Episode 8 - Evan Huck - Using Customer Testimonials To Overcome Buyers' Objections

In this episode, we talk about building trust using evidence-based customer stories. We also talk about using customer marketing throughout your sales funnel, the right way to ask customers for feedback, and what you need to include in your customer stories to persuade buyers.

Full Transcription

[00:00:00] **Evan:**
Surveys can do a really good job of not just being one-to-one conversations, but canvassing and capturing feedback from a lot of people at once. Surveys are also a great way to figure out what to do next. If you find out through a survey that you have unhappy customers, pass them to the product management team so they can figure out how to make the product better.

If you find you have happy customers, great. Let’s follow up and try to turn those customers into videos.

[00:00:32] **Sam:**
Alright, folks. Welcome to another episode of the State of Customer Storytelling podcast. My guest today is Evan Huck. Evan is CEO and co-founder at UserEvidence. UserEvidence is a SaaS platform that enables you to capture and automatically publish verified proof points, ROI data, and customer success stories from your users.

Previously, he has been a sales leader and had a number of sales positions at TechValidate. When TechValidate was acquired by SurveyMonkey he served in the sales and sales leadership at SurveyMonkey. So, he’s got a lot of expertise in this space.

Evan, welcome to the show.

[00:01:18] **Evan:**
Thank you, Sam. I’m excited to be here. Appreciate you having me.

[00:01:21] **Sam:**
Absolutely. So just to start off, tell us a little bit more about UserEvidence. What is UserEvidence?

[00:01:28] **Evan:**
Yeah. So we’re a fairly early-stage startup, and we’re software built for B2B tech marketers. Specifically, for customer marketers to really create stories, success stories, and proof points from their customers at scale. A lot of our customers have a large customer base, and it’s hard to create case studies manually.

So, UserEvidence as a way to create libraries and arsenals of evidence, and proof points and data points, and testimonials and reviews from a diverse range of your customers really quickly.

[00:02:02] **Sam:**
What insight did you have that led you to start the company and pursue this particular kind of mission?

[00:02:11] **Evan:**
I approached this from the sales side. I was an enterprise sales rep. In deals, I would always get asked, “Who do you work with that looks like me, that we can speak to, or that we can see a case study from?” If I’m talking to a bank, I want to see another bank that has a similar use case, and I would always have gaps.

So, I would go to marketing to say, “Hey, can we get another case study in insurance or the retail industry?” and they’d be like, “No, we’re only doing four this year, and that’s not on the list,” or, “Yes, you can, but you need to go out to your customer and get approval to do that. So, I’d try that, and they would always say no.

All of that was just really painful as a salesperson, and I’d imagine also pretty painful for the marketer. We figured there must be a better way.

[00:02:56] **Sam:**
In terms of like the problem that UserEvidence solved, tell me more. How are you guys solving those problems?

[00:03:05] **Evan:**
It’s hard to find customers that are willing to go on the record and share their stories publicly. Particularly, if you’re selling a larger enterprises, trying to get a big bank or federal government to go do a case study is nearly impossible. Even when you do it’s a bit of a process to interview them, get legal and PR approval to use their stories publicly, have a designer take that interview, and then chunk it up into digestible forms of content that sales can use.

So, the end problem is really sales teams or marketing teams have a shortage of proof points or stories which might sound like we’re missing stories in certain industries we’re trying to sell to.

We need more quantitative evidence to back up claims around performance or ROI, and it’s hard to do that.

That that’s really the problem that we’re solving.

[00:03:57] **Sam:**
And, if we’re going to just, I think take it to the 10,000 foot level. Let’s talk a little bit about. The industry and why, you know, customer evidence is in, is more important than ever.

Right. And, yeah. Tell me a little bit about that. you know, for, especially for B2B companies, why do customer stories and customer evidence evidence-based marketing, you know, why, what does it all really matter?

And, you know, to.

[00:04:22] **Evan:**
Yeah, I think it’s increasingly important partially because of a generational shift and just how he buys stuff. It’s probably weird, but like, I’ll do 15, 20 minutes of research on like what’s the best to thrash. And like, I’ll go to sites, read top 10 toothbrushes. And when I go to Amazon to actually buy it, I want to make sure it’s got at least 400 reviews and at least like a 4.7 rating.

