Writing killer case studies convinces potential clients that you are the right choice for them, removes any doubt and means the final decision can be made in your favour.
Providing evidence of how your services have been selected and used by real clients, who use you AND are happy to support you, reinforces this credibility.
For shippers the primary issue is that when forwarders are challenged on their ability to provide a particular service, capability or solution, the inevitable response is that “it’s not a problem.”
But the shippers believe that, without the forwarder producing any evidence, they are being asked to make a decision based on trust which, particularly with a new provider, is NOT going to happen.
Shippers want proof. So give them facts.
Testimonials and reviews are good and should definitely be harvested, but case studies are the most effective way to provide the evidence of capability that prospective customers are saying that they to see.
Case studies should not be some tedious or a series of monotonous facts and wishy-washy benefits.
At all costs keep it brief – no more than 500 words – avoid jargon and marketing speak.
We like stories and this is your opportunity to turn your capability into a story, with the customer as the hero and your service ‘saving the day’.
Interview the client and get detailed answers using open questions: ‘What did our company do for you?’, ‘What were the results?’, ‘Which features were the most effective?’, ‘What will be the long-term impact?’
With client participation case studies are given their greatest credibility becoming powerful peer-to-peer endorsements.
It is because they provide capability reassurance to prospective customers that case studies are essential collateral for your sales and commercial teams.
Introducing a case studies at the right point in the sales cycle will remove uncertainties and help close deals.
Use an engaging title – not “Case Study on………”
Photography and other cipro graphics, will help communicate your ideas more effectively.
Keep your case study brief, compelling and simple to read.
Feature three key areas, pre-ceded by a short introduction to set the scene.
Other details you should include are their location, the vertical it operates in, its annual revenue and its number of employees.
Don’t try for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Develop separate versions for SME and big customers, so your prospects have a story that relates to their particular situation.
The challenge is at the heart of the problem; it is the reason the customer chose you and is the main plot driver in the case study.
It is the hook for an audience that want to solve their own problems and meet their own challenges.
2. Solution provided
The solution should clearly and graphically show what you did to meet the challenge, with the process unfolding step-by-step.
Show your working; through the early meetings, analysis, trial and implementation.
This confirms that you know your stuff.
It also helps the audience imagine how you would work in and deliver the same benefits to their own company.
3. Benefits received
The reader’s got a thorough understanding of the initial problem and the steps you’ve taken to solve it: now they want the payoff; did it work?
The result should be as detailed as possible.
Use whatever data is available to back up with hard numbers: revenue created or money saved; reductions in time and waste.
These are the things that the reader wants to know, so make them as prominent as possible.
Your objective is to convince potential customers, not comply with rules.
Click on the image to enlarge, or Download an editable Word version of the case study template