I’ve asked Robert Skrob to write another guest blog for my site. Robert is also the author of “Retention Point“, which I highly recommend. He previously shared the topics of “The New Customers Experience” and “Creating a Vibrant Community Around Your Company” on my blog. Today, he is sharing the topic of creating case studies. Read closely – Robert is truly an expert.
Creating Case Studies
Your customer has three important decisions to make about you and your products. With each decision you have the opportunity to win or lose the customer.
Those decision points are:
- Should I give this product a try?
- I bought, is this really worth what I invested in time and money?
- I’ve been a customer for a while, I’ve enjoyed this in the past but is this still worthy of my time and money?
There’s one marketing tool that can help your customer choose you each time: a well-crafted client case study.
Really? A client case study?
Yes. These case studies and client stories are the most powerful tools you have on your side to foster strong relationships with potential customers, new customers, and long-time customers.
The publishing industry has undergone a huge transformation in recent years with subscriptions at historic lows. Today, Business Week is a shell of what it was with fewer than 950,000 subscribers each month. People Magazine, however, has more than 3.5 million subscribers. People want to read about other people.
Your customers want to hear about people like them. They want to hear stories of striving, overcoming, and of the underdog beating more powerful rivals. As great as your teachings and training resources are for your members, these stories are what they really want. You’ll attract and retain your customers in proportion to how well you deliver these stories.
These stories also prove that what you say is true. When you deliver example after example of individuals who have used your product or service and succeeded, you impact how your members think about your program and themselves. Even if a customer hasn’t gotten results. After reading or watching a video about one of your client success stories, they think, “Gee, maybe this is possible.”
After enough of these stories, your customer says to himself, “If that guy can do it, I can do it, too.” After this mindset transformation, she’s a lot more likely to use what she purchased and consider buying more. Which brings us to the question of the day:
How do you write a terrific client success story?
Recently, a long-time client asked me the following question about case studies; perhaps you have wondered something similar:
“My question for you is do you use these questions on clients based on what YOU did for them? YOUR process? Meaning, should I do these to sell myself and my product? Or do I put these forward as their own case studies of how my client became successful and leave me out? Then just mention some of the things I teach?”
On how far to promote yourself and your strategies in your case studies — it depends on the how you are using them.
If you are presenting case studies within a sales presentation, then you’ll want to make it clear where you were involved.
Or, if you are presenting this case study to existing members, you may be advocating a key philosophy. In this case, you may indicate the person is a member or client, then describe how using a particular product or service you sell created the impact.
To summarize: If you are in an overt sales situation, then be overt about your involvement. Then, in many other cases, it may be appropriate to illustrate the power of implementing your philosophy.
My formula for creating case studies is simple. I start by recording an interview with my member. I then provide the interview transcript to a writer to create a written case study.
Here are interview questions to get you started.
As you read the questions, replace the words “your member breakthrough process” with the name of your product or coaching program:
- What’s your background? How did you get started doing what you are doing now?
- How did you discover “your member breakthrough process”?
- What did you think of it when you first saw it?
- How did you get started implementing “your member breakthrough process”?
- What has changed in your life since you discovered “your member breakthrough process”?
- What advice do you have for someone else who has just discovered “your member breakthrough process” and is deciding whether or not to try it?
For best results I conduct these interviews personally. I can explore areas that would be interested to members by asking follow-up questions. However, if time is short I’ll often send these questions out as a survey instead.
Once I have a good interview recorded, I use the transcript to craft a compelling success story.
Once you have these case studies, you can use them in presentations, monthly newsletters, pull them together into books to give to prospects, or include them in email follow-up sequences to convert more prospects int customers.
Use demonstrations, capture case studies everywhere you can, and teach through examples rather than relying only on lectures.
Robert Skrob is the #1 expert in membership and customer retention and the author of the book, Retention Point The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth. He has helped hundreds of membership programs launch and then grow from start-ups to become some of the largest membership and subscription companies in the world.