So I think the. Method of how we evaluate products to sell on our own personal life has now, as we kind of grow up and become decision-makers in our own companies has flowed over into how we evaluate B2B products. I think, you know, back in the day is probably sufficient to have a couple of good looking case studies in the video, and you see some brands that you recognize you’re like, cool.

But now you’re like, wait a second. Like, I need to be a little bit more scientific about this. Like how does this vendor have. Evidence about how they’ve worked with someone in my industry. That’s a similar size and in a similar use case and similar challenge. And I’m probably not going to feel comfortable unless there’s sufficient evidence to demonstrate.

They’ve worked with someone in my shoes now

[00:05:27] **Sam:**
A hundred percent and, I always say is it’s trust builds revenue, and like nothing happens before there’s trust. So, yeah, it’s really it’s. It is true. And one thing we were talking a little bit about, in the pre-show, the S setting a strategy. So like, if I’m a marketer who’s listening to this and I like what I’m hearing, you know, but I’d maybe feel like

I haven’t.

You know, I need to catch up or I’m a little like behind, you know, what tips or perspective would, would you share for someone who who’s just kind of wants to get started, you know, and actually figure out, you know, their strategy first and foremost. you know, as it pertains to, achieving all those things that you talked about, having more customer evidence, filling those gaps.

[00:06:11] **Evan:**
Yeah. I mean, first of all, you’re not alone. I mean, I think like today as a customer marketer or just a marketer in general, like there’s so many. Different types of evidence and customer success stories. Now to, to keep track of like you have big well-produced videos, you have kind of selfie software and low produced videos.

You have testimonials the emergence of review sites like G2 crowd and Gartner, peer insights and trust radius. And so you need to figure out like, how do I take a finite scarce, like resource, which is the customer base, which we need to protect. And. Serve them up in a way that, that we can reproduce these stories across all these different channels.

So where to start, you know, I think cover your main customers first. Like you do need your logos on your website. You do need a couple of good videos. Like you do need your major case studies, but then if you’re a small team that you have to start figuring out ways to scale. Kind of one too many approaches to collect evidence and feedback and stories at scale.

So that’s where things like surveys can do a really good job of, you know, not just being one-to-one conversations, but canvassing and capturing feedback from a lot of people at once. and then also the survey is a great way to figure out where, what to do next. So, you know, if you find out through this survey that you have unhappy customers.

Pass them to the product management teams so they can figure out how to make the product better. If you find you have happy customers do that, then great. Let’s, let’s follow up and try to turn those customers into videos. So I think getting a pulse with your customer base and understanding who’s happy and who’s not, and where they’re at in their customer journey before dictates them, you know, an intelligent set of next steps or actions or advocacy activities that follows from that.

[00:07:56] **Sam:**
And yeah, a hundred percent agree. And I love the point about, you know, you can get through the survey, you can kind of determine who those hand raisers are that are willing to do some of the more in-depth, advocacy activities. Like you mentioned, you know, video, et cetera. And, having that survey at scale, great way to identify them.

Now we’ve talked about surveys, obviously there’s a lot of, basic survey tools. However, I know UserEvidence, is very different and very unique and purpose belt for customer Evans. Just to give a little context for our listeners, can you tell me about that and like what’s different, you know, with UserEvidence, then like the, what most people think of as like a oh, like one of those survey tools.

[00:08:43] **Evan:**
Yeah. So, I mean, survey tools, like we use Google forms, we use SurveyMonkey for a variety of different things from doing market research, to even getting our own customer feedback, to planning events, to getting people’s t-shirts sizes that they’re incredibly useful for a number of different things. I think what we’ve done with UserEvidences is use a survey as part of our application, but then we’ve, purpose built a workflow and a set of features around taking survey feedback, particularly happy feedback from customers, but then actually turning it into finished elegant, branded marketing content and collateral. So the main difference is we just did a survey and got customer feedback. You know, you have an Excel spreadsheet.

Data. Right. But then that data needs to be cranked analyzed and pulled out and then turned into content assets. So we built a process to basically automate the creation of things like case studies, for instance, at the click of a button where traditionally that would take, you know, a person, many weeks to, to come up with a finalized case study.

[00:09:41] **Sam:**
So it sounds like, so if I’m, you know, using UserEvidence, I can sort of, I can send the survey,

I get all that great content. and then instead of trying to figure out, oh, I have to get this designed, you know, et cetera, et cetera. Kind of just automagically, design it, is that fair to say, I can sorta like click a button and it segments the best quotes.

