How to get great results from customer case studies

Customer case studies are powerful marketing tools. They give your prospects a great idea into how you run your business, what it’s like working with you, and most importantly, the results you get for customers.

Case studies support your brand awareness and help to build credibility. But it can be challenging getting customers onboard for a few reasons –

  1. Pinning people down to be interviewed can be hard
  2. Some people feel uncomfortable and don’t give much away
  3. They don’t understand the value it can have to your business

This article runs through the best tips to overcoming these hurdles, so your customer case studies are impactful and effective marketing tools.

Picking the right customers to ask

As it’s hard to get some people on board, asking your best, most loyal customers is a great first step. People who are loyal to you and always come back are more likely to say yes to a customer case study interview. But don’t be afraid to ask all your clients, even if you think they’ll say no. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Think about your goal with the customer case studies, too. For example, if you pick a customer that’s used a service you no longer wish to promote, it wouldn’t be wise to spend the time and energy on creating a compelling case study. You’re better off focusing on your main or most profitable offer to gain more attention in those areas.

Explain the value

If you’re calling or emailing your most loyal customers to ask them to be part of a customer case study, there are a few things you can do to help sweeten the deal.

Tell them how participating will help to grow your own business. Don’t be shy to explain that an effective case study about their experiences will make it easier to find more, amazing customers like them. Compliment how good they are to work for and how much you value their custom.

Make it a win-win

If you’re B2B, you can also position it as a promotional opportunity for their business. Say you will share a positive spin of their own business and link their website and social media channels. This not only gives them a press piece to use for themselves if they wish, but it also means when you share it your followers get eyes on their brand.

Another tactic is to add a small incentive for saying yes and giving up some of their valuable time. This could be a gift card to use in a well-known retailer or their favourite restaurant, a donation to their chosen charity, or even a voucher towards their next purchase with you.

Asking the right questions

Now you’ve got your customers to agree to being part of a case study, it’s time to get prepared. Asking the right questions is the key to success for customer case studies.

With closed, boring questions, you’ll end up with no inspired content to use. But with open, considered questions, you’ll get much more effective results.

Example interview questions for customer case studies

Start with asking them some general questions to warm the conversation up, so they relax into it. This will be natural if you have a good relationship with them already. Then prepare a list of questions and make sure they cover all the points you want to ask.

Another good tip is asking your customer to answer the questions as if you don’t know each other, so you get all the details as clear as possible. That way you get their direct words to use in the content, rather than using your assumptions.

  • How would you describe your business and what you do?  
  • How did you first hear about our service?
  • What challenges/problems necessitated a change? 
  • What trends in your industry drove the need to use our product?
  • What were you looking for in a solution?
  • What made our solution stand out over others that you researched? 
  • What feature of our product was most appealing to you?
  • How did you implement/introduce our solution?
  • How did our team help with implementation?
  • What was your initial reaction to our product? 
  • How has our solution helped since its implementation? 
  • Has this solution saved money and/or increased productivity?
  • Can you share any metrics/KPIs that show the success you have enjoyed with our service? 
  • What have you been most impressed with? 
  • Is there anything you think we could improve?
  • What plans do you have to use our solution in the future?  
  • Is there anything else we should know? 

Adapt the above questions and add in any extra specific questions you’d like to ask. Make sure you’re prepared to actively listen during the interview.

Recording the call – either through Zoom or a voice recording software – can be a great way to ease the pressure off you getting all the notes correct on the day.

Forming customer case studies into a relatable story

After the interview’s done, look back on your notes or listen to the call again to highlight the key points. Using direct quotes from your customers helps to tell a relatable story.

Think of the problem, challenge, solution, and result framework. Pick out the one important message you want to focus on and use that throughout your case study. If you have statistics to back up the claim, e.g. increased profits by X, use this to back up your claims.

Remember to use your customer case studies on your website and break them down into smaller, shareable pieces for social media. You can also link them into different stages of your customer buying journey to help solidify the conversion process. Now you’re prepared, you can plan and start getting great results from your customer case studies. See an improvement in your brand awareness and make your sales process easier with great content. If you’re struggling with any part of your brand identity or strategy, get in touch with Make a Brew.