A business case study highlights successful implementations of a company’s products and services by specific customers. In other words, it’s a demonstration of a customer’s real-life experience with a company’s products and services. With an overwhelming 80 percent of consumers basing their buying decisions on other people’s experience with a product or service, case studies are invaluable to businesses and can be extremely effective marketing tools when written correctly.
What makes a case study different from the consumer reviews you will find online is that you can actually determine how the information in a case study will be presented. This doesn’t mean you should make false claims in your case study or eliminate all lines about the dark sides of your product or service. Rather, what it means is you can actually emphasize any part of the customer’s story that you believe will have an impact on potential customers that will read the case study.
Since your case study can affect the reputation of your business, you must ensure that your case studies are compelling enough to convert prospects to customers. Here are the guidelines for writing an effective case study for your business.
How to Write an Effective Business Case Study Analysis Paper
1. Select a recently satisfied customer
With a case study, you are trying to narrate how your product or service helped customers achieve certain goals. So, it’s basically a story that has a satisfied customer as its main character.
Start by selecting a relevant, satisfied, and recent customer. Before making your choice, evaluate your current customer base to identify customers that fit your target market in terms of size, products and services purchased, and common implementation practices.
You need to ensure that your select customers are fully satisfied with your company and are willing to serve as positive references to be featured in your case study. To ensure this, you must conduct surveys with your key contacts. Only consider customers that you recently did business with so that the case study will be relevant to your current product or service offerings. Don’t select customers you served a long time ago unless your products and services have not changed since then.
2. Obtain necessary permissions
Not all customers will be happy to have their experience with your products or services disclosed in publications meant for wide circulation, such as case studies. This is particularly true where the customer’s underlying problem isn’t one that most people will be comfortable letting others know about. So, you need to request permission from any customer before telling their story in your case study.
In the case of corporate customers, you should get written approval from an executive or another key decision maker that the case study can be written, published, and distributed far and wide. If the customer imposes any limitation or conditions, make sure to implement that to avoid potential future liability issues.
3. Outline your case study
Before writing your case study, you need to write an outline, as this will help you craft the real case study smoothly. Start with a brief introduction of your business (this can be at the end, too), followed with some background information about the customer. Then explain why problems or challenges the customer faced and how they stumbled upon your product or service as a possible solution. Follow that with an explanation of how they used your product or service. Then, explain the results they got, and follow that with a conclusion that ties everything together.
4. Write the case study
With your outline as guide, start writing your case study. Tell the customer’s story in a compelling manner that reads smoothly. Use a voice that is appealing but not too conversational, since business documents need to appear formal and authoritative (but not dry!). So, you are free to include acronyms and buzzwords, but only to the extent to which the customer uses and understands them.
Clearly emphasize important parts of the case study, such as the customer’s problem and the result they got after using your product or service. Give concrete details where necessary and use figures where applicable to add credibility to your claims. And most importantly, be transparent, especially since the reputation of you company is always on the line.
5. Edit and design your case study
After you have finished drafting your case study, you can start editing and proofing it for grammatical, typographical, spelling, and style errors. If you deem it necessary, send a copy to the customer for review. This way, you will be sure you have told the truth and that you have not included something the customer isn’t comfortable with.
Once you are done with the editing, you should hire a professional graphics designer to create an attractive and compelling design for the case study. Ensure that the design matches your overall corporate look and feel.