What Is a Case Study?
When you’re performing research as part of your job or for a school assignment, you’ll probably come across case studies that help you to learn more about the topic at hand. But what is a case study and why are they helpful? Read on to learn all about case studies.
At face value, a case study is a deep dive into a topic. Case studies can be found in many fields, particularly across the social sciences and medicine. When you conduct a case study, you create a body of research based on an inquiry and related data from analysis of a group, individual or controlled research environment.
As a researcher, you can benefit from the analysis of case studies similar to inquiries you’re currently studying. Researchers often rely on case studies to answer questions that basic information and standard diagnostics cannot address.
Study a Pattern
One of the main objectives of a case study is to find a pattern that answers whatever the initial inquiry seeks to find. This might be a question about why college students are prone to certain eating habits or what mental health problems afflict house fire survivors. The researcher then collects data, either through observation or data research, and starts connecting the dots to find underlying behaviors or impacts of the sample group’s behavior.
During the study period, the researcher gathers evidence to back the observed patterns and future claims that’ll be derived from the data. Since case studies are usually presented in the professional environment, it’s not enough to simply have a theory and observational notes to back up a claim. Instead, the researcher must provide evidence to support the body of study and the resulting conclusions.
As the study progresses, the researcher develops a solid case to present to peers or a governing body. Case study presentation is important because it legitimizes the body of research and opens the findings to a broader analysis that may end up drawing a conclusion that’s more true to the data than what one or two researchers might establish. The presentation might be formal or casual, depending on the case study itself.
Once the body of research is established, it’s time to draw conclusions from the case study. As with all social sciences studies, conclusions from one researcher shouldn’t necessarily be taken as gospel, but they’re helpful for advancing the body of knowledge in a given field. For that purpose, they’re an invaluable way of gathering new material and presenting ideas that others in the field can learn from and expand upon.
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23 Case Study Questions Every Marketer Should Ask
December 16, 2022
By Joe Gillespie
Case studies offer one of the most powerful types of content in the inbound marketer’s toolbox.
When done right—with descriptive storytelling and a powerful visual presentation—a case study can deliver a clinching message to leads in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey . Prospects who already know they need a solution to their problems read the case study and see how your company has helped others, which nudges them closer to becoming customers.
That said, case studies are a different animal from other inbound marketing content, such as blogs , e-books, pillar pages, and infographics. Most content in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey doesn’t self-promote much but, instead, simply gives the reader information. The decision stage, however, is a chance to persuade leads that your solution is their best option.
Shifting gears usually isn’t much of a problem for marketers, but switching to the case study format can be. The process is more journalistic—you conduct interviews, gather information, and weave a narrative—and that can be daunting for someone more accustomed to blogging than article writing.
Don’t stress out: Case studies aren’t difficult if you take your time, are diligent about gathering information and writing the content, and ask the right questions. And we can help with the questions! Below are 23 to ask when conducting the interviews.
Case Study Questions to Ask Your Project Manager
Usually, you will interview someone at your company—maybe a project manager, salesperson, client manager, customer liaison, or other colleague who deals with customers—who worked with the client you are profiling for the case study.
Often, this interview will occur first and give you a good launching point for subsequent interviews with the customer’s representatives. You might already know the answers, but ask these questions anyway. You may get a deeper explanation from your interview subject and something quotable you can use in the case study.
(Note: I’m using product , solution , and service interchangeably throughout these case study questions; simply use the term that best applies to your company during the actual interviews.)
- What initial challenges did you encounter with the client that could be overcome with our product? This question is good to establish what problem the customer was experiencing and how your organization was poised to help.
- What process did you follow during implementation? Again, this may be obvious to you but is worth hearing from the PM. A little bit of process info in your case study can go a long way toward showing leads how you, step by step, can help solve their problem.
- What roadblocks for implementation did you help the client overcome? Highlighting how you assisted shows that no matter how messy a customer’s status with its previous solution is, you are positioned to overcome the hurdles that get in the way.
- How have we helped the client since implementation/introduction? Some customers are good to go after your solution is implemented, but others rely on additional support—be sure to find out what that support entails.
- What kind of success did the client enjoy with our product? Results, results, results!
- Did we go above and beyond with our service? If the answer to this is no, that’s OK, and perhaps you don’t want to set unreasonable expectations—even if you did go above and beyond—with the case study, which is also fine. That said, showing how you went the extra mile or were unusually innovative stands out to readers looking for a company that will take care of its customers.
Case Study Questions to Ask the Client
If a client has agreed to be the subject of a case study, they obviously are happy with the service you provided. Take advantage of this enthusiasm by asking open-ended questions and letting your interviewee gush about your organization and your solution.
Some of the case study questions listed here may seem redundant to the ones you asked internally, but ask them anyway. You want both perspectives, and often, the best quotes you hear and use will be from the client.
- Can you give a brief description of your company? If you aren’t familiar with the client, ask for some basic background. Yes, you usually can find such information online, but this is a good icebreaker to get the interviewee talking.
- How did you first hear about our service? If the client learned about you via other case studies or articles in outside publications or websites—or they simply knew about you by reputation or word of mouth—you definitely want to include that in the case study. For the reader, this info strengthens your industry presence and thought leadership. This question is also a good lead-in to learn about how the deal between the client and your company was finalized.
- What challenges/problems necessitated a change? Listen carefully to the answer to this question. Ideally, the challenges and problems the client was facing are exactly what your organization’s product addresses.
- What trends in your industry drove the need to use our product?
- What were you looking for in a solution?
- What made our solution stand out over others that you researched? Ideally, you want the interviewee to say how great your product is. This and other questions lead them to be your greatest advocate.
- What feature of our product was most appealing?
- How did you implement/introduce our solution? The rollout, and the steps taken to get to that point, can make or break the success of the solution. Ideally, the client will say the process was seamless and that your product and team were the reasons for such ease.
- How did our team help with implementation?
- What was the initial reaction to our product? In other words, how did the client’s users and customers accept and utilize the solution?
- How has our solution helped since implementation? Dig into the success realized by your product. This is important because it provides the basis of the case study: “X Company Used Our Solution and Achieved X Hundred Percent Growth.”
- Has this solution saved money and/or increased productivity?
- Can you share any metrics/KPIs that show the success you have enjoyed with our service? The more hard numbers, the better.
- What have you been most impressed with? Here’s another chance for the client to gush.
- What surprised you about us? Hopefully, the customer will share the positive unexpected—things that make you stand out amid the competition.
- What plans do you have to use our solution in the future? After initial success, many companies expand the use of a product, either to more people or additional applications. This info is also important to include in the case study because it shows that the client is not only sticking with your product but also using it to foster more growth and productivity.
