One of the best ways to get the confidence of new customers is to show that previous customers really were satisfied. To leverage website case studies to prove your worth, you need testimony from your customers. A full-blown case history that describes just how your products and services made your customer happy will take the reader through the process.
The case study is a chronology of how you worked to serve your customer and why the result was satisfying. The more concrete the case study, the more powerful and convincing it will be. Case studies and success stories are the third most influential techniques for influencing purchases among enterprise and mid-market customers.
What companies say about themselves is always disbelieved at first in this age when commercial messages stretch facts and make wild claims. The trick in gaining the trust of strangers who are considering becoming customers is to provide solid and verifiable evidence.
According to a study at the University of California, information recipients tend to prefer getting bad news first and good news last. An important to step in stimulating action is to present the negatives, the obstacles and the missteps, first then follow with the good news of success and the story of how obstacles were overcome. Presenting the bad news first adds a note of credibility to the case history. Bad news always seems truer than good news. When a case history is willing to admit difficulties, the entire enterprise seems more real.
The case study that establishes trust should be more than simple praise. It should include value added content about problem solutions that demonstrate a sense of authority and expertise. It should give a sense of the effort that went into bringing customer satisfaction. The case history must be a mini-drama that takes your company into personal contact with the potential buyer.
Transparency is part of what case histories are all about. Writers of the case history should identify themselves and tell something about themselves. Customers want to engage with brands and responsible executives. Revealing something of the inner workings of the company will increase customer trust. Including ways that case histories can be verified can be very an important part of establishing credibility.
When you present a case history tell about a company with whom your customers will feel sympathy. The credibility of the client featured in your case history is important in building your credibility. Using the testimony of an unsuccessful company can only bring some of that shadow onto you.
Writing Case Histories:
A case history can be in the form of a “three act play.” The first act introduces the players and the reader gets to know them. The second act sets out the conflict in the plot that motivates the story. The third act is the resolution.
Act 1 is a description of the client organisation (your co-star).
“The client was a leading national design-builder, head quartered in Canberra. They were adapting a 100,000 square foot facility in Brisbane. It was to become a big box retail store.”
Act 2 sets out the conflict and the special problems your company solved.
“As soon as construction began, the client discovered that the building had unbalanced electrical panels that regularly caused a potentially dangerous distribution of power. This was a potentially deadly safety issue and was absorbing a lot of the designers’ time trying to balance the loads and would have made them go over budget on the project. The client decided to outsource the design and redistribution of the electrical system to you to keep on target with their deliverables and assure worker safety.”
Act 3 tells about the solution you provided.
“The problem was hard to understand at first. Your company had to balance the loads while construction was under way without adding to safety hazards. You had to solve this problem adding minimal cost and delay to the project. Your company came to an understanding of the design specifications, allocated approximate loads to different circuits to allow construction to proceed. Your client uploaded the load schedules in AutoCAD format to the design builders so they more easily access them and incorporate them into their design. Your company was able to put finalise the load balancing project. Costs were 25 percent under budget and reducing the turnaround time by 60 percent. Because of the client’s satisfaction, you were awarded several new contracts throughout the country.”
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