Before I go see a movie, I make sure to read at least three reviews: one from a film critic and two from moviegoers who saw the film. I take a similar route when ordering online, particularly from Amazon or a clothing store like Forever 21. Based on these reviews, I decide whether or not I want to spend my money on some product I haven’t seen or tested in person. Online reviews are an excellent way to gauge the quality of a product, allowing potential customers to make the best decisions possible.
Case studies provide a similar function for B2B organizations looking to attract new business. There is no substitute for talking to your customers, gauging their level of satisfaction with your service or product, and using their trust in your organization to attract new prospects. Consumer trust is a valuable asset and can be used to prove how fantastic your organization is.
To generate a rock-solid case study, you first need to identify your happiest customers and get them to buy into the process. To do so, explain why creating a case study will be beneficial to both your company and your customer’s company. The three F’s come in handy during this process: fame, fabulous SEO, and fortune. For all three, try to focus on publications or websites that your user reads to ensure that they’re benefiting from the case study as much as your organization is.
To prevent future problems with the press, make sure you explain the case study process to your customer before it begins. It’s important to make sure that every aspect of the process is covered, including what information you will need to generate the case study, and the rights that third parties have to the information within the case study. Having the final agreement to the case study process in writing is a good best practice.
Once you have reached an agreement with your customer, there are strategic questions you can ask that will most effectively illustrate why your product or service was instrumental to your customer’s success. These questions should revolve around the following core topics:
The customer’s company;
Their strengths and weakness;
Their need for your product;
The pros and cons of their experience with your product; and
Their overall opinion of the product.
When you’re writing these case studies, make sure to focus less on plugging your product and more on the benefits it creates for your customer. You want the reader to understand how your product helped your customer succeed, not how you sold the product. Using the customer’s own words as much as possible will prevent your case studies from feeling overly self-promotional.
A great case study is built around strong customer relationships and exceptional end results. Remember this during the case study process, and your case studies will be stellar additions that encourage customer feedback, bring in new business and prove that your company cares about what matters the most: the happiness of its customers.
Have more questions about generating out-of-this-world case studies? Read our free e-book full of customer PR tips and tricks for rocking your next case study.
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