It, designs it. And you know, I got my quote cards. I’ve got my slides. I have like a one pager. Is that basically fair to say?

[00:10:08] **Evan:**
Yeah, exactly. Right. So, you know, we’ll take the positive data. So that might be testimonials or case studies from individuals and transform it into templates, essentially, that look really good and have your brand, or it might be statistical evidence where they might quantify things like ROI and you might create a statement that said 80% of our customers saw ROI and four months or less.

So we’ve been really inspired this. Set of what I would call citizen design tools like Canva. And Infogram that do a really good job of taking a normal person like you or me and allowing them to create cool looking documents that are really well done. and so we’re trying to democratize that, that design ability for normal marketers that have no design background to still create really good finished content and collateral that fits beautifully into a website or a sales presentation.

[00:10:57] **Sam:**
Love it hugely valuable. And so if you’re currently just using surveys and you’re manually kind of handling that design, there you go, UserEvidence, that will solve a lot of your challenges. said he wants to talk about this kind of idiom of using the whole chicken as it pertains to, you know, customer advocacy and, in customer evidence.

Tell me more about that. What do you, what do you mean by, you know, using the whole chicken?

[00:11:25] **Evan:**
Yeah. my wife’s big into sustainability and like my sister is an organic farmer, so we’d talk a, lot about sustainability and food. And one part of that is reducing waste. And so

Using the whole chicken, means, you know, dumped, just chop off the wings and make wings and then throw the rest of the chicken the way, like there’s a lot of good stuff in that take the meat. And then after you’re done with the bones, making them to stock and all that. So not to beat the analogy to death, but that same. Problem presents itself with customer feedback. Specifically, if you look at an organization, there is a, a lot of different functions within an organization that wants customer feedback, which is again, a scarce resource and the customer base needs to be protected.

So you have customer support, pinging them about how they can make the support experience better. Product management and UX and UI design PNM to figure out how to make the product experience better. There are people are paying G2 and Gardner to send emails, to get reviews. they’re asking them to do videos to do case studies.

So you have all these people asking customers, Hey, can we get your time for some sort of feedback? but it’s very, right now, it’s very single purpose. And the way we do that, like will GT is a good example where we’ll go out and say, Hey, do you mind leaving a review? And we’ll ask that to everybody, even unhappy customers.

And we’ll just say, okay, if you’re not happy, we don’t want that. Then we’ll throw it away. Same thing with product feedback, we’ll say, Hey, is there anything we can prove? Someone says, no, I love it. Great. We’re done with that person. And there’s an opportunity to be more intelligent about, what kind of feedback we’re asking depending on where that person is in the customer journey and how happy they are.

So for instance, if they are happy, Maybe a good opportunity to product feedback, but maybe a better opportunity to get a video or a case study versus someone that’s unhappy, not a good time to ask for a review if you just crashed their servers and whatever. but a great time to get product feedback.

So I think we can be more intelligent about the feedback asks we put in front of customers. If we can somehow just get some insight beforehand on how happy they are and where they are on their customer journey.

[00:13:33] **Sam:**
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense and, completely agree. And that’s, that’s a great analogy. In terms of, I love the idea of reducing waste to right. as marketers, that is what we need to do, right. Where everything needs to go a little bit further. And you know, the, the sort of impetus is, do more with what you have.

Right. and extensibility, micro content, all of these things.

If we’re going to talk, I guess, about reducing waste, I’m curious like specifically for like the customer advocacy side or customer evidence side where do you see, I’m curious, is there a place where you see like a lot of waste, you know, happening, you know, right now, like current.

[00:14:15] **Evan:**
Yeah. the micro content is a great example of a solution to a waste problem, right? Like we put a ton of effort into getting a marquee customer to do a video, for instance. and we put a ton of production money into that, there’s a long tail of content snippets, snackable digestible.

Potential cool content you can create from that, that doesn’t happen. So I think the whole concept of taking longer format content and chunking it up into different formats, but also the concept of creating variance or kind of different templates or themes or skins around content that are appropriate for different channels, is really interesting as well. you know, even when the video just creating different. Kind of preview screens for LinkedIn and social versus what you would show in a longer white paper downloads. So I think there’s the method. There is kind of varying the attention span or length of the office. For the appropriate channel and chances are like, there’s already a lot of good potential content that you put a lot of work into.

