks and months and quarters. You can create a version two of your experience super quickly.

Second, use a story to lead people to understand what’s in it for them. It will supply this magic elixir of what’s in it for me. How will it affect me, what’s my job going to be like, what’s the balance of power in my department going to be like.

As you’re telling stories, you’re able to fill in that narrative just like an author does, and don’t worry if you’re not an author. It comes very naturally as soon as you start talking about what’s on the screen. Those are really the key points to the whole thing.

An example to help put the theory element into reality. Let’s say you have an idea for on-screen help for your new Amazon Kindle. They’re coming out with a tablet. It’s a reader reading and shopping device and all that kind of neat gadgety stuff.

But you want to make it so much better that you can put a little help avatar that talks about the value of intelligent two-way communication in-home shopping on tablet computers. And you might have some graphs about the adoption of tablets. But that gets kind of boring, and then you talk about how you’re going to staff that position, and you go into all the details.

Or you could show them how it works with a real simulation, with Amy, the tech advisor. She can explain how you can get live support 24/7.

You can’t get the full experience across in a PowerPoint presentation. You can get the story across in a story.

Apple did this when they did the Gray Flannel Navigator, which was the precursor to the Newton and then the iPhone.

It talked about the backstory of the people, how they got to where they are, and what they’re going to do next.

Stories Are Better Than Charts, Graphs, Numbers, and Customer Journey Maps

Stories can share a lot of information that charts and graphs numbers and even customer journey maps can’t.

Somebody interacting with the customer may be able to take all that what we’re talking about here and find it very relatable within the interaction by us iterating what the very best story is and sharing it with them.

Then we can set them up for success and engage them by asking what about this resonates with you; where do you think it needs work?

So don’t worry about showing them a complete solution. Let your front line make the final adjustment so that they take ownership of it and they bring it to the customer.

It’s the same thing that you would do in theater. The director and the writers don’t tell you every little nuance; you have to figure some of that stuff out for yourself, and that’s what delights the audience.

Ways to make sure you avoid people stopping customer innovation

First, invite the right people and use a collaborative discussion. Use the Buberian Dialogue from Michael Lissack. The Buberian Dialogue is interesting because you put two people together talking about an idea; they each get to talk for a certain amount of time. They talk it out, and the audience who’s watching then shares what they find in common between the two ideas, and they use design thinking concepts to give everybody more of what they want.

It’s not a win-lose. It’s not like negotiations or poker or monopoly where one person wins and everyone else is devastated. Good customer experience is about customers, employees, shareholders, and the whole ecosystem rising.

Moving conversations to the middle and avoiding the negativity upfront is essential.


Every customer experience has a heart side. Stage the value creation for customers first and the value taking and the profit optimization second. That will always lead you closer and closer to what your customers want, and you’ll have a more valuable brand that people talk about for a long time.

It’s the birthplace of word of mouth.

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