A good testimonial is priceless. With a handful sentences, you can establish credibility and authenticity, let prospects visualize the results you can generate for them, and improve the likelihood that they will buy from you.
But did you know you can turbo-charge that testimonial to get even better results?
Turn it into a case study. All it takes are a few simple yet effective business writing techniques.
Case studies talk about problems and solutions
Case studies tell a story of one customer’s problem and how your company provided the solution. There’s a whole journey from Problem to Solution that needs to be explored. Your case study should explain:
- Who is the customer? What are their products and their niches?
- What was their problem, and what challenges prevented them from easily solving the problem?
- How did the customer find out about your solution? Did they consider other providers? What criteria did they use to select you?
- What was your solution? How did it address the customer’s challenges?
- How did they implement your solution? How long did it take? What new challenges did the implementation create?
- What results did your solution give them – both anecdotally and measurably?
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Effective business writing gives lots of details
Ultimately, specific details make a case study great. On the other hand, weak business writing uses generic comments with very few supporting facts. There’s an old adage in professional copywriting: “Show, don’t tell.” Always try to let specific facts make your points, whenever possible.
Compare these sentences:
Our sales staff is more knowledgeable as a result of this training program.
We’ve gotten 4 new leads in less than a week as a result of this training program.
The second sentence is stronger because it is more specific. Anecdotes can paint a general picture, but the proof is in the numbers.
Case studies need good customers with measurable results
Ask your support staff or your sales team for good candidates for case studies. These projects can be good to take on during slow periods, and incentives – cash prizes, gift cards, etc. – can get the attention of your employees if necessary and remind them to be on the lookout for good success stories.
The customer should:
- Be willing to use their name; a case study without a name is wimpy and not worth your time.
- Have a solid story, hopefully with measurable results.
- Be able to give you an hour or two of their time – both for you to interview them for the details of their story, and also for them to review and approve the case study once it’s written.
If you’re having trouble finding customers willing to be the subject of a case study, incentives such as product discounts may help. Since case studies can often make good press releases, customers may be swayed by the possibility of free publicity as well.
Where to start?