There’s probably a way to kind of chunk it up into different formats, to get a lot more life out of that content like this podcast, for instance, we will take pieces of this and we will use it for a long time. So things like that can be very useful.

[00:15:32] **Sam:**
A hundred percent. Yeah. And that’s, that’s a great example. Right. you know, we’re gonna, we’re going to chop this up. We’re gonna, distributed on social and, and really yeah. Turn it into that, that micro content and, and customer, customer content should be no different. Uh it’s it’s so true.

And, in terms of another thing that you mentioned that when we were, you know, in the pre show is like you guys are passionate. And care about telling the story of, the little guy or the little gal, right? I think you mean in terms of helping marketing teams have not just focused solely on those marquee names and also, building, you know, your customer stories for, those more. Normal or standard size, logos, right. That are marquee names. But tell me, tell, tell us more about that. You know, what do you mean by that and why, why does it matter?

[00:16:18] **Evan:**
Yeah, I think, part of the reason that’s a problem, Customer advocacy, customer marketing, I think kind of stemmed originally from kind of corporate marketing, which has more of a kind of brand and communications forward focus and, and so naturally, and this is a good thing, like naturally, like they, their first step, when they think of customer marketing is to think about how can we get.

Ferrari onstage talking about how they’re using IBM databases to make cars faster, whatever, like cool stories, big brands that everyone knows lots of high production value, and that’s kind of the gold standard. And if you ask him mark, you’re like, yeah, we need to get more far as an NFL is and Goldman Sachs on the record and stuff, but then you’ll talk to a salesperson.

This is actually a great, great conversation to have one of our customers last week. well known brand that everyone. and they have plenty of great customer stories, but their problem was they had a bunch of reps in APAC, you know, in Japan that were pretty new regional office. And all they would have is Ferrari and NFL and Goldman Sachs.

And that they’re trying to sell to Japanese companies And they don’t have any stories that are regionally appropriate for Japanese companies. And that, that see, you see that same thing with small companies as well. Yeah, I know how, yeah. The NFL uses Salesforce to, to do this, this and this, but that doesn’t necessarily help me figure out me as a startup uses Salesforce.

Right? so there is a relevancy issue. If we focus only on top customers, we’re not appropriately representing, the diversity of our customer base and Demonstrating that we’ve worked for someone that, that looks like that particular prospect. so that’s what I meant by like representing the little guys is be kind of be more representative of your entire customer base and more accurate with how you’ve worked.

Certain segments. I worked with certain segments, I think is one thing that can help build trust and just reduce uncertainty for a buyer.

[00:18:12] **Sam:**
So true. And, and, another thing that, I know you’re passionate about and problem that you guys are tackling is, Breen the data and the statistical proof to. customer average, C to. customer storytelling. Can you tell me a little bit about that? You know, where do you, what do you see changing in, in what’s your core belief there as it, as it really, you know, as it pertains to, you know,

[00:18:36] **Evan:**
Yeah, that’s a great question. first, both are important. different types of people make decisions in different ways. I think this is why you see a politician like a presidential candidate, every part of their speech. They’re going to say, you know, I’ve talked to. David, who’s a mechanic in Kansas and Marty.

Who’s a nurse in Vermont and they’re having this, this and this, versus, you know, Al gore style, get up there and talk about data and classes and stuff like that. Is it sometimes a different way of communicating? both, both are important, I think on the data side. it’s important for those people that are more analytically minded.

Like me when I buy stuff. To present that more evidence based, argument or story, about how your product’s going to deliver return on investment or increase pipeline generation or whatever the metric is that they’re trying to measure. I’m a good example. I’m evaluating right now. Data providers.

We’re looking at ZoomInfo, which is obviously the most well known in the category and costs a lot of money. And then we’re working with another, or we’re looking at another vendor, less well-known less money, but claims that they have 40% better mobile number data than X-date. Awesome. Like, if that was true, like, that’d be sweet, but we would buy them.

But I have no way to verify that that’s the, that’s just their claim. And I’m probably going to go with the safer option just because I know the Memphis name, even though this other vendor might be better, but if they had a way to actually back up those claims with some, some numbers and some evidence, and some examples from actual customers beyond just one or two case studies on their website.

