A case study is a story illustrating how your MSP company solved a client’s IT problem and, as a result, helped them succeed.
Case studies are a great way to share, with others, your clients’ positive experiences with your company:
They demonstrate your success through your clients’ eyes;
They prove that you can accomplish what you say you can, and that you get real, tangible results;
They’re an essential component to a successful marketing plan; and
They’re a great way to gain future business opportunities.
First—Do Your Homework.
Before writing a case study, it’s important to remember who your target audience is, their interests and challenges. Research the industry you serve. This information will set the foundation for your case studies. Prospects want to know how partnering with you will solve their current IT problems, and optimize their business processes. You will use your case studies to market to your prospects.
With just the right case studies you will attract more business. A great case study convinces your prospects that they should be using your services. Focus on the challenges your prospects face, to drive new business opportunities for your MSP company.
Some of our MSP clients have a fear of posting information about their clients. They worry about putting this information up on their website. What we say is: “Get over it.” Put it out there. If someone wants information about a competitor, there are so many places they can go to find it.
Prospects who may be interested in hiring you will want to know who you’re working with. They may know a client you mention in a case study, and give them a call to determine if you’re right for them. Get over the fear of using your client name and information. Most of your clients will be happy to help you find new business by allowing you to use your name. Plus, it also helps to promote their business. (If your client really does object to using their name, Ulistic has ways to work around this.)
Ulistic Uses a 3-Tiered System For Case Studies.
A Basic Testimonial
This is a brief quote from your client stating a problem that you solved for them, and saying how great your service was.
A Case Study Light
We take this testimonial and turn it into a short story that exemplifies the benefits you provided.
A Full Case Study
Then we write an in-depth story detailing your client’s problem along with specifics about how you solved it. The story tells how you refreshed their approach to technology (e.g., securely moving them to the cloud); lists the IT solutions you implemented; and shows how their business improved as a result.
Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of the project, we write a story that resonates with your current clients and potential ones. It’s important to speak to the issues that present problems for your target audience.
We also develop additional case studies from the information we’ve gathered—showing how you helped your client overcome additional challenges with the right technology. For example: We’ll write about how you helped a CPA firm improve their financial security with new technologies—And another story about how you migrated them from an on-premise exchange server to Office 365.
Case Study Format
Keep it simple.
What life was like before you came to help. (State the problem and technology hardships your client experienced.)
The solution(s) you implemented and why.
The positive effect your solutions had on their business—These are tangible benefits they profited from due to your expertise (profitability, increased productivity, peace of mind in terms of security, more business, etc.). When writing this, make sure the benefits resonate with your target audience.
Case Study Process
Set up an interview with your client.
Give them the option of answering questions over the phone, or via email with a Q & A format. Some will enjoy talking directly with you, and others will prefer to write out answers to your questions so they have time to think about them.
Some questions to ask your client:
What did we do for you?
How has it made things easier in your business?
How did we harness technology to help you meet your business goals?
(The more information you get, the better.)
Discuss the technical aspects of what you did to solve their problems.
This should be a detailed account that includes the solutions you used, and why you chose to use them—How they resolved your client’s problem, and how this will benefit them in the future.
“Toot your own horn” at the end.
If your client liked your performance, and decided to choose you over another MSP, be sure to mention this. We hear time and again that people aren’t happy with their current MSP, choose a company like yours to remediate their problems, and then decide to keep them on. You have bragging rights when this happens.
Send the case study to your client for their approval.
We do this to ensure your client is happy with it, and for any additional information or changes they would like to include.
Case Studies Are Valuable in So Many Ways.
The collateral information you gather in case studies is “gold.” Post them everywhere you can think of. Post them on your website, print them in whitepapers, include them in your promotional presentations and proposals, and send them to leads via email marketing campaigns. Case studies are valuable, word-of-mouth references with specifics that prove how great your company is.
Remember: Marketing is hard work. You must take the time, and input the energy to benefit from it. Think of your business as a marketing company that just happens to provide technology services.
We can help: Ulistic has an online form to help you get started. You simply provide the basic background information needed for your case study. Include every detail that you can. It’s always better to have more information than not enough. Plus, we can help you gather the information needed for your case studies by interviewing both you and your clients. The more details you and your clients provide us, the better your case studies will be.
If you don’t know where to start, give us a call. Our talented team at Ulistic will hold your hand throughout the entire process and help you develop case studies that will drive business to your company. 716.799.1999 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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