How to Perform a Case Study
One of the main interests of business owners is finding ways to prove what they offer is superior compared to the competition based on the results their products render customers. It’s not a surprise in the business world that you must first earn a level of trust with a prospective customer before you secure their transaction. But how do you earn trust by showcasing your product results? One of the most effective ways to showcase the benefits of your products and earn that first stepping stone of trust is through a case study.
What is a Case Study
Case studies are documents, pictures, or videos that highlight how your products were used by distinct customers in a specific situation and more importantly, what effects your products caused. Case studies are like those 5-page research papers you wrote back in school, but much shorter and to the point. They are real-world evidence that demonstrates the benefits your products provide to customers.
If you are confident in your products and know they get customer results, performing a case study on an individual customer will show future prospective customers those results that propelled another business. Case studies not only act as a lead magnet for new business, but they also can be the piece of the puzzle that is the difference between lost customers and hitting your sales goals.
Case Study Rules to Follow
There are some general guidelines to follow before you begin writing your case study if you want to get the most out of each study you perform. You will want to select a specific customer you know got good results from using your product. Be mindful of your target customer, as you will want to choose a customer in a similar business or position. You should research the problem and why your product was a solution, making sure to ask plenty of questions. Also, identify what you want to highlight based on the needs of your target audience.
Contents That Make any Case Study Good
A good case study isn’t one loaded with details that take forever to read through and process. These are boring and will quickly be discarded by prospective customers. What makes a case study intriguing and consumable to customers is a cohesive and concise story that clearly states the problem, solution, and results. Here are the foundational pieces your case study needs:
While there are no set rules for how long, or short, your case study should be, you’ll want to make it as concise as possible. There is no need to include unnecessary jargon or filler words in your case study. The more to the point you are, the easier your case study will be to read for your audience.
The main goal of your case study is to showcase the benefits your products had on a specific customer and situation in the shortest way possible. However, your case needs to be thorough so your audience can grasp how your products have worked. Include where the customer started and how they got to their objective, using images or video whenever possible to help readers visualize the situation.
- Tells a Story
Your case study will become a lead magnet if it can captivate your audience, and to do that it must tell a story. Not your story, but the inspirational story of the customer you’ve selected. A story has a beginning, middle, and end, so your case study should be no different. Hook your audience by describing the customer, explaining the problem at hand, presenting the solution (your product!), and finally reviewing the impacts your product had resolving the challenge.
Writing an Effective Case Study
- Introduce the Customer
Set the tone for the remainder of your case study by first introducing the customer. You’ll want to give a brief rundown of who the customer is, what kind of industry they are in, the size of the company, and the location. No need for too much jargon, but the more in-depth you go into who the customer is and what they do, the more impactful the results will be to your audience.
- Describe the Problem at Hand
After describing who you’re conducting your case study on, it’s time to give an overview of the challenge your customer is encountering. Your audience needs to understand the problem to understand the solution and the results. Detail the problem by showing the bigger picture. This could be an increased customer churn rate, decrease in sales, poor leads, or any other issues presented to the customer. Doing so shows your audience what is at stake.
- Outline the Solution (Your Product!)
Your audience knows the customer and what problem they are trying to fix. Now is the time to tell them about your solution to the problem, your product. Briefly describe the product you are showcasing and what it is meant to accomplish by stating general details, then applying these details to the specific situation. Speak about the individual or team that used your product, making sure you tie the problem and solution together.
- Showcase the Results
Now is your time to shine by showing off the flashy results of your product. Show your audience how your product performed in the specific situation you touched on earlier in your study with statistics and any additional impacts, such as peace of mind to back up those numbers. Be sure to show how you figured out the results and how each step of the process leads to the results presented. These results justify a decision maker buying your product, as they know it has produced for someone else in a similar situation.
Case studies are an exceptional tool to garner new leads and impress current customers. They bring new levels of interest to your products and are real-world proof your product gets results. While there are many avenues to create new business such as sponsored social posts and digital ads, case studies stand by themselves concerning pure value.