Using a case study can be a successful means of demonstrating to a prospective buyer the effectiveness and success of the solutions that your business has offered to clients who have had similar problems to them.
In addition to that, you help build a picture in the client’s mind as to your expertise and credibility, not just skill levels but the fact that other companies have chosen to use your services. People tend to follow people – they’re often reluctant to be the first. This is particularly beneficial if the client to be featured in the case study is a company of significance, likely to have status in the minds of your prospective clients.
Types and styles of case studies
It is essential that before embarking on developing a case study, you assess the specific results that you wish to achieve from the case study. There are two prominent types of case study that achieve two separate goals:
- A case study that highlights an example of how a previous client has dealt with a similar problem using solutions and resources offered by your business.
- A case study that highlights how your business is different to competitors and why your business is the one the prospective buyer should go with.
Once you have decided on the style or type of case study that you would like to go with, keep the following in mind in preparation:
- Approach a client who achieved great outcomes by implementing your solution, and ask them to participate (the case study will be more authentic if they are willing to disclose their name and their company name; if they’re uncomfortable about doing so though, acknowledge that they could participate anonymously).
- The next step is to get the information required from your client. We recommend an interview for this purpose – ideally the interview being conducted by the writer of the case study.
- It’s a good idea to indicate to the client before the interview takes place what points you would like to highlight in the article – eg the difference an installation or service has made to them – what life was like prior etc.
All case studies should follow a specific structure. We recommend the following six point structure:
- Situation: a description of the client’s situation;
- Objectives: an outline of what the client was trying to achieve;
- Problem: the problem that the client was facing;
- Need: the need that the client had – what’s necessary to solve the problem?;
- Solution: the solution that you offered to solve the problem; and
- Outcomes: the outcomes that were achieved by implementing your solution
Call to action
Once the case study has been developed and presented, it is essential that it is followed by a call to action. In this case a ‘call to action’ should encompass some additional information about who you are or about the solutions or resources you offer that relates to the problems and solutions raised in the case study. Obviously contact details have to be included.
Before releasing the case study, it is crucial to have the final product approved by the case study client/s involved.