- Is there anything else we should know? If you’ve been thorough, the answer to this is likely no, but the question still offers a chance for the interviewee to conclude.
A case study is a wonderful inbound marketing opportunity for your organization. Ask these questions, and use the answers to write a case study that helps your product and your company shine in the eyes of leads.
This blog was originally published on 2017 and has been updated since.
Easily craft compelling customer interviews & provide leads with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Case Study Questions Template
About the author
Joe Gillespie is Director of Inbound Copy for SmartBug Media. He graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in journalism and, before coming to SmartBug, was a two-decade veteran of the newspaper industry. Read more articles by Joe Gillespie .
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100 Best Case Study Questions for Your Next Customer Spotlight
Published: November 29, 2022
Case studies and testimonials are helpful to have in your arsenal. But to build an effective library, you need to ask the right case study questions. You also need to know how to write a case study .
Case studies are customers' stories that your sales team can use to share relevant content with prospects . Not only that, but case studies help you earn a prospect's trust, show them what life would be like as your customer, and validate that your product or service works for your clients.
Before you start building your library of case studies, check out our list of 100 case study questions to ask your clients. With this helpful guide, you'll have the know-how to build your narrative using the " Problem-Agitate-Solve " Method.
What makes a good case study questionnaire?
The ultimate list of case study questions, how to ask your customer for a case study, creating an effective case study.
Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.
A questionnaire should never feel like an interrogation. Instead, aim to structure your case study questions like a conversation. Some of the essential things that your questionnaire should cover include:
- The problem faced by the client before choosing your organization.
- Why they chose your company.
- How your product solved the problem clients faced.
- The measurable results of the service provided.
- Data and metrics that prove the success of your service or product, if possible.
You can adapt these considerations based on how your customers use your product and the specific answers or quotes that you want to receive.
What makes a good case study question?
A good case study question delivers a powerful message to leads in the decision stage of your prospective buyer's journey.
Since your client has agreed to participate in a case study, they're likely enthusiastic about the service you provide. Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client and opens a conversation.
Try asking open-ended questions to encourage your client to talk about the excellent service or product you provide.
Free Case Study Templates
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Categories for the Best Case Study Questions
- Case study questions about the customer's business
- Case study questions about the environment before the purchase
- Case study questions about the decision process
- Case study questions about the customer's business case
- Case study questions about the buying team and internal advocates
- Case study questions about customer success
- Case study questions about product feedback
- Case study questions about willingness to make referrals
- Case study question to prompt quote-worthy feedback
- Case study questions about the customers' future goals
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business
Knowing the customer's business is an excellent way of setting the tone for a case study.
Use these questions to get some background information about the company and its business goals. This information can be used to introduce the business at the beginning of the case study — plus, future prospects might resonate with their stories and become leads for you.
- Would you give me a quick overview of [company]? This is an opportunity for the client to describe their business in their own words. You'll get useful background information and it's an easy prompt to get the client talking.
- Can you describe your role? This will give you a better idea of the responsibilities they are subject to.
- How do your role and team fit into the company and its goals? Knowing how the team functions to achieve company goals will help you formulate how your solution involves all stakeholders.
- How long has your company been in business? Getting this information will help the reader gauge if pain points are specific to a startup or new company vs. a veteran company.
- How many employees do you have? Another great descriptor for readers to have. They can compare the featured company size with their own.
- Is your company revenue available? If so, what is it? This will give your readers background information on the featured company's gross sales.
- Who is your target customer? Knowing who the target audience is will help you provide a better overview of their market for your case study readers.
- How does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives? This is one of the most important questions because it is the basis of the case study. Get specifics on how your product provided a solution for your client. You want to be able to say "X company implemented our solution and achieved Y. "
- How are our companies aligned (mission, strategy, culture, etc.)? If any attributes of your company's mission or culture appealed to the client, call it out.
How many people are on your team? What are their roles? This will help describe key players within the organization and their impact on the implementation of your solution.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase
A good case study is designed to build trust. Ask clients to describe the tools and processes they used before your product or service. These kinds of case study questions will highlight the business' need they had to fulfill and appeal to future clients.
- What was your team's process prior to using our product? This will give the reader a baseline to compare the results for your company's product.
- Were there any costs associated with the process prior to using our product? Was it more expensive? Was it worth the cost? How did the product affect the client's bottom line? This will be a useful metric to disclose if your company saved the client money or was more cost-efficient.
- What were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product? Describe these obstacles in detail. You want the reader to get as much information on the problem as possible as it sets up the reasoning for why your company's solution was implemented.
- Did our product replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using a product like this? Were they using a similar product? If so, having this information may give readers a reason to choose your brand over the competition.
- What other challenges were you and your team experiencing prior to using our product? The more details you can give readers regarding the client's struggles, the better. You want to paint a full picture of the challenges the client faced and how your company resolved them.
- Were there any concerns about how your customers would be impacted by using our product? Getting answers to this question will illustrate to readers the client's concerns about switching to your service. Your readers may have similar concerns and reading how your client worked through this process will be helpful.
- Why didn't you buy our product or a similar product earlier? Have the client describe any hesitations they had using your product. Their concerns may be relatable to potential leads.
- Were there any "dealbreakers" involved in your decision to become a customer? Describing how your company was able to provide a solution that worked within those parameters demonstrates how accommodating your brand is and how you put the customer first. It's also great to illustrate any unique challenges the client had. This better explains their situation to the reader.
- Did you have to make any changes you weren't anticipating once you became a customer? Readers of your case study can learn how switching to your product came with some unexpected changes (good or bad) and how they navigated them. If you helped your client with troubleshooting, ask them to explain that here.
How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer? Get the interviewee to describe how your product changed how they do business. This includes how your product accomplished what they previously thought was impossible.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process
Readers of the case study will be interested in which factors influenced the decision-making process for the client. If they can relate to that process, there's a bigger chance they'll buy your product.
The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.
- How did you hear about our product? If the client chose to work with you based on a recommendation or another positive case study, include that. It will demonstrate that you are a trusted brand with an established reputation for delivering results.
- How long had you been looking for a solution to this problem? This will add to the reader's understanding of how these particular challenges impacted the company before choosing your product.
- Were you comparing alternative solutions? Which ones? This will demonstrate to readers that the client explored other options before choosing your company.
- Would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product? Ask the interviewee to describe why they chose your product over the competition and any benefits your company offered that made you stand out.
- What were the criteria you used when deciding to buy our product? This will give readers more background insight into the factors that impacted their decision-making process.
