Mike Wittenstein, Understanding Your Customers’ Experience with Active Storytelling – InnovaBuzz 532

Mike Wittenstein - InnovaBuzz 532

Mike Wittenstein, Storyminers

Our guest in this episode is Mike Wittenstein, the founder and managing partner at Storyminers. Mike shepherds mid-market companies to higher operating results and profitable exits using Storyminers’ unique combination of Story, Strategy, Experience Design, and Technology. His robust story-driven process helps bring clarity to their stories, strategic plans, brands, reorganizations, customer experiences, and game plans.

In our conversation Mike talked to me about

  • Telling engaging stories in a way that places the customer at the centre
  • Conscious capitalism, adaptive enterprise, regenerative agriculture and making decisions to benefit all
  • Customer experience journey mapping with sketches

Jess Dewell in episode 511 introduced us to Mike.

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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The best stories are about other people, not about you. The best stories come from listening before you talk.  @mikewittenstein on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Mike Wittenstein, Storyminers

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • We can win together by pioneering together.
  • Active storytelling is about listening.
  • The quietest people (introverts) are often the most amazing.
  • Normalize your language by letting someone else shape parts of your story.
  • Storytelling is not just painting a better picture, it’s about creating a better opportunity. 
  • The best stories are about other people, not about you. The best stories come from listening before you talk. 
  • The best stories are experiential, that get people to make discoveries.
  • Good stories create solutions that work for everyone.
  • The best way to improve your customers’ experience is to really understand each customer journey. That can be done by shopping your own business – experience that journey yourself. 
  • Stories bring empathy and understanding your customers’ journeys requires empathy.
  • Customer service is everyone’s responsibility, not just the customer service department’s.
  • The purpose of your business is to create value for your customers – in fact increase that value for your customers and for other constituencies.
  • Great experiences are the birthplace of word of mouth. Those experiences become stories.
  • A good designer is always designing for customers’ unmet needs.
  • Grow vicariously through sincere curiosity about other people. Ask questions of others, learn how they framed things. How did they make decisions? How did they get ahead? What did they do when things were difficult? How do they get along with other people? How do they make the big decision about which way to go?
Storytelling is not just painting a better picture, it’s about creating a better opportunity. Good stories create solutions that work for everyone. @mikewittenstein on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round 

Here are Mike’s answers to the questions of our innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Listen and observe before you start brainstorming. Look for different patterns. Quieten your mind to listen without judgment.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Find younger people to work with. The older you get, the younger you go, the better the ideas. Foster a learning environment.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation –  Sketching out stories and craft stories from visualizing the experience. “Paper prototyping” or “customer experience story mapping”.
  4. Keep project/client on track – Keep the reason for being front of mind; also, get a project manager.
  5. Differentiate – Being different is overrated! Know yourself, be yourself and embrace that. Be sincerely curious about other people.

Action

Shop your own business and have others do it with you. Go through all the steps in your business and try the mountain, poke and prod and test and ask questions and see what it’s like. It gives you such a fresh perspective. It’s so easy to anticipate what customers’ needs are when you do that. Your chances of guessing wrong are way, way reduced and your empathy can’t help, but go up.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Mike through the Storyminers website and ask him a question via the link below.

Suggested Guest

Mike suggested we have a conversation with author of Deep Tech and the Amplified Organisation, Customer Experiences with Soul and Holonomics: Business Where People and Planet Matter. Simon Robinson on a future InnovaBuzz Podcast episode.

Links

Cool Things About Mike

  • Mike was formerly eVisionary and Executive Consultant at IBM
  • Mike started one of the world’s first digital agencies (GALILEO)
  • Mike speaks 4 languages – English, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian
The best way to improve your customers’ experience is to really understand each customer journey. That can be done by shopping your own business – experience that journey yourself. @mikewittenstein on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

If you’d like a peek behind the curtain, into how we put together this show, go to innovabiz.co/flywheel where you can access a free gift my team and I made for you – a short audio program that walks you through the entire InnovaBuzz Flywheel. We want to give you everything you need to transform YOUR marketing and podcast into a human-centred, relationship focused growth engine.

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to build visibility, professional credibility and a deep connection with your ideal, dream clients, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. Jürgen's mantra is Let's Make Marketing Human again. He believes that marketing is the art and science of creating and sustaining exceptional, remarkable customer experiences and relationships. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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