One of your company's sales reps e-mails you in breathless excitement: "We just signed a contract with XYZ company and they are willing to say great things about us. Can we get the writer to do a case study?"
Of course, it's not everyday that a customer actually volunteers to give a positive testimonial about your product or company.
Yet this situation presents a dilemma: you know a technical case study now won't be as strong as it will be in a few months, after the technology solution has been fully implemented.
Or maybe the product implementation has just been completed, but the customer hasn't yet seen specific, measurable results.
In either case, you don't want to risk losing the customer's willingness to participate by postponing the case study for too long.
So how do you proceed in a way that handles customer's interest gracefully and gives you useful promotional content?
Consider these ideas for developing and using a technical case study that's not quite ready to be told:
- Ask for a testimonial statement, not a full case study. A few sentences or 1-2 paragraphs may be enough to convey the customer's satisfaction for now. But be sure to reach agreement with the customer about working on a full case study in the future, when the outcome of the complete implementation and results achieved are known.
- Write a "deployment-in-progress" case study that describes the implementation and results to date, as well as expected benefits and planned next steps.
- Write a press release to announce the new customer and include the customer's testimonial statement.
- Write a technical application note based on the customer's planned deployment.
Of course, other promotional avenues may be appropriate, depending on the customer and the marketing opportunity. An experienced case study writer can help you make the best use of whatever customer story is ready to tell, now or later.
Have you encountered this situation? How did you handle it?