- Were there any high-level initiatives or goals that prompted the decision to buy? For example, was this decision motivated by a company-wide vision? Prompt your clients to discuss what lead to the decision to work with you and how you're the obvious choice.
- What was the buying process like? Did you notice anything exceptional or any points of friction? This is an opportunity for the client to comment on how seamless and easy you make the buying process. Get them to describe what went well from start to finish.
- How would you have changed the buying process, if at all? This is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your process to accommodate future buyers.
- Who on your team was involved in the buying process? This will give readers more background on the key players involved from executives to project managers. With this information, readers can see who they may potentially need to involve in the decision-making process on their teams.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case
Your case study questions should ask about your product or solution's impact on the customer's employees, teams, metrics, and goals. These questions allow the client to praise the value of your service and tell others exactly what benefits they derived from it.
When readers review your product or service's impact on the client, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.
- How long have you been using our product? This will help readers gauge how long it took to see results and your overall satisfaction with the product or service.
- How many different people at your company use our product? This will help readers gauge how they can adapt the product to their teams if similar in size.
- Are there multiple departments or teams using our product? This will demonstrate how great of an impact your product has made across departments.
- How do you and your team currently use the product? What types of goals or tasks are you using the product to accomplish? Get specifics on how the product actively helps the client achieve their goals.
- If other teams or departments are using our product, do you know how they're using it? With this information, leads can picture how they can use your product across their teams and how it may improve their workflow and metrics.
- What was the most obvious advantage you felt our product offered during the sales process? The interviewee should explain the benefits they've gained from using your product or service. This is important for convincing other leads you are better than the competition.
- Were there any other advantages you discovered after using the product more regularly? Your interviewee may have experienced some additional benefits from using your product. Have them describe in detail what these advantages are and how they've helped the company improve.
- Are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product? What are they? The more numbers and data the client can provide, the better.
- Were you tracking any metrics prior to using our product? What were they? This will allow readers to get a clear, before-and-after comparison of using your product.
- How has our product impacted your core metrics? This is an opportunity for your clients to drive home how your product assisted them in hitting their metrics and goals.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Buying Team and Internal Advocates
See if there are any individuals at the customer's company who are advocates for your product.
- Are there any additional team members you consider to be advocates for our product? For example, does anyone stick out as a "power user" or product expert on your team? You may want to interview and include these power users in your case study as well. Consider asking them for tips on using your service or product.
- Is there anyone else on your team you think we should talk to? Again, the more people can share their experience using your product, the better.
- Are there any team members who you think might not be the biggest fans of our product or who might need more training? Providing extra support to those struggling with your product may improve their user experience and turn into an opportunity to not only learn about their obstacles but turn them into a product fan
- Would you share some details about how your team implemented our product? Get as much information as possible about the rollout. Hopefully, they'll gush about how seamless the process was.
- Who from your company was involved in implementing our product? This will give readers more insight into who needs to be involved for a successful rollout of their own.
- Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing our product? If so, how did you address them? This will give insight into the client's process and rollout and this case study question will likely provide tips on what potential leads should be on the lookout for.
- Is there a training process in place for your team's use of our product? If so, what does it look like? If your company provided support and training to the client, have them describe that experience.
- About how long does it take a new team member to get up to speed with our product? This will help leads determine how much time it will take to onboard an employee to your using your product. If a new user can quickly get started seamlessly, it bodes well for you.
- What was your main concern about rolling this product out to your company? Describing their challenges in detail will provide readers with useful insight.
Case Study Interview Questions About Customer Success
Has the customer found success with your product? Ask these questions to learn more.
- By using our product can you measure any reduced costs? If it has, you'll want to emphasize those savings in your case study.
- By using our product can you measure any improvements in productivity or time savings? Any metrics or specific stories your interviewee can provide will help demonstrate the value of your product.
- By using our product can you measure any increases in revenue or growth? Again, say it with numbers and data whenever possible.
- Are you likely to recommend our product to a friend or colleague? Recommendations from existing customers are some of the best marketing you can get.
- How has our product impacted your success? Your team's success? Getting the interviewee to describe how your product played an integral role in solving their challenges will show leads that they can also have success using your product.
- In the beginning, you had XYZ concerns; how do you feel about them now? Let them explain how working with your company eliminated those concerns.
- I noticed your team is currently doing XYZ with our product. Tell me more about how that helps your business. Illustrate to your readers how current customers are using your product to solve additional challenges. It will convey how versatile your product is.
- Have you thought about using our product for a new use case with your team or at your company? The more examples of use cases the client can provide, the better.
- How do you measure the value our product provides? Have the interviewee illustrate what metrics they use to gauge the product's success and how. Data is helpful, but you should go beyond the numbers. Maybe your product improved company morale and how teams work together.
Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback
Ask the customer if they'd recommend your product to others. A strong recommendation will help potential clients be more open to purchasing your product.
- How do other companies in this industry solve the problems you had before you purchased our product? This will give you insight into how other companies may be functioning without your product and how you can assist them.
- Have you ever talked about our product to any of your clients or peers? What did you say? This can provide you with more leads and a chance to get a referral.
- Why would you recommend our product to a friend or client? Be sure they pinpoint which features they would highlight in a recommendation.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. Your interviewee may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- What is your advice for other teams or companies who are tackling problems similar to those you had before you purchased our product? This is another opportunity for your client to talk up your product or service.
- Do you know someone in X industry who has similar problems to the ones you had prior to using our product? The client can make an introduction so you can interview them about their experience as well.
- I noticed you work with Company Y. Do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
- Does your company participate in any partner or referral programs? Having a strong referral program will help you increase leads and improve customer retention.
- Can I send you a referral kit as a thank-you for making a referral and give you the tools to refer someone to us? This is a great strategy to request a referral while rewarding your existing customers.
- Are you interested in working with us to produce additional marketing content? The more opportunities you can showcase happy customers, the better.
Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals
- How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or client? Ideally, they would definitely refer your product to someone they know.
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product? Again, your interviewee is a great source for more leads. Similar industries may have similar issues that need solutions. They may be able to provide a use case you haven't come up with.
- I noticed you work with Company Y; do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes? This will help you learn how your product has impacted your client's customers and gain insight into what can be improved.
Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback
Enhance your case study with quotable soundbites from the customer. By asking these questions, prospects have more insight into other clients and their success with your product — which helps build trust.
- How would you describe your process in one sentence prior to using our product? Ideally, this sentence would quickly and descriptively sum up the most prominent pain point or challenge with the previous process.
- What is your advice to others who might be considering our product? Readers can learn from your customer's experience.