I would give them a chance. So I think, yeah, particularly emerging vendors, miss out a lot. If you’re not presenting, you know, statistical evidence to an antiquated locally minded buyer.

[00:20:25] **Sam:**
Yeah, such a good point. you know, it’s definitely not, either or it’s got to gotta be both. You know, so I think for you coming from like a sales background is that’s pretty unique. I think in, in you have a great perspective. And actually, I, my, I have a sales background as well, but like, you know, you have a great perspective on, what sales wants out of kind of the customer advocacy function, and you know, customer evidence.

And, you know, maybe you can speak to that a little bit. and feel free to, I don’t know if you have any interesting stories to, share from your time in the trenches, bout that. Yeah.

[00:21:03] **Evan:**
That’s why I’m laughing. I think oftentimes it’s, it’s what sales wants in terms of content and collateral and stories is very different than what marketing wants and certainly different than, than what we actually have. yeah, I think for sale. A great example is like one of my previous companies, like we got this beautiful slide deck that they spent way too much money on.

But it looked awesome. Had a couple awesome stories, but then as a sales person, I’d be like, all right, well, I’m talking to someone in different industry, different uses. I’m just going to cut this up and make it a little bit different. and so marketing would always just gasp at like how sales has carved up there once beautiful deck into this much more ugly, but tactically useful document that’s appropriate for their prospect.

Yeah. I think sales, like if you ask them, we want more variety and coverage across different types of customers. Like, most of the time we’re not trying to sell to Ferrari in the NFL, like if we are great, but like a lot of times it’s just, there’s a poor mid-market AAE that has some, you know, territory and there’s probably not good representation and customer stories from that industry or that segment.

So I think variety is what we want. we want good coverage across different industries. Use cases, personas, regions, like we mentioned, I think we also want just short, like our attention spans. Aren’t very high as salespeople. Certainly our prospects, when they’re looking at, you know, 900 emails a day, the attention span is really, really low So, you know, the five page long glossy case study log in like that we need that we need it later in the sales cycle when we’ve earned that attention span When. Just headlines, snippets, little attention, grabber stuff that we can put an email we can put on social. that’s just super low attention span, but, but hard hitting. those, those are finger to just tactical differences and let sales once. And usually what marketing provides.

[00:22:53] **Sam:**
Yeah, that’s a great point. And you hit on, You know, the, the buyer journey in different stages in the buyer journey, which I think is a really interesting and, nuanced topic that is very important. So I’m curious, like, how do you think about. customer evidence throughout the buyer journey. Cause I feel like it’s only in the past couple of years where like we’ve been thinking about, you know, I think customer evidence, throughout the whole entire buyer journey.

Cause it used to be much more of like a checkpoint, you know, they’re, they’re almost there hit them with the case study, kick them over the line type of thing. Right? Like maybe that was what the default five years ago. And now, you know, thankfully. customer content is really just like any form of marketing content and a lot of ways, but I’d love to hear.

And of course it has to be through the buyer journey with that in mind. But yeah, I’d love to hear, your thoughts on that. within sales process as well. because the sales process is just one part of the buyer journey, but there’s very different stages in the sales processes.

[00:23:55] **Evan:**
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think the nature of the topic that you’re talking about at different stages in the sales funnel is very different. Like, you know, early in the sales funnel, when they’re barely aware of the problem that they have. And they’re just kind of considering even entering into looking at something at this space and that awareness funnel that’s where like market research does really well.

I mean, Marco. Is a form of customer research. Not all of the data might come from customers. Some of them might come from prospects, but showing people, Hey, look, your peers are struggling with the same challenges that you are. They’re thinking about evolving to this next stage in their maturity and getting a little bit towards that kind of pure.

Almost fear, right. Where it’s like, ah, people are thinking about this. Like I should be thinking about it, is really interesting. And then of course, when you get later in the funnel and you’ve again, earned attention span, then you can say, okay, here’s why we’re better than this particular competitor for people in this industry. And here’s how we’ve delivered ROI for someone that has a very similar use case to you. So that’s another interesting use cases for surveys. Is, you can cover a lot of different topics. And I think that when you, when you think of a case study, you know, and review and stuff like that, you kind of think about that end state, right?

Like, oh, we use the product, we loved it. And we got a bunch of results in ROI and stuff, but potentially equally as interesting is getting feedback and showing data from people earlier in that awareness consideration stage, like w what challenges were you solving? Where are you thinking about where the industry is going.

