There’s always one more thing, isn’t it? When you’re a small business owner, it seems like your to do list is never ending … there’s always so much going on that things like producing a customer case study get pushed to the back burner. But having one or preferably several customer case studies can be an incredibly powerful tool for your sales.
Why bother to create a case study when you’re already got loads to do?
OK, so creating a case study might not seem as urgent as your other — but it can really differentiate you from the competition. Including a case study in a proposal, your email correspondence, or a sales pitch can showcase your abilities, customer service, and the quality of your product or service at a much deeper level than your website, brochure, or , as powerful as those can be.
So how can you create a customer case study that’s actually worth your time? Use this process!
Start by choosing a customer who’s really delighted with you. Always ask them before you start — it’s just polite, and you going to need their buy in throughout the process.
Consider whether you want the case study to be named or anonymous. This depends on how you’re going to use the case study, the information you’re sharing in it, and whether or not your customer feels comfortable being named.
There’s no one way to format a case study, but you can try this for a general structure:
— Start out by establishing the challenges the customer was experiencing before working with you. (This establishes the need for your services.)
— Next, detail the solutions that you offered. How did they meet those specific challenges? What would have happened had you not come on the scene?
— Then discuss the outcomes. Start out with the initial impact of your solutions, and then follow up with longer term effects. If you can demonstrate the sustained impact of your product or service, that’s much more convincing than a few quick wins. And remember to look at the impact that your work has broadly. You can of course include things like hard data, but you can also include changes in behaviour, culture, atmosphere, etc. If you can, include specific quotes from the people affected — the human touch combined with hard data is incredibly powerful.
— Finish up with some summary comments. You might want to revisit the highlights of the case study, and you can also use this space to tie in the past customer’s results to the results you could expect to create for the potential customer now reading the case study.
One case study is good, but more case studies are better. If you can get at least a few solid case studies that highlight the benefits of working with you, you’ll have that much more credibility, as well as the flexibility to choose which case study to share with which potential customer.
And of course, keep your case studies up to date for maximum credibility. You may not be creating new ones all the time, but you can easily check in with older customers to keep their case studies up to date — not to mention see the long term impact of your products and services!
Until next time,