Any company that has customers who are happy enough to vouch for them is doing something right. If you are lucky enough to be in this situation, it's crucial that you capitalize on the opportunity. As a customer, it's easy to disregard marketing attempts when they come from the company themselves. However, when they come from another customer like them, especially one that they trust, they pay attention.
A case study allows you to capture the customer experience in a brief report, and show potential customers what they can expect from working with your business. As Heavybit also notes in their blog, “case studies provide context and details about how other teams are using your product. This helps prospects understand specifically how your solution will impact their team.” Case studies help introduce the problems your products solve and demonstrate the impact of your solution all in one piece of collateral.
It is clear that this content really works. 89% of marketers say that customer case studies have the most influence on purchasing decisions. In fact, one study found that around 95% of customers across many industries read reviews before purchasing a product. For B2B customers in particular, 92% are more likely to purchase a product after reading a trusted review (G2). A customer case study is one of the best ways to grow your business and build trust in your brand. Below are a few tips to help you craft compelling testimonials that will help turn prospective customers into your next case study.
1. Tell personal stories
The very idea of a customer case study is personal, and the fact that you are looking to build a great case study means that you believe hearing directly from a customer is important. However, you must remember to really dive into your customer’s story, and make meaningful connections your number one priority. Explain the problem the customer was having in intense detail; capture the feelings of the employees as your product helped them improve; give context to the business’ goals and the customer’s journey.
By being specific and rich in sensory detail, readers will connect with your product on a deeper level. Research shows that stories can make your information 22% more memorable. Telling personal stories will help convince new customers to trust you and your brand, and remember the benefits of your product for time to come.
2. Keep your audience in mind
While your customer case study is a celebration of the customer you have already worked with, most important is that this customer convinces new ones to try your product. Most companies and products have multiple types of customers, and you shouldn’t expect one testimonial to work across the board. Do your best to really understand the problems that you are solving for your current customer, and focus on the features and solutions that have assisted them along the way. A specific and detail oriented customer case study will be a lot more effective targeting a certain group of customers than a one size fits all case study that doesn’t convince anyone.
Still, you shouldn’t write a case study that will only work for a few customers. Your segmented, targeted audience should still be broad enough that the lessons from the case study will apply to many prospective customers. Think about, and address, the problems that your product solves throughout the study.
3. Use visuals
While your case study needs to be detailed and informative, you must incorporate visuals to keep your audience engaged. Infographics, pictures, videos, and other types of visual media are great to add into your testimonials. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Knowing this, it makes sense to capture your readers’ attention with eye-catching visuals.
A great example of an eye-catching visual comes from Akamai, a cyber security company. This small infographic delivers as much, if not more, information than a page of text could deliver. The image is easy on the eyes and shows how Akamai provided strong security against unprecedented levels of cyber attacks for one of their insurance company clients.
4. Organize in categories
In the same vein, keeping your customer case study organized is vital. Of course, you want your readers to take in everything from your case study, but sometimes people only scan for specific information. Organized categories prevents your readers from being overwhelmed and allows them to focus on what is important to them.
Breaking up your case study into sections makes the text clean, readable, and accessible. By maintaining a shortened version of your case study, you will reach a greater audience. Providing the information in more digestible chunks is actually psychologically proven to lead to better memory retention and comprehension. As simple as it seems, keeping your case study organized may be the best strategy you can learn.
5. Use striking quotes and stats
While you may spend significant amounts of time laboring over a great customer case study, the reality is that people don’t always have time to read a detailed report. By inserting quotes and stats that stand out among the rest of the report, readers can learn about the benefits of your product without exerting as much energy and effort.
I really like this example from Outreach’s customer case study on Zoom’s sales team. They prominently display the quote by itself in the middle of the report so that their audience has to read it. Also, the way they put the customer’s picture in a silhouette of their logo contributes nicely to the overall professional feeling of the company.
There’s also nothing like a stat that gets people’s attention and makes them say “wow.” If you are able to show concrete examples of how your product has improved your customers’ lives, your argument becomes much more convincing. Be wary of making your customer case study too stat heavy, but make sure to proudly display the results of your product.
If you haven’t already taken advantage of them, customer case studies are crucial for your company’s website, marketing material, and sales decks. There is no better way to tell the story of your product and connect with your intended audience than a testimony from a relatable customer. We hope that you use these tips to craft great case studies that will show off all the great benefits that come from working with your company. If done well, a great case study can leave you with plenty more happy customers.