Staying connected to our ‘why’ through storytelling
Growing up, I never really thought much about the equipment we cooked with at home . I thought using gas to cook was the norm as that was my reality, unless it was one of the weekends my mum decided to boil all her cereals on the jiko (kerosene cookstove) and prepare them for storage. These were dreadful days because my weekends would be spent boiling cereal and making sure they were not overcooked, with constant headaches and teary eyes (I know most can relate). I never got used to it.
Fast forward to April 1st 2020 when I joined PayGo Energy as their first ever communications hire. During my first weeks it was information overload as I immersed myself in all things clean cooking - a sector I had not previously worked in. Coming to learn that 2.6 billion people still rely on dirty fuels to cook took me by surprise. Yes, I was aware of people using kerosene and charcoal to cook but my uninformed self thought it was a choice and not the many factors that make it hard, if not impossible, for low-income households to afford cooking with clean energy.
I remember looking at the price comparisons of clean vs dirty cooking fuels, the health effects it has on the people that use them, and the solution that PayGo Energy is offering; and having that “aha!” moment, “I am really going to be working towards something that has an impact on people’s lives and livelihoods.”
Why storytelling matters
Working in communications doesn’t only mean reading and drafting reports, creating strategies and building processes; it also means authentic storytelling. Collecting real and unscripted stories from customers is a great marketing tool. It is always more powerful to hear customer’s sharing their own perspective on why your product or service is valuable. But that isn’t the only reason storytelling matters - it also serves as a reminder for the team of the broader purpose behind what we’re doing.
It’s very easy for teams that don’t work directly with the end customer to be out of touch with the impact their hard work is creating. Having that constant reminder of the why keeps us all motivated.
My first field visit to our customers’ homes in Mukuru Kwa Reuben is an experience I will not soon forget. Seeing the happy smiles on our customers’ faces was heartwarming. The relationship they have with our customer care team made me realise how personal our work is, and hearing their stories before and after they started cooking with PayGo Energy brought our product to life. To experience what I mean, click here to watch a short snippet of some of the customer testimonials I put together.
My journey at PayGo has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to share more stories with you - both from Kenya, and our new markets. From one storyteller to another, let’s remember the importance of sharing unscripted customer stories, not only as a marketing tool but as a motivational tool as well. Being constantly reminded of your why keeps the fire burning.
That’s all from me folks! Till next time :)