Case studies—when done right—contain valuable information your potential customers want to hear about—and what they need to know in order to make a sound decision about purchasing your product or service.
Writing a case study requires a good deal of background homework to make it effective. The first objective is to choose customers who understand the need for case studies, and who have compelling stories that will make for an interesting piece.
Start with their communications or publicity departments to get buy-in and approval; that way, when you start interviewing the managers and operations employees who understand the project, you don’t have to retrace your steps, which can be a waste of money, time, and effort.
Before starting the interview process with your customer, do your research. Talk to your company’s sales rep who sold the solution. Speak with the people who worked on the project -- learn as much as you can about the project before speaking with your end customer. Your sales team and project managers probably know more about the project than the customer so once you actually interview your customer you really only need a few minutes to get good quotations and accolades about your product or service.
Finally, don’t forget to offer your customer the opportunity to read, revise, and update the case study; but then get his sign-off on the final draft. You’ll want to make sure you have that information on file when you start using the article in print or electronic form.
While there’s a good deal of work involved in the case study writing process, the benefits are great and extend from finding new customers to keeping happy clients. Don’t forget to discuss your case study with trade publication editors to learn whether it could be developed into a full feature article for their magazine. Editors often look for compelling stories to share with their readers.