- What would your team's workflow or process be like without our product? This will drive home the value your product provides and how essential it is to their business.
- Do you think the investment in our product was worthwhile? Why? Have your customer make the case for the value you provide.
- What would you say if we told you our product would soon be unavailable? What would this mean to you? Again, this illustrates how integral your product is to their business.
- How would you describe our product if you were explaining it to a friend? Your customers can often distill the value of your product to their friends better than you can.
- What do you love about your job? Your company? This gives the reader more background on your customer and their industry.
- What was the worst part of your process before you started using our product? Ideally, they'd reiterate how your product helped solve this challenge.
- What do you love about our product? Another great way to get the customer's opinion about what makes your product worth it.
- Why do you do business with us? Hopefully, your interviewee will share how wonderful your business relationship is.
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customers' Future Goals
Ask the customer about their goals, challenges, and plans for the future. This will provide insight into how a business can grow with your product.
- What are the biggest challenges on the horizon for your industry? Chances are potential leads within the same industry will have similar challenges.
- What are your goals for the next three months? Knowing their short-term goals will enable your company to get some quick wins for the client.
- How would you like to use our product to meet those challenges and goals? This will help potential leads understand that your product can help their business as they scale and grow.
- Is there anything we can do to help you and your team meet your goals? If you haven't covered it already, this will allow your interviewee to express how you can better assist them.
- Do you think you will buy more, less, or about the same amount of our product next year? This can help you gauge how your product is used and why.
- What are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team? This will help you gain insight into how your product can help them achieve future goals.
- How can we help you meet your long-term goals? Getting specifics on the needs of your clients will help you create a unique solution designed for their needs.
- What is the long-term impact of using our product? Get their feedback on how your product has created a lasting impact.
- Are there any initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with? Again, you want to continue to provide products that help your customers excel.
- What will you need from us in the future? This will help you anticipate the customer's business needs.
- Is there anything we can do to improve our product or process for working together in the future? The more feedback you can get about what is and isn't working, the better.
Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission.
If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, reach out to them. Use this template to get started:
Thank you & quick request
Hi [customer name],
Thanks again for your business — working with you to [solve X, launch Y, take advantage of Z opportunity] has been extremely rewarding, and I'm looking forward to more collaboration in the future.
[Name of your company] is building a library of case studies to include on our site. We're looking for successful companies using [product] to solve interesting challenges, and your team immediately came to mind. Are you open to [customer company name] being featured?
It should be a lightweight process — [I, a product marketer] will ask you roughly [10, 15, 20] questions via email or phone about your experience and results. This case study will include a blurb about your company and a link to your homepage (which hopefully will make your SEO team happy!)
In any case, thank you again for the chance to work with you, and I hope you have a great week.
If one of your customers has recently passed along some praise (to you, their account manager, your boss; on an online forum; to another potential customer; etc.), then send them a version of this email:
Hey [customer name],
Thanks for the great feedback — I'm really glad to hear [product] is working well for you and that [customer company name] is getting the results you're looking for.
My team is actually in the process of building out our library of case studies, and I'd love to include your story. Happy to provide more details if you're potentially interested.
Either way, thank you again, and I look forward to getting more updates on your progress.
You can also find potential case study customers by usage or product data. For instance, maybe you see a company you sold to 10 months ago just bought eight more seats or upgraded to a new tier. Clearly, they're happy with the solution. Try this template:
I saw you just [invested in our X product; added Y more users; achieved Z product milestone]. Congratulations! I'd love to share your story using [product] with the world -- I think it's a great example of how our product + a dedicated team and a good strategy can achieve awesome results.
Are you open to being featured? If so, I'll send along more details.
Case Study Benefits
- Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
- Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
- Case studies are easily sharable.
- Case studies build rapport with your customers.
- Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
1. Case studies are a form of customer advocacy.
If you haven't noticed, customers aren't always quick to trust a brand's advertisements and sales strategies.
With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality.
This is the most important reason why case studies are effective. They are testimonials from your customers of your service. If someone is considering your business, a case study is a much more convincing piece of marketing or sales material than traditional advertising.
2. Case studies provide a joint-promotion opportunity.
Your business isn't the only one that benefits from a case study. Customers participating in case studies benefit, too.
Think about it. Case studies are free advertisements for your customers, not to mention the SEO factor, too. While they're not promoting their products or services, they're still getting the word out about their business. And, the case study highlights how successful their business is — showing interested leads that they're on the up and up.
3. Case studies are easily sharable.
No matter your role on the sales team, case studies are great to have on hand. You can easily share them with leads, prospects, and clients.
Whether you embed them on your website or save them as a PDF, you can simply send a link to share your case study with others. They can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on.
Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. In sales, timing is everything. If a customer is explaining a problem that was solved and discussed in your case study, you can quickly find the document and share it with them.
4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.
While case studies are very useful, they do require some back and forth with your customers to obtain the exact feedback you're looking for.
Even though time is involved, the good news is this builds rapport with your most loyal customers. You get to know them on a personal level, and they'll become more than just your most valuable clients.
And, the better the rapport you have with them, the more likely they'll be to recommend your business, products, or services to others.
5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
Data is the difference between a case study and a review. Customer reviews are typically based on the customer's opinion of your brand. While they might write a glowing review, it's completely subjective and there's rarely empirical evidence supporting their claim.
Case studies, on the other hand, are more data-driven. While they'll still talk about how great your brand is, they support this claim with quantitative data that's relevant to the reader. It's hard to argue with data.
An effective case study must be genuine and credible. Your case study should explain why certain customers are the right fit for your business and how your company can help meet their specific needs. That way, someone in a similar situation can use your case study as a testimonial for why they should choose your business.
Use the case study questions above to create an ideal customer case study questionnaire. By asking your customers the right questions, you can obtain valuable feedback that can be shared with potential leads and convert them into loyal customers.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in June 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Essential Case Study Questions to Ask Your Best Customers
Picture this: a customer is looking to replace their email marketing software . As they evaluate different options, they look for products with features that suit their needs and preferences. Most importantly, they want proof that your product works.
You can tell the story yourself, but the problem is that 9 out of 10 customers won’t trust what you say about your brand . Instead, they want to hear from other customers who have used your product and reaped the benefits. This is where case studies come in handy.
A case study gives skeptical customers evidence backed by data, numbers, and analysis. It’s an impactful direct endorsement from satisfied customers that tells others, “come buy this product: it enables me to achieve these results and will work for your business, too.”
Where to Use Case Studies
Case studies are an important part of your content marketing strategy . Here are a few places you can feature your case studies to drive social proof and conversions:
- Your website: 92% of potential customers look for social proof before making a purchase. Adding excerpts of your case studies on key web pages and on focused landing pages will improve conversions.
