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Case studies: Telling the customer success story right

17 November 2015, mantran

Case studies: Telling the customer success story right

No matter how much you write and talk about your services and how good they are, nothing can be as convincing as the validation of a happy customer, a need successfully fulfilled, and a problem skillfully solved. Very often, well-presented customer success stories assure and encourage your potential buyers. It serves to win over a potential customers through the story of your happy customers.

As a marketer you want to showcase your product or service through a real world example to your target audience in the best light. While narrating the story or case, it should be remembered that it could work as an effective B2B sales tool that accelerates the buying process. Our blog is about how to create a success story or case study that will compel your audience to go with you.

Key points to creating great customer success stories:

  • How did your company solve the problem?
  • What were the results achieved?
  • What are your skills and capabilities?
  • How did your people rise to the challenge?
  • What differentiates your service and organization?

Just promoting your product does not work, you need to publish stories from customers which are really testimonials in detail.

Here is what we think are the elements of a great case study.

1. Select the right customer success stories that will showcase the benefits of your products to the fullest extent

By choosing the right case you will be able to show substantial and measurable results of your product/service that can communicate your value and impress prospective clients. It’s imperative to develop multiple case studies showcasing different products and scenarios.

 2. Research your story well from various sources

To present a great story it is not enough to know only the major and important facts. It is required that you understand every minor detail and nuance. Your sales team would know the customer problem in detail – what the customer was losing, how they wanted to beat competition, what were the limitations to achieve the desired results, or what ROI they were expecting. The service or solution team would know the problem and the solution. They will have firsthand information of the challenges the customer faced and how they overcame it. This adds authenticity to your case study and will help in producing a realistic story that a prospective client will easily relate to.   

 3. Set clear communication objectives

Once you have understood the case, determine the objectives and the message you want to communicate through your case study. Remember that it can be a powerful marketing tool to prove your credibility and value; it can provide the push needed to convince the prospect. Therefore, start off with clear objectives of what you really want the target audience to understand.

 4. Create a structure that is easy to follow

A case study needs to showcase a problem, include a detailed analysis of how the solution was implemented and clearly state the results. Giving the case study a clear structure will help in presenting the facts and analysis comprehensively. 

  • A catchy headline – to grab the customer’s attention. A quantifiable result in the headline, for example, can make a convincing headline that can draw the prospects in.
  • A client profile – to introduce your customer and their business.
  • Define the problem – Include a problem statement to define the challenges faced by the customer
  • Goals – State the goals that were to be achieved after implementing the solution. It’s good to have some clearly defined metrics.
  • Analysis – The body of the case study should include an in-depth analysis of how the solution was implemented.
  • The results – should clearly present the benefits and quantifiable value delivered to the customer on use of your product/service. Tie it up with the goal statement and report the metrics.

 5. Show the ROI clearly

Showing the ROI of your product/service can firmly nail the intended message in your prospect’s mind.  ROI could be in terms of savings or new revenue, it could a saving in time, personnel, or addition to brand value. Use graphs, charts, tables and metrics to showcase. A nervous prospect can gain confidence when he sees that his investment will yield returns.

 6. Include customer quotes and pictures

Customer quotes are a great way to convert your prospects to long-standing customers by giving an impartial indication of your potential and providing unopposed evidence about the benefits of your product/service. It pays to get a quote which focuses on the benefits of your products/service and include influential facts and hard data. Also, keep it authentic by providing information about the customer, like, full name, designation, department and company name.

 Pictures break the monotony of the long text and convey more in less time. It binds the attention and engages the prospect by playing at their cognitive intelligence.  It benefits even in terms of SEO by appearing in the search engine results. 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business when an image shows up in local search results.

 7. Keep the case study customer centric

It is obvious that you want to deliver ‘your’ value through a case study. However, going all out stating “I am the best” can repel your prospects. Keeping the case study customer centric will help the prospect to easily slip into the customer’s shoes and understand the value of your product accurately.

8. Consider creating a video case study

A video can put your success story at its persuasive best, because, the prospect will hear it directly from the people involved, be it the customer or your implementation/delivery team behind the success. You can package more targeted information in the shortest possible time making it easier and efficient to convey your value through a video. For the most part, if given a choice, the prospect will choose to watch a video than read long text, simply because it is more engaging and dynamic.

Seeing is believing. Case studies form an effective marketing tool to narrate your success story. It makes you look genuine because you know how to deliver results.

So start writing your customer stories today and make sure you put it into your content calendar to keep publishing on a regular basis.