Yeah, I think I’ve seen more and more, which is great. of those kind of 2000 22 state of ax industry reports. and I think those are performing really well because people are interested in what their peers are doing and they want to stay on top of their job function. They want to stay on top of their industry.

So that’s sort of market research data and thought leadership and industry trends. Data can be really interesting, particularly early in the sales funnel. And that might not necessarily be thought of traditionally. customer advocacy, but it can be customer data.

[00:25:59] **Sam:**
Yeah. And so it sounds like, you know, in the, in the very beginning, like top of the funnel, Like customer content is still valuable, but it’s, it can’t be like the traditional like case study content because, they’re not solution aware or like in the consideration stage, they first, it’s almost like they just need to admit they have the problem or like, realize like that it is a problem. So, so maybe it sounds like the customer content would be more like. Religious eliciting that, that pain, or like, talking about the category is, is that, is that kind of correct?

[00:26:35] **Evan:**
Yeah, I think, I think that’s right. and I think, yeah, here’s an example to add something specific to, let’s say Salesforce published a report, a survey of 279 sales leaders from companies in zero to 10 million ARR that are SAS companies and talked about. The report was, you know, 2020 twos. How remote working as changed outbound prospecting.

And we asked 272 Salesforce. I would download the report. That’s that’s incredibly interesting. Right? It’s it’s timely, it’s relevant. It speaks to a huge problem that we have. I don’t need to know what Salesforce does it all yet. I don’t care, but it’s Salesforce customers and I want to read it. And then when I get further, yeah, I can then read case studies and stuff like that.

But dream forward, substantive, timely data and research about your customers or the market. that’s going to get eyeballs, right. Just cause again, it’s, so important for people to stay on top of that stuff.

[00:27:32] **Sam:**
Absolutely. And, I think we’ve, we’ve sorta hit on it a little bit and various, you know, shapes and forms, but, you know, I’m curious, how do you think about the different, mediums. of customer evidence, you know, the, maybe the big big three being, you know, written case studies, third-party reviews and then customer videos.

How do you sort of just kind of compare, contrast, those different formats and obviously, yeah, it’s not a not an either or thing.

[00:28:02] **Evan:**
Yeah. Yeah. I think really awesome examples of this I’ve seen yet integrate them really well. yeah. I think if you look at consumer companies, Snapchat and Instagram and stuff like that. Like when you’re scrolling through your feed. Yeah. Picture, video, little highlighted, quote, whatever, like it all just, it feels natural and it flows from one to the other.

And I think, I think that’s going to be a great experience, in a B2B context as well. So I liked the idea of, regardless of where it’s sourced from, it could be sourced from user Everence, testimonial, video, G2, whatever, like starting to integrate all these assets into. Contextual personalized micro-sites or micro experiences for prospects that blends a lot of these formats or mediums. but then also allow engagement and progression within that medium. So for instance, like you might start with a microsite with some of the market research stuff, and then as someone clicks through and gets more interested, maybe a dynamically then morphs into case studies that are relevant for that type of prospect in their industry. So I think. Yeah, the technology is there. You look at, Showpad, look, book, or whatever it’s called now, path factory, and some of these technologies to dynamically present content. I think customer sourced content is an evidence is, it’s a vastly more important ingredient today. and I think there’s a tool set that enables marketers to get really creative with how they present it. So I think it’ll be exciting. To see what I think is a much needed shift in, in getting towards a more kind of digitally native, immersive, engaging experience and presentation of customer evidence.

[00:29:41] **Sam:**
Such a good point for the future trends, you know? So what, maybe we can say one future trend is more immersive, interactive. You know, ways of kind of consuming that, customer content, you know, at the L the leisure of the buyer, what other kind of, trends do you see, you know, from your vantage point as a as a CEO, as a founder in this industry, anything else that you are very bullish on that, that you see, like, this is, you know, this is the future and we hit on micro concept, but yeah.

Any, any other key.

[00:30:13] **Evan:**
Yeah, I think. the emergence of peer based research, I think is going to be increasingly important. I mean, I think, you know, 10 years ago, for most enterprise purchases, people place a ton of weight on Gardner and Forrester and analyst firms. And I would wager there’s some chunk of the audience today that probably has never heard those names.