- Nurture emails: If you have a case study about a feature or product a customer is looking to buy, send a targeted, nurture series featuring the case study.
- Sales and marketing team: When the customer is in the consideration stage, you can send them targeted case studies. Sales and marketing teams should also learn to use case studies at the right moments in the buyer’s journey.
- Newsletters: Case studies are a great resource for your newsletter series, whether you’re looking to build new relationships or strengthen existing ones.
- Marketing videos: Making video case studies or testimonials helps potential customers see what your product can achieve from a third-party perspective and may convince them to buy. Actually, 2 out of 3 customers claim they’d make a purchase after watching a testimonial video.
- Blog posts: You could also use quotes from case studies to add credibility to information in your blog posts and articles.
Identifying the Right Customers for Case Studies
Not all customer stories lend themselves well to case studies. For a case study to really woo your customers, it has to be authentic, believable, and captivating.
When picking candidates for case studies, consider the following:
- Company size: The size of the company that suits your case study comes down to what you want to achieve. If you want to add more SMBs to your customer base, then write a case study about a small business; and vice versa.
- The challenge: Evaluate your target audience and pinpoint the problem you want to solve. Then, identify the specific product feature that solves that problem. Lastly, search through your customer base and pick a customer that had a similar problem and used the same feature to solve it. Chances are, if you use that customer as a case study, the story will resonate with the target audience.
- The results: Remember, for the case study to have a significant impact, it has to showcase cold, hard data. For this reason, pick a customer with solid numbers to back up their anecdotal results. Gather direct quotes, as well, to spice up the case study and improve narrative flow. You’re telling a story, after all, so make it exciting!
- Other things to consider include: pick a customer you’ve recently worked with, and ideally, one requiring minimal layers of approval. This way, your proposal to feature them in your case studies will get approval in time — and you won’t have to delay for months while you wait for legal to provide their stamp of approval.
Fundamental Case Study Questions to Ask in Your Interview
Asking your customers the right questions can make or break your case study. The questions you ask will vary depending on your industry and the angle of your case study, but here are some essential ones to start with:
- How did you find out about us?
- When did you start working with us?
- What was the beginning of the engagement with our company like?
- What problems were you looking to solve?
- Did you evaluate our competitors or other solutions to your problem?
- What made you decide to go with us?
- How did our product/solution solve your problem?
- Did you need any help using our product/solution, and how did you get help?
- What are some of the main benefits of using our product/solution?
- What are the three biggest things you love about our company?
- What would you say to other people considering us?
1: What’s Your Background?
Getting your customer’s backstory is a great way to set the stage and tone for your case study. It might even help steer your case study down a path you hadn’t considered before. Better yet, these personal stories engage potential buyers, helping them to relate to your customer base.
2: How did you find out about us?
3: when did you start working with us, 4: what was the beginning of the engagement with our company like, 5: what problem were you trying to solve.
Every buyer is working to address a problem. Your case study should focus on one problem, so ask what problem the user was trying to solve. This question will give the reader (and you) insight into how people perceive and use your product.
6: How Was The Problem Affecting You?
Most buying decisions are based on emotions rather than logic. Expand this question by asking how the problem was affecting impacting the customer’s bottom line, what difficulties it was causing and how it made the person feel. Ask open-ended questions and try to elicit emotional responses as much as possible.
7: What Possible Solutions Did You Consider?
There are always multiple ways to solve any problem. Those who read your case study will trust the testimonial more if they can see that the customer considered other solutions. Buyers always start with a list of options and then narrow down the list until they find the perfect fit.
8: Why Did You Choose Our Product or Service?
Case study readers will be interested in the decision-making process previous buyers have gone through. If they identify with the process, they are more likely to buy the same product.
9: What Would Have Happened If You Had NOT Made The Purchase?
Asking this question reiterates the original problem. Hopefully it’s the same one the reader is trying to solve. It emphasizes the consequences of postponing a purchase and increases the likelihood of the reader making the decision you want him or her to make.
10: What Risks Did You Consider?
Every decision has risks. If you ignore them they won’t go away, so you need to address each risk to reassure your prospective customer. This helps the reader to overcome their natural aversion to taking risks. Risk analysis has two main components; how likely it is, and how severe are the possible consequences.
You can reduce perceived risk by including a ludicrous over-the-top warranty that offers much more than the standard money-back guarantee everyone offers.
11: What Reservations Did You Have?
This is similar to risk analysis and gives you another way to find why people might not be buying from you. If one person has reservations, other buyers might have similar feelings and need to confront them before making a decision to purchase.
12: Did you need any help using our product/solution, and how did you get help?
Provide potential customers with a taste of what it’s like working with your company. Do you have 24/7 support? Personalized account management? Give your customer service and support a chance to shine.
13: What are some of the main benefits of using our product/solution?
14: what measurable benefits have you seen.
This question gives your case study respondent an opportunity to address the value in your product and to spell out exactly how it solved their problem. It is more convincing as the final question because readers can see the feedback is credible. Praise is more effective when it’s given after a detailed risk analysis and consideration of alternatives.
15: What are the three biggest things you love about our company?
16: what would you say to other people considering us, bonus: can you provide creative assets.
Be sure to ask your customer for a headshot, company logo and other brand elements you can add to their case study to make it feel even more personal and authentic to your audience.
You know what you need and how your study needs to be structured. If you simply ask someone to give you feedback on a purchase, what you get is unstructured and rambling praise that lacks credibility. Structuring responses will save the respondents time and gives you something much more valuable.
Your best customers value your partnership and want to help you succeed. They will more than likely be happy to take part in a case study. All you need to do is to ask.
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10 Best Case Study Interview Questions to Ask
Ask these 10 interview questions to get valuable case study insights.
When you’re striving to improve your product, brand, or marketing, conducting case study interviews with your customers can provide invaluable insight into your business. Yes, customer case studies can provide content that your sales and marketing teams can use in order to attract additional attention from prospective clients. But they can also give you fresh insight into your business’s strengths and weaknesses so you can identify opportunities for growth, particularly if you ask the right case study interview questions.
If you’ve never done a case study before, you may be struggling to wrap your head around how to approach this process—how do you write case study interview questions that are productive and impactful? Read on to learn what you need to know in order to conduct a great case study interview, even if it’s your first time.
What is a case study?
One of the most difficult tasks of a business is proving to potential customers that you really can do all you say you can, so that they feel confident in signing on to work with you. One of the best ways to go about showcasing your professional skillset and attracting new business is through case studies—in particular, by interviewing former or existing customers in order to simultaneously conduct market research and generate marketing materials.
