How to Write Effective Case Studies: A Helpful Guide With Templates
February 16, 2018
- Learn How to Write a Case Study
- Look for the perfect candidate for your case study.
- Contact the participants who write case studies.
- Ask them questions related to case study writing.
- Write your case study.
- Show it to your instructor.
In most times, earning customers’ trust can be challenging. Your main task is to deliver high quality services no matter what. Of course, it is quite easy to advertise yourself as the number one in the industry. However, it is not enough. Every customer deserves what he/she pays for.
The best way to show that you are capable of meeting customers’ expectations is to provide original case studies. When you start producing customized case studies written according to all academic writing standards, customers will notice it and will start ordering services from you. Make sure you follow the right case study format.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Write Case Studies
Look for the suitable case study candidate
It is more than just choosing a client and telling him/her a story. You will need quotes, permissions and a plan of course. Below, you will find a few things that should be present in potential candidates.
Knowledge of the Product
It will be easier for you to choose a client who is aware of logistics of your service or product. As a result, he/she can understand the product/service value and it will make sense for all your future clients.
Customers that see outstanding results will definitely make the best case study. When their business have experiences high ROI due to your service or product, they will start conveying the enthusiasm.
So, you need to select the clients who had positive experience with your product or service. Doubts will disappear if you have worked with non-traditional clients, for example in the industries you usually do not work with.
It is true that small companies have some stories to tell. However, popular and recognizable brands can add credibility to your business.
Clients who decided to cooperate with you after having some experience with your competitors prove your competitive advantage. Consequently, switching clients can sway their business decisions in favor of your service.
Remain Open with Your Case Study Participants
In order to find the needed participants, you have to establish the rule of open communication. It means that you have to indicate your expectations and the deadlines immediately. Otherwise, the case study can be created with a delay.
When you inform your participants about the expectations, it helps a lot in reaching the set objectives.
The Release Form of Case Study
The release form can be different due to the business size, your work and the aim of your case study. Typically, the release form of any case study should consist of the following:
- Explanation of the reasons of case study creation and ways to use it.
- Giving the information related to your business, for instance, logos, names, job positions and photos.
- Explanation of your expectations from case study participants. For instance, will this particular client be able to give a feedback or are you allowed to pass contact data for such purposes?
- A compensation note.
Letter about Success Story
Usually this document is considered to be an outline for the whole case study. It is important to include the following aspects in such a letter:
Marketing team should give you an internal approval, first. Then you need to receive the signed release form. In addition, it will be better to determine the deadline for the teams.
Prior to having a conversation with the participants, make sure they complete a questionnaire. It will ensure that your interview is productive.
As soon as the questionnaire is done, someone has to schedule an interview with the participant. Make sure the questions are related to client’s experience with your service or product.
Review of the Draft
Before creating the final version of your case study, send a draft to the client and ask him/her to give the feedback on it.
When you have done the editing, forward the final version to the client and ask him/her to approve it.
When you have published your case study at the website, make sure to give the client a link to it. You can also ask the client to share this link.
Only the Right Questions Should Be Asked
The results of case study depend on the right questions. How do they look like? See below examples:
- What is your main goal?
- Have you experienced any challenges before using our service or buying our product?
- Why does our product or service differ from those offered by our competitors?
- How do you make decisions?
- Have you felt the benefits after using our service/product?
It is better to ask questions, which enable elaboration, like, “Could you please tell us about…? Or “Can you please describe …?”
When structuring your interview, make sure you divide questions into the categories. For instance, you can have 5-6 sections. It will help you to create a comprehensive study.
The Business of Customers
The aim of the given section is to better understand current challenges and objectives of the company and the ways they can fit in their industry. You can ask the following questions:
- How long have you been working in the industry?
- How many people do you employ?
- What are the main goals of your company?
Everybody needs context in order to tell a story. It helps customers to associate their needs with the proposed solution. You can ask the following questions:
- What objectives or maybe challenges led to looking for a solution?
- What could have occurred if you had failed to find the needed solution?
- Did you explore any other options before finding the current solution?
If you find out how your client decided to work with you, it will help you to attract potential customers. You may ask them the following:
- How did you find out about our service/product?
- Who else helped you to make a decision?
- What factor played the most important role in assessing all possible options?
Focus on client’s experience during the process. Ask him/her the following questions:
- How long did it take you to start running?
- Have you met your expectations?
- Have you involved anybody else in the process?
The Needed Solution in Action
Here you need to understand customer’s ways of using your services/product. Ask the following:
- Do you rely on a certain aspect of the service or product we offer?
- Who else uses our product or service?
Try to uncover the outcomes. The following questions can be asked:
- Does the service/product assist you to increase your productivity or maybe save your time and efforts?
- Does the service/product enhance competitive advantage?
Write Your Case Study
When you need to write your case study, avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Conduct an online research and try to find a template for writing a case study. Case study samples can help you understand how to organize your case study and choose the needed case study format. Include pictures in your case study to attract readers’ attention.
It is recommended to include the following sections in every case study:
- Title: Make sure it is short. Highlight the compelling accomplishment.
- Executive Summary: Make a short summary of the whole story. You can include bullet points in it.
- About: It is an introduction to the company or a person. It can be taken from the website or LinkedIn profile.
- Challenges: Provide a few paragraphs where you describe the challenges of your clients before they started using your service or product. You can also provide customers’ objectives in this section.
- Ways you have assisted: A few paragraphs where you describe the ways your service or product solved clients’ issues.
- Results: Include testimonials, which prove that your service or product had a positive effect on customers. Describe how it helped to reach the set objectives. Numbers and data are appreciated in this section.
- Supporting Quotes and Visuals: Strong quotes and visual material support the story and attract readers’ attention.
So, we hope that our recommendations will be helpful for you.