Do you have happy customers? You know, the ones who are loyal, think you’re the greatest and continue to buy from you time and time again? Why not leverage the relationships with those customers to gain new customers? Your satisfied customers are the most powerful tool you have to help sell your product or service, and a case study is an excellent way to showcase your best customers.
A case study tells a short story of your customer’s satisfaction with the product or service you have provided, while illustrating what’s new, unique, special or different about you and your company at the same time. Regardless of the features – or even the benefits – of your product or service, prospects want to know the bottom line: That is, what results have you provided for others that you might also be able to provide for me?
Putting together a case study
Writing a case study doesn’t have to be complicated and can actually be quite simple if you follow this basic formula – customer name, business challenge, solution, result and testimonial.
For example, in my business, I provide a new business development programme called The Blitz Experience that empowers salespeople to schedule appointments with qualified prospects on the day of the training, resulting in a pipeline full of new opportunities at the end of the day.
5 easy steps
I’d put together a case study like this:
- Customer: ToolWatch
- Business challenge:
- To increase sales, ToolWatch needed a methodology to build a pipeline of new opportunities in order to close more business.
- Solution: Stirling (Pty) Ltd provided The Blitz Experience, a business development programme to empower ToolWatch salespeople to schedule appointments with qualified prospects on the day of the training.
- Result: Within 90 days of The Blitz Experience, ToolWatch generated more than R790 000 in sales as a direct result of the appointments scheduled during the Blitz Experience, enjoying an ROI of more than ten times the company’s investment in the programme.
- Testimonial: “Thought you would like to know the guys here appreciate you. And of course you will always be my favourite Blitz Master!” John Smith, CEO and founder, CanDoGo, and sales consultant for ToolWatch.
It is important to quantify the results by referring to specifics, such as “more than R790 000 in sales as a direct result of the appointments scheduled during The Blitz Experience, enjoying an ROI of more than ten times the company’s investment.” It is also very powerful if you can explain how your solution has affected your customer’s profit. It’s a good idea for you or someone in your company to write the case study, rather than ask your customer to write it, for a couple of reasons. First, it makes it easy for your customer to simply review and approve what you’ve written, rather than take the time to write the case study, which may not happen as quickly as you’d like. Second, by writing your own case study, you are in control of the message you want to convey and can speak specifically to the points you want to get across to your prospects.
Low cost marketing
You can also write the testimonial, if it isn’t already available from your customer, as long as you have permission to do so. Your case study should be no more than about 100 words and should fit easily on one A4 page. Case studies are also a great sales tool to display on your company website, in your marketing materials and in company press kits.
If you have a low budget for marketing materials, case studies are ideal because you can print them on your company letterhead, and they are very effective in creating curiosity, conveying your message and gaining credibility for you. Regardless of the size of your company or your marketing budget, you can leverage the relationships you have with your happy customers by building effective case studies. This powerful tool will attract new customers and aid in your efforts to develop your business.