The kind of customer interviews conducted for the purpose of business case studies can be tricky to execute. You want to learn about what went great in your collaboration, while also soliciting feedback that could help steer the improvements you foster within your own company. How do you do both of these things at once?
Plainly put, it’s no small feat. There are many challenges in conducting these kinds of interviews with customers, including:
- Limited staff resources: Your staff members are busy people—finding time for them to plan, structure, and conduct these types of case study interviews can be tricky .
- Difficulty scheduling time with willing customers: Your customers are equally busy individuals—and it’s even harder to sell a customer on carving out their time for work like this than for your own staff members.
While there are certainly hurdles involved in getting this information collected, the effort can really be worth it in the end. The insight customers are able to share with you as a business owner is priceless—and the fact that these case studies can also become impactful marketing tools is an added bonus. But in order to make things easier on yourself and more efficient, preparing carefully constructed, highly targeted case study interview questions is essential.
How to write the best case study questions
How do you actually write a case study interview question that’s sure to get at the heart of a customer’s most honest feedback, while also serving as a testimonial your marketing staff can use to generate new interest in your business? It’s a tricky task to take on, but not an impossible one. Here are some things to keep in mind as you set out to establish a set of case study interview questions that work well for your company.
First, you want to structure your case study interview like a conversation—while you’re looking for thorough information, you don’t want your customer to feel like they’re involved in an interrogation. The fact that they’re willing to participate in the interview is a sign that they valued your product, service, or collaboration. They’re doing you a favor by supplying this information for your company, so you want to capture the essential information in as few questions as possible—but you also want to ensure the questions you ask are succinct, friendly, and flow naturally from one to another.
Strive for open-ended questions that give customers the opportunity to expand on the parts of their experience that they remember most fondly. While you’re looking for specific information, you also want your customer to feel they have room to share what they found important about working with you.
To give you a sense of what kinds of questions you should include in your survey, here are the top 10 best case study interview questions to ask in 2023:
- What problems were you facing before you chose to work with us?
- Out of the many businesses available to help, what made you choose ours?
- How long have you been using our product/resource/service?
- How many people on your team are involved with our product/resource/service?
- How has our product/resource/service helped to improve your initial problem?
- Can you provide a measurable example of how the problem has improved?
- What concerns did you have about our product/resource/service initially? How do you feel about those concerns today?
- Have any new concerns or issues arisen since you started using our product/resource/service? How could we improve, if so?
- What features or developments could make our product/resource/service even more useful or beneficial for your company?
- Would you recommend our product/resource/service to a trusted peer in your industry? Why or why not?
When approaching a case study, you should always start with a genuine desire to hear feedback from your customers and provide improvements to their issues wherever possible. Spend sufficient time carefully defining your goal, crafting a collection of succinct questions that help you get to the information you need quickly, and preparing appropriately to execute the interview. While your customers are eager to share their positive experiences with you, it’s important to respect everyone’s time along the way.
If you’re looking for a way to circumvent some of the hurdles that come along with differences in time zones or geography in this kind of work, consider a tool like Voiceform. By asking case study interview questions through Voiceform, you can interview a number of customers simultaneously, allowing them to engage the questions at a time that is most convenient to them. Plus, you’ll have access to insights that will make market research and creating marketing materials easier than ever. When you’re ready to begin, start your trial with Voiceform or book a demo !
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14 Best Case Study Questions to Ask Your Top Customers
If you want to show interested leads that you can put your money where your mouth is, case studies are a good way to go. They’re a valuable form of content that can even be used as lead magnets under the right conditions, and they have a singular purpose: To show how your clients achieved specific, significant results with your product or service.
Knowing how to write a great case study is an important part of success, but there’s a part of the process that comes before that: Knowing which questions to ask, which you’ll determine when you’re preparing for a case study interview.
The questions you ask can make the difference between a case study that feels like it’s been churned out by a low-quality AI machine compared to one that feels actionable, engaging, and high-stakes to your readers.
In this post, we’re going to go over the 14 best case study questions to ask, along with discussing some tips to improve the results you’ll get.
How to Structure Your Case Study Questions
Before we dive in, we want to talk about how to structure your questions in the interview.
In this post specifically, we’re going to look at individual questions you should ask around pointed topics, like about the client’s brand, solutions they’ve tried already, and their results.
It’s best to stick close to the progression outlined here because it will give you the basic information you need at every level of the case study interview . You can’t ask what solutions they’ve tried before when you don’t even understand their brands’ needs.
And keep in mind that when you’re asking users to provide specific information about a topic up front, they’ll often reference it later, strengthening the overall case study and sometimes encouraging them to share information they may not have thought to share otherwise.
That being said, let’s go ahead and start to dive in to the best case study questions you should ask.
Questions About Their Brand
The best case studies will have some information about the brand they’re featuring and not just about how the brand uses their product. Information about the brand size, industry, and unique selling propositions (USPs ) can all play a valuable part in building a strong case study.
These are a few important case study questions to consider asking about branding:
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your brand?
This is a great way to start the interview off strong. Ask the client to tell you about the brand, plain and simple. See what they have to say; they may share information about their product or service, how they fit into their industry, what differentiates them, and more.
Leaving this first question relatively vague and open-ended helps them feel more comfortable while giving you some good ideas for where to go.
If they’re stumped, ask them to provide a brief description of what their company does.
2. Can you tell me about your business’s structure, including industry, company size, or years in business?
While this may feel technical, it can be exceptionally valuable to readers of the case study to help them relate or get a good understanding of who is using your products.
3. An industry-relevant question
SaaS tools that help with ad management may ask clients about their total monthly ad spend, for example. An eco-friendly company may ask clients what their “green goals” are or their previous carbon emissions.
Think about what would benefit you to have in the case study, and ask it here if possible.
Questions About Their Challenge & Pain Points
We know that all great case studies will highlight the challenges that clients have before finding your product or service as their solution, exacerbated by key pain points.
It’s so important to get enough information that these challenges feel real and significant in the case study; if you neglect to explain why a challenge was an actual obstacle, it can come across as seeming trivial. That can make your solution seem trivial, too.
These are the best case study questions to ask for this stage of the interview.
4. What were the challenges you needed to solve before finding our product?
This is a specific, pointed question, which helps make it effective.
If I ask my content marketing clients this question, for example, they might say, “we didn’t know how to create content that ranked well” or “we needed help creating content at scale.”
You can dive deeper by asking pointed questions about their key problems, which brings us to the next question.
5. Why did this challenge have such a significant impact on your business?
This is the golden ticket right here, because it’s about pain points.
