Case studies or as we like to call them ‘customer stories’ are so important as they demonstrate that you can deliver on a promise – your company promise to your customers. They help strengthen existing customer relationships as well as creating new ones. It’s a tried and tested method that helps convert customers, but only if it follows a certain path, a little like you are telling a story – and everyone loves a good story!
There are 5 main components to a good story – it must have a beginning, a middle and an end – and must be all about the customer:
- Start with the customer’s problem
- Share the different options that were available to the customer
- Showcase the solution that you provided to the customer and why
- Share the challenge(s) that presented themselves, and how you and the customer worked together to overcome them
- Finally, shout about how successful the result was from the customer’s point of view
Before you get started, write out the answers to these questions:
- Target market – who is the customer? What does the customer do? Where is the customer based? What is the customer story about?
- This is important as this customer will also be your next customer who you are targeting with this case study
- Put another way – write about someone your ideal customer can relate to
- Product/service – what was the customers’ goal? (which will lead on to what you are promoting/showcasing?)
- This is what you will ultimately be selling
- Ensure you only have 1 or 2 main focuses. Any more, it becomes complicated and not memorable
- You want the customer to read the case study and feel that they know you are the industry expert, you know the industry’s specific needs, you know how to get the customers desired results and no matter what challenges come up, you know how to professionally resolve them
- What were the customer’s needs? (Which will lead to what is the purpose of this customer story?)
- Share how the customers’ needs were met and how they felt having had them met
- Call to Action (CTA): Have a goal in mind; do you want people to call you and quote a reference? To email you with a set subject header? To visit a specific page on the website?
TopTigerTips to remember when writing the case study customer story:
- It’s not about you or the business – it’s ALL about the customer (hence: customer story)
- Keep in mind WIIFM – What’s in it for me? That’s what customers want to know when reading the case study, ensure all sentences lead back to the customer
- Do not sell to your readers, simply replay the story in the most enjoyable, interesting way possible
- Be thought-provoking and create interest with real-life sceneries – where things nearly go wrong, do go abysmally wrong or there were big challenges that were overcome – it all makes great reading!
- Explain how and why things went wrong / work well
- Do be mindful of keeping out the waffle, customers don’t need to know every single detail (bear in mind the 3 important elements), but with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ these are important and require detail as they offer reassurance
- Champion other team members within the copy (as long as it is relevant)
- Keep the tone professional but chatty and humorous – remember you are telling a story
- Provide the proof
- Always include a customer testimonial and get them to write it themselves so the tone/language is different to yours and do get their written approval before publishing
- Format the customer story to make the copy easy to read and digest by using:
- Bullet points
- Bold and italicised text
- End the story with helpful, friendly options… (a very soft sell) “If you need help with a similar project, please call me and we can run through any questions or queries you may have.”
Good luck in producing ROARsome content!
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