Got a few testimonials hanging around? Want to know how to maximise them to bring in more business? Then this is the blog article for you.
How good is it when you or your client’s business gets a ‘thank you’ that shines brighter than the sun? Maybe it’s an email raving about how their life and business has improved thanks to your product or service, or a phone call to say ‘I couldn't have done it without you!’. It’s proof you’re offering a great product or service. So, how can you turn the warm fuzzies into something concrete that helps generate more business?
The answer is: case studies. Or as I like to call them ‘happy client stories’.
What’s so special about case studies?
Humans are wired to connect with stories and a case study is a story. A story that helps potential clients envisage how your project or service might fit into, and benefit, their lives. A well-written case study can often be the catalyst that moves them to choose you over your competitors.
How is this different to a testimonial?
Testimonials or quotes are hand-picked to add weight to your website, proposals and presentations (etc) to reassure potential clients you’ll do a great job. They’re usually less than 100 words and say what potential clients would expect them to say.
A testimonial merely portrays a happy customer but a case study digs deeper. Case studies take people on a step-by-step journey that shows how you were approached by the customer, how you perceived their issue, and helped them solve it. A case study is a complete story, not a snapshot, and therefore showcases your product or service more effectively.
Got a few testimonials? Well, guess what…..
A testimonial is a case study waiting to happen.
All you need to do is work out how to write a great case study. That’s where we come in! Here are our tips for writing happy client stories with impact. We’ve written loads for our own awaywithwords portfolio page and for our clients.
How to write a case study with impact
To write a case study that truly engages potential clients, you need to ask your current and past clients the right questions. Interview them yourself or get someone neutral to talk to them so they really open up! (Let us know if you’d like us to do that for you).
What every case study should do
Introduce the customer: This is a line or two about them (not you).
Explain the challenge: Ask yourself: “What was your customer trying to change or improve?”. This is where you can include your client’s quote and share their story.
Walk people through the journey: Share the steps the client took to try and solve their problem, including other things they investigated like researching other options/competitors. Also include how the customer found you.
Outline the solution: Pitch your product or service and share the value you brought.
Talk through the process: Talk about how the product or solution was implemented, any problems that came up and / or challenges you overcome.
Showcase the results: Show off any data, numbers, revenue gains or return on investment - this is proof your business solved the client’s problems.
Which clients make the best case studies?
People who love you and your work (goes without saying!). As soon as you get what I call a ‘gold star’ ie: an email raving about how grateful/happy/satisfied they are with your work - save it and make a note to contact them once the job is complete to do a full case study.
People with results - people love numbers, hard data or photographic evidence (if you’re selling eczema cream for example) so choose clients who have proof that your product or service benefited them.
Big names - while not necessary for a good case study, brands people recognise can boost your credibility. Remember to focus on your problem-solving or value-adding rather than their name.
Diverse clients - getting stories about varying products/services or company attributes will reinforce your entire offering, and avoid repetition.
So, now what?
Can I still use my testimonials?
Yes! Here are three ways you can use your testimonials:
Dot them around your website instead of having them piled into a specific testimonial page because a) who reads those pages? and b) you can match the testimonial with the web page so they’re relevant to what the visitor is reading.
Include them in your case studies - a few quotes as part