A compelling SaaS case study could very well be the best way to convert a prospect into a customer. But a case study will only work if you make your customer the hero — not your own company.
How do you portray your customer the hero?
First up, check your ego. No one wants to read your ramblings about how great you are. Prospects are, however, very interested in what your customer thinks about you.
A case study that makes the customer the hero will resonate with your readers. They will see themselves and their own issues reflected in the you hero’s story. To help you achieve this kind of resonance, keep these points in mind:
1. Introduce your customer right off the top
Stick to the most relevant details: what industry they’re in, their size and what they excel at. Only include information your audience cares about or details you need to provide to tell the most compelling story. Don’t forget to introduce the individual you interviewed. Your readers will relate to a person, not a faceless entity.
2. Let your customer do the talking
Direct quotes should make up a good portion of the case study. Use your words to clarify or connect quotes and move the story forward. Let your customer explain the challenge they faced, how they decided to use your services and how your solution helped them achieve results.
3. This isn’t about you
Don’t paint yourself as the knight in shining armor who rescued a business in distress. You merely stepped in to smooth out a bump in the road. You provided a tool that helped the customer improve a process or solve a challenge, and they emerged stronger for it. Aren’t they amazing? Always keep the focus on the customer.
4. Talk strategy
It is important to explain why your solution was chosen, and how it was implemented and rolled out. Let readers see the thought process involved.
5. Cut right to the heart of the issue
Skip any vague and superfluous praise. Go easy on the marketing lingo. What changed for your customer? What did it mean to their business? Include numbers where possible or detailed descriptions if you don’t have stats. (This is where you get to brag a little bit about how your service made a difference and why.)
Remember that the person you interviewed is the face (and heart) of your case study. Be sure they resonate as a real person, like Emily:
This is an excellent example of introducing not only the customer, but a specific individual within the company. The last sentence positions Emily as the hero.
Sometimes the organization itself can be the hero, like charity: water:
This paragraph in the executive summary nicely positions charity: water as the focal point of the story.
Sometimes, stepping aside is the best way to inspire trust in what you do. Let your customers talk—they may be the best salespeople you have.
Which SaaS companies do the best job of making their customer a hero?
Have you noticed a SaaS company doing a great job at putting their customers first? Let me know in the comments below.
Now that you know the importance of making your customer the hero of your case study, it’s time to humanize your case study by using the words of your customer to create the story. Find out how to choose powerful quotes and testimonials for your case study.
This is the fifth post in an 11-part series on how to write an impactful SaaS case study.