Say you’re selling marketing services, and the client’s challenge is that they wanted help with lead generation .
The pain points of “organic channels were too slow in driving customer acquisition, and our churn rates were eviscerating our client numbers” or “we tried to run ads ourselves but ended up losing hundreds of dollars to no avail.”
Wasted money. Bleeding clients. Too-slow organic channels. These are pain points that make the case study feel real, and that other customers will connect to.
6. What other solutions had you tried before and why didn’t they work?
While it’s best to skip out on trash-talking competitors in the case study, asking this question during the interview can give you valuable context and a lot to work with.
If, for example, I’m a weight loss coach, my clients may have tried the keto diet and Weight Watchers to no avail. Knowing that the keto diet made them feel queasy and that they found the point-tracking Weight Watchers to be too much work can be useful information for the study, even if you don’t ever name the alternatives.
These are pain points in their own right, and can be utilized like the following:
“The client had tried different solutions before but found that the diets either made them sick or were too much work to maintain.” It positions your solution to be the winning option.
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Questions About How They Discovered You
While it may seem irrelevant, information about how customers discovered you and why they decided to work with you can actually become compelling parts of a case study— even if only mentioned in brief.
Here’s an example of how you can use this information in the case study:
“We found Breadcrumbs after our business partner mentioned it to us, and after reading about their easy-to-use interface and accessible lead scoring , we decided to give it a try.”
You’ve got social proof (business partner referred them) and a promo for a unique feature that made them convert.
Here are the case study questions you can ask to get this information:
7. How did you find out about our brand?
It’s a simple question, and it will likely be a simple answer. Nice and easy.
8. What made you decide to try our product over other solutions?
This essentially gets the customer to sell your product back to you, which is phenomenal. And someone reading the case study might think, “They’re right; I’ve also looked for a lead scoring tool with a great interface, I’d try that.”
Questions About How They Used The Product or Service
This will likely be one of the meatier parts of the case study interview because this is where some of the actionable information comes into play. How did your clients use your product or service, what steps did they take, and how can others use this to replicate the eventual results we’ll discover?
These are the case study questions to ask:
9. Which specific products and product features did your team use?
Say you’re selling invoicing software to small businesses. Not all clients will use every feature.
Graphic designers, for example, may take advantage of project estimates for upfront deposits more than a copywriter who only works for flat fees. That copywriter, however, might be more likely to use invoice templates for retainer clients or automated billing features.
Ask about the products and services the team used.
10. How did your team use our products and services to meet their needs?
You know what products or services were used, but now it’s time to ask how they were used.
Project estimates, for example, allowed graphic designers to send more professional-looking invoices to clients, who could pay upfront deposits through credit card, check, or bank deposit. This helped that designer weed out clients who had no intention of paying and gave them the funds they needed to secure the supplies to begin working.
And for the copywriter who used automated billing, it saved her an exceptional amount of time and ensured she got paid on time because she sent those invoices on time.
11. How was your experience?
Was the SaaS tool user-friendly? Did your clients take advantage of a free demo program or the option to have an account manager get their entire account up and running?
Ask about their specific transition process using the tool and what made the experience a more positive one.
Questions About Their Results
Last but not least… the results. Believe it or not, some case studies skip this part of the interview, but you definitely want to include hard, quantifiable data in as many case studies as possible.
12. What end results did you get after using our product?
Ask for the results your clients achieved. If they’re comfortable sharing the information, ask for KPIs.
How did using our social media marketing software increase message response rates?
How did our marketing service improve lead generation efforts, and customer acquisition costs?
How did our lead scoring software reduce the contact-to-close period for leads or increase the overall financial value of leads acquired?
Be as specific as the client will allow. The more definitive the data you can share, the better.
13. What impact did these results have on your business?
While this may seem self-explanatory, this is a great final question that again helps the impact of your product or service really stand out.
We saw customer satisfaction increase and sales go up by about 15% by improving message response rates on social media.
Or, by getting more leads at lower costs, our business was able to reinvest those accelerated profits into additional campaigns to scale exponentially at an unprecedented rate, and now we’re opening two new branches.
This can be a combination of data-focused or story-driven impacts. Either (or both!) works well.
14. Is there anything else we should know?
Anything else you want to share? This is a short but powerful question, and while some clients will say, “nope, that’s it,” you may be surprised what some other people share with you.
There may be something they’ve been excited to talk about that hasn’t come up in the questions yet, or something may pop into mind to elaborate on something you’d discussed earlier.
Give them the floor, and see what they have to say.
If you’re going to take the time needed to conduct and write up a case study (both your own time and the client’s), you want to get it right. Coming prepared with a list of strong case study questions can help you create content that will be highly effective at generating leads and converting customers for a long time to come.
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33 Case Study Questions for Customer and Client Interviews
When selling your product or service to prospective customers, you make a stronger case when you can show concrete results. This is where a case study comes in. A case study strengthens your sales pitch by showing firsthand results. You can boost your case studies by interviewing previous customers and asking them to share how they benefited from your business. Interview your loyal customers using the following questions to build strong case studies you can share with new prospective clients.
What is a Case Study?
A case study is a detailed report that showcases how your product has benefited previous clients. It is a way to show firsthand how your product or service can benefit potential new clients. Case studies help you build trust with new clients — 88% of whom trust online customer reviews and ratings. Conversely, only 14% of customers trust advertisements.
Asking the right types of questions to your previous customers will help you better craft your final case study. Since you will be writing these studies with new clients in mind, drafting your questions beforehand will give you the right information to highlight how you have previously solved similar client issues in the past.
How to Write Case Study Questions
This section offers an outline of sections that should be included in your final case study and sample questions to ask of your clients.
Start With the Backstory
Before writing your case study questions, determine why you are writing it. Outline the major problems you intend to highlight and create questions that will allow you to articulate how you solved them. The following section includes case study question examples you can use to conduct your client interviews, but you can modify them based on your goals.
When interviewing your previous clients, first introduce them to your audience by including some background information on their company. Next, set up the case study by presenting the initial problem.
- Tell me a little bit about your business and its history.
- Who are your target customers?
- Describe your role at the company.
- What are some common challenges faced by businesses in your industry?
- What problems or challenges were you facing that led you to seek out our product/service?
- Why was this specific challenge a priority?
- How was this problem impacting your business?
- What other potential solutions had you tried before, and why weren’t they working?
Establish Your Relationship
After setting up the problem and why it was significant to your customers, ask them to define their relationship with your brand. If you are interviewing repeat customers, ask them how they discovered your business, why you were their chosen solution, and what's kept them coming back. If you are interviewing a first-time client, ask what drew them to your business over another.
