We all know that what other people say about you carries more credibility than what you say about yourself. Many businesses understand this, and display testimonials or customer quotes on their websites and other promotional documents. But, a testimonial only says so much. Yes, they contribute validity to your message, and are great to have, but consider taking the strategy of third-party commentary a step further.
A case study, also known as a success story, is a great way to show that people are saying nice things about you in a more concrete and relatable way. A case study tells the detailed story of one customer’s experience with your products or services. With a story format, readers become more invested and can imagine themselves in the place of your featured customer. In other words, they can begin to imagine doing business with you. Here are some tips for writing a case study of your own:
Present the Problem
Open your case study with an introduction to the customer: who they are, what they do, and why they needed your products or services. Remember, you are trying to create a picture that readers can make themselves a part of, so be specific in terms of industry, size, customers, and competition. Then, present the problem that they were trying to solve when they found you.
Outline the Choices
Chances are, when your case study customer was looking for your products or services, they found others who could provide them as well. Mention who those “others” were, what they had (and didn’t have) to offer and why your customer chose you.
Show the Solution
Describe how your products or services solved your customer’s problem. Here’s your chance to really show how you shine: mention product names, service packages, or special implementations. Spell out any special offers, or situations in which you went above and beyond, or helped the customer to select the right product or service for their needs.
Quote the Customer
A good case study will have plenty of direct quotes from the customer. How do you get these quotes? The best way is to conduct an interview. Let them tell the story of how you helped them in their own words, then use those words to help you relate that story to your prospects. (By the way, it’s always a good idea to let your customer review a case study before you publish it.)
Reveal the Results
Here’s a great place to use facts and figures to help you tell the story. Did your product help the customer increase profits by 50%? Mention it! Did your service allow the customer to generate 100 additional leads per month? State it! You might want to use charts or graphs here to illustrate your points.
Has your business benefited from a case study? Please share in the comments.
About the Author: Karen Marcus, M.A. is a Northern Colorado copywriter who has been helping clients in a wide range of industries to put their best word forward for 13 years.
Need assistance developing a case study? Karen can help! Click here for contact info.