Case Studies for SaaS and tech companies can be a powerful tool to show future customers how your product has helped others and how you can do what you say you can.
Case studies are a more extensive version of a customer testimonial or review. And almost 45% of marketing professionals say that customer testimonials and reviews play a vital role in moving prospects through their sales funnel.
In this article:
- What’s a Case Study?
- What’s the Purpose of a Case Study
- Case Study Example
- How to Write Case Studies
- Writing the Case Study – A Simple Outline
- How You Can Use Case Studies
What’s a Case Study?
In a marketing context, it’s an in-depth look at how your product or service helped a customer solve their challenges. It’s a story about how your customer was struggling with a particular challenge and how you were able to solve it.
What’s the Purpose of a Case Study
Its purpose is to show potential customers how your product or service helped another company and how it can also help them. It’s a customer success story and it’s effective for sales and ‘social proof’ to showcase how you’ve helped others.
Case Study Example
Let’s say you have a software app that helps birdwatchers track bird locations.
A large bird watching group, Bird Watchers of Texas, with over 830 members, needed a way for each person in their group to log in and track bird locations. They wanted to be able to work together to see everyone’s bird locations, be able to comment on each location, and for each person to have a profile.
With your software app, you worked with Bird Watchers of Texas to create a member portal so all members could create their own profiles, track bird locations, and comment on bird locations by others. You solved their challenges and helped them in a big way!
So, you create a Case Study about how you helped Bird Watchers of Texas address the challenges they had.
Now, Bird Watchers of California reached out to you to help them with similar challenges. Because of your Case Study, they know what you’re capable of and that you can help them solve their problems! Once you write it, promote it so others can see.
Let’s look at how you can do this for your company.
How to Write Case Studies
- Interview the Customer
- Ask the Right Questions
- Use Your Customer’s Words to Write the Case Study
Interview the Customer
First, you need to interview your customer. This is the most important part!
Set up a time for about 30 minutes to discuss the project.
For the interview, be positive and personable! Start with small talk and ask them things like what they’ve been working on this week, etc. A little bit of kindness and genuine interest goes a long way.
Now, it’s time to get down to business and ask questions about the project.
Case Study Questions to Ask the Customer
Here’s a list of questions you can ask.
You don’t have to use all of these, but they can help guide the conversation.
You want to be sure you dig in to what their challenges were before you came along. (Plus, this helps you come up with a list of content ideas you can write about for other customers.)
It’s important to paint a picture of the issues the customer was having, so you can then showcase how you saved the day!
Overview about the Company
- Tell me about you and what your company does.
- What do you enjoy about it? (their job, company, values, etc.)
About the Challenges
- What was going on that made you look for our solution/product?
- What were you struggling with?
- What made you finally decide you needed to solve the challenge?
- What were you using before?
How Our Product Helped
- How did you find us?
- What made you choose our product?
- What other options did you try and what else were you considering?
- What are you doing with it?
- What setup did you use? What does that look like?
Extra tip: It’s helpful to get them to give you a demo of their setup and how they use it! They will typically tell you more about it, in their own words, than answering your questions!
- What can you do now that you weren’t able to do before?
- How has it improved your process?
In the interview, you don’t have to stick to this exact question process. Your customer might bring up something you didn’t think about, so you decide to focus on asking a couple of related questions to their comment.
Writing the Case Study – A Simple Outline
Now, that you have all the answers to your questions, it’s time to put together the Case Study article! Here’s an outline you can use for the article. Your customer has already given you all the answers to these!
About the customer’s company
The industry they’re in
This is your specific product. Provide a description of what it is and what it does.
Paragraph or two describing the challenges they were having. Then, 5-8 bullet points of the needs they had (that your product solves)
Talk about the specifics of how your product solved their problem, i.e. you created 830 member profiles, members can input bird locations on a map to track them, members could comment on other profiles and bird locations, etc.
Provide bullet points of what your product was able to solve for them
- 830 member profiles created
- Over 3,500 birds tracked
- 8,480 comments written
- Enabled better communication between members
- Saved 15 hours of data entry each week
How You Can Use Case Studies
An in-depth look at your product through the eyes of a current customer can provide others with the proof they need to finalize their decision to buy from you.
Use this Case Study tutorial and outline as a way to capture stories from your customers about how you’ve made their business even better. If you need someone to create a Case Study for you, contact me to learn more about how I can help.