I wrote previously about how to get customer case studies and testimonials, as well as the importance of exhibiting empathy while conducting testimonial interviews. This post focuses on the case study best practices of what you should aim to capture in these interviews.

The More Content, The Better

Get the footage – storage is cheap. Ask questions again, ask the customer to rephrase it. Keep filming. I typically capture over 20 minutes of video to generate a 2.5 minute long testimonial.

Of course, keep empathy in mind. Don’t frustrate and exhaust your customer by having them repeat each point multiple times. But overall, err on the side of gathering lots of content. This is true even if you aren’t filming, but only interviewing to write a case study.

Go Chronologically as a Case Study Best Practice

Case studies typically start with a brief overview of the customer, then move on to the original business challenge or project, the solution (why your product?), and the results. It’s a logical structure, and it makes sense to conduct the interview in this order as well.

Find the Pain

Conducting these interviews is similar to the original sales process. Sales pros must uncover all the pains the customer currently suffers, in order to help build the case for investing in new technology or services to alleviate that pain. When creating a case study, I need to highlight the original pains first, then move on to the joy of relief.

These pains and joys will be unique to your product offering, so be sure your question list will uncover them.

Name the Competitive Names!

Always ask about competitors. First, you want to capture who you displaced. What app did the customer have previously that failed to meet their needs? And who did you win against in this evaluation process?

One customer, while filming a testimonial, once asked me, “Can I name names?” Name them! If a customer is comfortable naming a competitive offering, that’s content you want to capture.

Speeds and Feeds for Testimonials

At times, specific technical details will be relevant, such as the use of a particular database for analytics, or compliance with regulations. Make sure you ask the right questions. Have product management review your question list to be sure important technical details are captured.

Case Study Best Practice: Quantify Results

Any time you have a customer who says, “I saved hundreds of thousands of dollars or employee hours, or achieved a 500% ROI with this product,” you’re going to be able to make great use of that content for PR, demand gen, and sales enablement.

Sometimes such bluebirds fly in your window. Other times a customer may be happy, but unable to assign any numbers to it. And yet other times, you can bring these quantifiable results to light.

One of the best tips I’ve ever received was from an exceptional sales trainer who suggested that when customers can’t quantify results, I throw out a number and ask, “Would you say it takes you half the time to create reports as it did previously?” This has been a highly effective tactic.

Do you have happy customers whose stories you haven’t yet told? Contact me and let’s discuss how I could help conducting interviews and writing content that can help drive revenue for your business.

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