Some questions can include:
- How long have you been a customer with us?
- How did you first hear about our business?
- What made you choose our company over competitors?
- How did you envision using our product or service to drive your solution?
Have Them Demonstrate Your Product
Once you have set up the initial problem and delved into how your client chose you to solve it, you can get into the details of the actual case study. Ask specific questions about how your client used your product or service.
Be detailed. These answers will help you draft a case study that resonates with prospective buyers who are facing the same issue.
- How did you use our product or service to create your solution?
- Which features of the product did you find most beneficial?
- Was this product a replacement for a similar tool you had used in the past?
- How many people at your company use our product?
- What are the advantages of using our product over another similar one?
- How was the setup and implementation process?
- Did you contact the customer service team any time during the process?
- If so, how was your customer service experience?
- How was the rollout process?
- What types of feedback have you received from employees about our product?
Outline the Product’s Benefits
This section of your interview will delve into the actual solution and its results. Use this section to ask about specific outcomes and metrics the company used to track successes.
- How did our product address your specific challenges?
- What kinds of measurable results did you see?
- Which key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics did you measure to determine whether our product successfully solved your problem?
- How has your business changed since you deployed our product or service?
- How is your initial problem currently impacting your business? Is it still an issue, or has it been resolved?
- How would you recommend other customers use our product to get the best results?
Wrap Up the Interview
At the end of the interview, ask some general business case study questions relating to customer satisfaction and relationship management. You can use these to conclude the case study. This section of the interview is also likely to generate some potential customer quotes you can use in your marketing materials .
- Have you referred us to your friends or clients?
- How likely are you to work with us again?
- How can we improve our product to best meet your future needs?
- In which other instances can you see our product providing a viable solution?
- Is there anyone else I can talk to for more information?
How to Ask Your Clients for an Interview
If you have been in business for a while, you probably know your best advocates. Think about your top customers, and start by asking those who are the most likely to promote your business. If you know a client who often refers customers to you, ask them for a specific example of how your company helped them solve a problem.
You might draw a blank when asked to identify your best advocates. In this case, talk to your sales team or your project managers to see if they know of any potential customers who would be happy to share their success stories.
Consider your customers’ time. Don’t approach them for an interview in the middle of a busy season or if they have had a recent issue with your company. Get familiar with your selected clients and how they intended to use your product so you have some background information before starting the interview.
Finally, write a personalized request. Don’t send out a form email requesting case studies. Make your requests relevant to each potential interviewee so they know they are valued customers.
How to Write the Case Study
Instead of taking notes during the interview, take a recording on your phone or a portable recording device and transcribe it when you’re done. You can take minor notes as you go along, to help when you go back to transcribe. This way you can be more engaged in the interview and follow up on interesting information that might pop up. Be sure to check that your recording hardware or software is working ahead of time, to ensure you don't lose valuable information during the interview.
The case study questions listed above are arranged as an outline of a typical case study. Start by introducing the company and the problem they were trying to solve when they sought out your business. Next, explain the process of how they used your product to solve their problem.
End the case study with numbers and statistics demonstrating how you helped the business successfully solve its problem. Make sure you get specific numbers and figures to illustrate your clients’ successes. If you don’t get them during the initial interview, follow up with a phone call or email.
Sample Case Study Questions and Answers
These sample case study questions and answers demonstrate how to extract information from your interview and turn it into an engaging business case study that is interesting and informative.
This case study from Switch, a digital marketing agency, details how the company was able to help a client improve its return on investment (ROI) on search and Facebook ad campaigns by moving them from their in-house marketing team.
The case study starts with an impressive statistic — the company improved its ROI on search ads from 1.2x to 19x in a short time period. The case study breaks this statistic down for potential leads who might not be familiar with marketing terminology, indicating that its client was able to increase sales without spending more on search engine ads.
While the actual case study interview is not published, a sample question and answer that would have generated this data could be:
- Q: How did shifting the development of search engine ad campaigns to Switch impact ad performance?
- A: The Switch team was able to change our approach. Before, we used a single strategy on our search and Facebook ads. Their team was able to create split campaigns targeted to different audiences and run A/B tests to refine the messages. In a couple of months, our ROI on search ads went from 1.2x to 19x.”
This case study goes into detail about how Switch worked with its clients to refine the Facebook and search ad strategy, ending with impressive results.
Rogers Communications featured this case study detailing how its client Brampton Caledon Community Living (BCCL) used the company’s cloud-based mobile phone system to better service clients. This case study is simple, laid out with headings like “Challenge” and “Solution.”
Rogers Communications pulled relevant quotes from the client and included them in text boxes throughout the study to break up the text. Rogers also included direct quotes from personnel at BCCL, making a strong case for its product. While it doesn’t offer hard numbers like the previous example, it does include a quote detailing how the cloud-based system has improved the work environment.
Again, the interview for this case study is not included in the example, but it does include the answers as client quotes.
- Q: What led you to switch over to the RogersUnison cloud-based platform?
- A: “We had been using more laptops and mobile phones for work outside the office and Rogers Unison was essential to this transition.”
Best Practices for Conducting A Business Case Study Interview
When you’ve found client advocates who are willing to talk to you about how your company led them to success, draft your interview questions. Keep these best practices in mind.
Being well-prepared for your interview is the best way to ensure its success. Before meeting with your client, learn what you can about the client so you can flesh out the case study. Conduct a mock interview to prepare. Talk to your sales team or the client’s specific project manager for details to better understand the client and what they were facing when they hired your company or purchased a product.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
Structure your questions so the interviewee has to give detailed answers. If you limit your interview to "yes" or "no" questions, it can be hard to gather enough information to write your case study. Open-ended questions let your client get into the specifics surrounding the study.
Do a Deep Dive
One reason you should record your interviews and transcribe them later is so you can focus on the client’s answers. Often, information will come up in an answer to one question that will prompt you to ask a follow-up question. Recording your interview lets you deviate from your prepared questions to get a more robust analysis of the case.
Getting Started on Your Case Study
Case studies are a great marketing tool for building credibility. They give prospective clients a better understanding of how you work and how you can provide alternative solutions for key issues. But the key to writing a good case study is to start with a quality interview.
You have the tools needed to draft powerful questions. So start the process by looking through your list of past clients and determining who would be the best to interview. Develop a thorough understanding of their situation and their history with your company, and then conduct your interview.
After your first few case studies, you'll be confident on how to best structure questions and refine your interviews to get the best information. Soon, you will be crafting detailed and engaging case studies to best market your business.
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