Day 25: Create Customer Stories
Note that we’re talking about customer stories and not generic “case studies”. Nobody wants to read a shameless plug about your company, especially when there is so much great content available online.
If you put together a sales pitch or sales deck, the sad truth is that your customers won’t want to read it. People want to read great stories.
So make your case study an amazing customer stories. Here’s how:
Generate Human Interest
Clarity.fm’s case studies are not about the Clarity marketplace, platform, or founder. They’re not designed to sell, either.
These customer stories are designed to showcase the experiences of Clarity’s amazing entrepreneurs. The truth is, this company is an extremely novel idea. It’s tough to understand. People who find out about it are likely problem, but not solution aware — that is, they’re entrepreneurs who know how tough it is to find great advice.
Clarity’s customer stories are heavily focused around who’s using the platform, how they’re using it, and what ROI they’re deriving. But it’s not about convincing people to spend money. It’s about empowering readers with interesting stories about their fellow entrepreneurs. Straight from the trenches.
Today’s consumers are highly self-directed. By the time they’re in touch with your sales team, they’re pretty much committed to buying. Behind the scenes, customers are doing significant research about products and services. They’re digesting information, asking for input from their teams, and building their knowledge.
Customer stories can help move this process forward by empowering consumers with the information they need to make a decision. That’s the exact idea behind the Buffer case study on KISSmetrics.
The case study walks readers through Buffer’s exact pain points — what many market teams experience on a regular basis.
The idea is simple — show how KISSmetrics solved a very specific problem. Make this process extremely tangible and easy to follow for prospective customers. Let them decide whether your product or service is the right solution for their needs.
Create Detailed How-Tos
People love to learn. Case studies are a great tool for empowering audiences with new information. Transform your sales pitches into in-depth educational resources. And if you need inspiration, check out Optimizely’s hub for customer stories:
These are interview-based, technique-heavy analyses of how clients are using Optimizely’s A/B testing software to boost revenue. Marketing managers, directors, and analysts can read these to learn about best practices in the conversion optimization world.
Decide how you want your customer stories to look, and finalize what message you want to convey. When you specify your goals, you’ll save a lot of time. Information-gathering can be an extensive process. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll end up wasting time.
Create a list of interview questions that address the goals you’ve specified in 1.
Interview one customer. You can either record the conversation using a cell phone app like Record My Call, or you can take notes very quickly (might be tough if you’re new to this). If you record the call, you can hire a transcription service to put your information in writing.
Transcribe the interview into a customer story. Depending on how quickly you write, this process may take more than one day. Take your time. Have your team help proofread. Imagine that you’re writing a blog post, and aim to produce something valuable and entertaining.
You can repeat steps 2-4 to create multiple case studies. If you’re not a fan of the process, you can always hire a writer to help.