Case studies are focused articles that profile the specific experience or results of an individual client. They are used to market products and services by showing prospective customers the experience of other users. It is similar to a testimonial, but gives more specifics on how results were achieved.
To implement case studies in your own business, it helps to have a template or outline. This case study template is widely used in both small businesses and large corporations.
A case study details the challenges a customer faced, the solutions they implemented and the results they achieved. Charts and graphs back up the story with numbers and diagrams. Use these three stages as the heading for your case study.
Outline the challenges or obstacles the company faced. Provide timelines and historical details. How long did they have the problem? What was contributing to the difficulty? Detail the pain they experienced. Were they losing money? Were they behind in production? Make the challenge crystal clear, as it will give the solution and results more impact.
Give the reader the specific steps and course of action the client took to meet the challenge. Describe the product or service in detail. What feature provided the most benefits? What aspect of the service was able to remove the problems and move the company toward profitability. Remember that readers are trying to determine if the solution fits their situation. The more details you provide, the better they can make the connection in their mind.
In this section, describe the benefit of implementing the solution. Detail the specific results of the course of action. Show how the company experienced more sales, less waste, and more productivity. Use plenty of quotes. People believe your clients more than they believe you. Use their words to add dimension and emotion to the story. Illustrate both the technical and emotional benefits the customer realized when they bought the product.
Good case studies are success stories. Like all good stories, they start out with a Challenge for the hero to overcome. The Solution is the hero arriving on the scene to save the day, and the Results section shows how everyone lived happily ever after.
Use this format to craft your own case studies to highlight the successes you have achieved for clients. You can use case studies on you website, in all of your outbound marketing material, at trade shows, and in the showroom. Good case studies are versatile salespeople that keep you in front of your customers at all times.