And who cares? Like we don’t like, why am I going to need to go look at some stuff? Person talking about some new technology that I know my friends know better than they do. Right. So I think it’s really interesting, like what G2 and TrustRadius and those folks are doing. on the other hand, like, that’s getting kind of noisy too, and there’s, there’s definitely some manipulation of those review sites as well. so I think it’s going to be because it’s so noisy, like trust is becoming So much more important than I think it’s going to be very interesting. To see who becomes trusted sources. one idea that I have that I think is really interesting. and like I got this from just like joining cool slack communities around product led growth and customer marketing is like references and case studies from people that are, I know, are experts in the community.

Waits as experts are vastly more important to me than somebody random saying, I love this stuff. So I think we’ll see. Kind of like micro influencers in a way, but kind of micro analysts or micro experts pop up as experts in their particular domain that have an outsized influence on how people make decisions.

So again, I think it becomes more, it’s a cool shift. It’s what I would call a democratization of, of influence to people that are probably like practitioners and people that actually have hands-on experience. That are probably better suited to comments on the strength of someone’s technology or product.

[00:31:59] **Sam:**
It’s such a good point in terms of. I also think, you know, in terms of like the trust factor and how, how it’s going to change and like, even in our space at Testimonial Hero, there’s, deep fakes right. Or in video are incoming already, you know, being used for like fake consumer reviews.

Or logistical. You know, some stuff with like an actor who it’s like, Tom cruise endorses the commercial. But because he films it as a deep fake, he doesn’t need to show up on set and it’s done, you know? So like, augmented media as a whole interesting thing, but, but yeah, to your point, it’s like the, the credibility of the individual and the fact that you know them and, you know, it only becomes more important because.

You know, if you’re connected with them on LinkedIn, you can literally go and ask them, say, Hey, I saw you were in that video testimonial for, you know, you know, company X, anything like you want, you’d add to that. Like do you really love the product? And then, you know, you can sort of there’s like that.

That manual verification if you know them or if you follow them, you know, and I think that is, thankfully what we can do in B to B that we can’t really do on the consumer scale.

[00:33:15] **Evan:**
Yeah.

Yeah. Link. Thank You LinkedIn, for forgiving a Symbility to verify for the most part. yeah. I, I, it really interesting like, that he brought that up and that’s another feature ideas. Like you know, customer stories right now are often are almost always static. Right? And they’re one way, it’s a story that’s going out.

It’s not a conversation at all. I think people start to bring in an element of conversation where, like you said, You can actually ask and you might even get paired with someone dynamically that’s in your industry and in a similar type of use case and say, Hey, look, here’s a reference. That’s no good for you.

And it’s not the old school format of like, let’s set up a reference call, which sounds scary and terrible. Like it’s a more fluid, you know, socially native dynamic conversation, I think is a really interesting concept to us.

[00:34:04] **Sam:**
A hundred percent.

Evan, this has been great. For folks listening, how can they get in touch and learn more about you and connect with you, and also learn more about a UserEvidence?

[00:34:16] **Evan:**
Yeah, just ping me directly. I’m evan@userevidence.com. I’m also on LinkedIn, Evan Huck. So, I would love to talk. This is obviously a fun topic for us, and something that we think a lot about. So, I’m eager to hear feedback.

[00:34:33] **Sam:**
Wonderful. Thanks so much, Evan. We’ll have to have you on for a round two.

[00:34:38] **Evan:**
Yeah, indeed. Looking forward to it.

[00:34:40] **Sam:**
Alrighty folks. That was a great episode with Evan Huck, of UserEvidence.com. Some really good stuff that we hit on around reducing waste in customer feedback. I think that’s just such a powerful, powerful image, and powerful metaphor to think about. That’s something we should all be asking ourselves. Where’s the waste in our process right now? and how can we be more sustainable with our customer marketing, with our customer evidence, and in our customer feedback?

We talked a lot about micro content and the power of “snackable” content in today’s day and age, especially for distributing that content over social media. It needs to be snackable.

We talked a ton about the power of evidence, and data and statistical proof. I definitely recommend checking out UserEvidence.com. That’s one of the key things they focus on is getting those data insights.

This has been the State of Customer Storytelling podcast. I’m Sam Shepler with Testimonial Hero. If you have any other folks that you’d love to hear us chat with, shoot me an email. My email is sam@testimonialhero.com. We’re always looking for new guests for the show.

Until then, we look forward to seeing you in the next episode.

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