Archive for the ‘Case Studies’ Category

Tell Their Story: 3 Case Study Ideas for Marketing to Clients

Tell Their Story: 3 Case Study Ideas for Marketing to Clients

So, what is a case study?

For those who might not be familiar, a case study is basically a story that describes a typical client’s situation before, and the progress and results achieved after, working with you.

Potential clients visit your site and they see what you do, but a lot of times they don’t understand how your service helps them beyond just getting work done. Case studies provide context in a way that helps illustrate the ways in which clients benefit from your support. They help them better visualize and imagine the kind of results you can help them acheive and get excited about the possiblities of working together.

Ideally, a case study uses an actual client as the basis. However, maybe you are a new Administrative Consultant and don’t have clients yet. When that’s the case, what you can do is paint a word picture of the kind of results and benefits a typical client could expect from working with you.

You would tell the story from the perspective of the typical kind of client who would need your services, the kind of needs, challenges and goals they have, and then describe the kind of support you would provide to meet and overcome those needs, goals and challenges. Most importantly, you then describe how that typical client’s business (and life, for that matter) would be improved and all the various benefits and results the client would get as a result.

Here are three case study ideas that each focus on a different angle you can take in developing your own.

  1. Demonstrate how you help. A lot of times, prospects don’t fully understand what you can help them with, and those exhaustive lists of tasks and services don’t help (the eyes glaze over at a certain point). So what you do is describe a typical client in your target market, point out some of the needs, goals and challenges they have, and then outline the kind of support areas and activities you would help them with that would address those needs, goals and challenges. This gives them context to better understand and visualize what you do for them and how you work together with certain objectives in mind.
  2. Demonstrate how you give clients back more time. Another kind of case study you can paint is one that helps prospects realize how much time they can gain back. Most people want more time to what? Work with more clients and make more money? Take vacations? Have more quality time with family and friends and just generally have a life beyond their business? So, use this kind of case study to help illustrate what their life might like with your administrative support. What kinds of things would they do with that newfound extra time? Would they have more time off for relaxing and self-care? Would they have a better quality life? Would they have more time to develop and grow their business (and, thus, make more money)? How would their peronal and family life be improved?
  3. Demonstrate how a client’s business can grow and improve with your support. This kind of case study is about specific facts and figures. Obviously, when clients are trying to do everything themselves in their business, there’s only so much time left to work with clients. By leveraging your support, how many more clients could they work with? How much more free time would they gain back? How much more money could they be earning per year? How many new products, services or programs could they develop? For this case study, you need a client where you’ve taken inventory at the start of the relationship and then again at least six months or a year later. How many clients did they have in the beginning and how many after? How much were they earning annually then and now (i.e., their income persumably increased due to having more time and being able to work with more clients with your support). This is a powerful kind of case study because it directly links your support with growth in their business and income.

There are two products I recommend you get from the ACA Success Store that will help you develop the third type of case study:

Client Profile Sheet (FRM-06)

Client Profile Sheet (FRM-06)

and the

Client Feedback Form (FRM-04)

Client Feedback Form (FRM-04)

These have been designed to work together in collecting the before and after data you need to elicit testimonials and create your own powerful case studies.

How to Create Case Studies

When you work in a retainer-based business where you provide ongoing support (that is, you work with clients on an ongoing basis every month), one of the first things you should do with every new client is document (put in writing) where they are right now/before working with you. This is the start of your before & after case study.

Three to six months later, you should then solicit each client’s feedback and conducting an interview with them about that feedback. From this information, you will draw your “after” snapshot. (The Client Feedback Form offered in my Success Store is done in a way specifically to help you develop your before & after case studies.)

The idea is to paint a written picture of what life and business was like for the client before they began working with you (including all the problems and pain), and then how things were improved after working with you (this is your “after”).

Case studies are excellent credibility boosters to include on your website. The trick is to start doing this now with all new clients. It can be done, but it’s much more difficult to create the “before” shot with clients you’ve already been working with for awhile.

One way I’ve been able to capture a vivid snapshot of “before” scenarios is with the Activity & Time Analysis diagnostics I’ve done with clients.  You get much more detail about the problems in the client’s business, often picking up on things they forget and leave out when they give you their feedback.

With my Activity & Time Analysis Tool, I’ve been able to pinpoint areas where clients were frittering away their time, what activities were bogging them down, money they were leaving on the table and work they weren’t getting paid for, as well as identifying areas and work they could turn into services and information products for increased/additional revenue.

 

RAVE: Shout Out to JNCS.com and a Lesson in Customer Service

I have to upgrade my computer soon. I haven’t been looking forward to it since it will involve reinstalling tons of software and restoring files.

In the meantime, I thought I could take a short-cut to improving my computer’s lagging performance by upgrading my RAM.

Much to my chagrin, I discovered that they don’t make the particular memory my computer uses anymore. Buying from the manufacturer, it would be so pricey I may as well buy a new computer.

Alternatively, finding the obsolete parts online is like finding a needle in a haystack, and since I’m not a technical person nor someone who has ever bought anything on eBay, I’d have to place a lot of trust that the seller was legitimate and the parts in working order even if I did find them.

So I asked a group of colleagues if they could check around for me. One woman turned me on to a couple of website addresses of computer stores she had done business with in the past and highly recommended.

Since it was the first one she listed, I looked up JNCS.com.

Oy vey! It was “Z91E” this and “Asus A8N32 SLI Deluxe” that.

Needless to point out, I am a complete dolt when it comes to computer technical stuff. I may as well have been reading Greek or trying to interpret hyroglyphics. So I called their 1-800 number and reached a fellow who introduced himself as Scott.

OH-MY-GAWD!!! I had the most “Wow!” customer service experience, I (almost) can’t even tell you.

Scott answered all my idiotic questions with not a hint of impatience or condescension at my ignorance, and went above and beyond that to give me a wealth of information in such easy to understand terms.

I felt like I’d just received a degree’s worth of knowledge in this one phone call with him, and all the bits and pieces of technical info that had been scattered in my brain that I never truly understood lo these many, many years suddenly got the synapses connecting and it all made sense.

And not once did he act like he had better things to do or was in a hurry to brush me off. You know how some places are like that? They can’t be bothered with phone calls even though we are customers just as if we were standing right there in the store, and sometimes even then they can barely tolerate taking the time to talk with you.

He was so nice, friendly, polite and engaging. His attention was fully in the conversation and nothing was distracting him. That kind of personal attentiveness and quality service is just so hard to find anymore these days.

And once I got off the phone, I didn’t feel the need to talk to the other place, even just for the sake of comparision. I had just experienced such stupefyingly uncommon excellent service that I would have gotten on a waiting list to do business with this guy if need be, and probably even paid for the privilege of doing so – not the other way around.

And not once did it occur to me to wonder if he was the cheapest. I know I’m not going anywhere else when I need the services this fellow offers. And he’s on the other side of the country from me on top of it!

Now that’s sales and service when they make you not even consider the competition.

That kind of superior helpfulness and courtesy is the most simple, effortless, cost-free rapport-builder you can extend to both clients and prospective clients alike.

Think about it. This guy made such a favorable impression on me that here I am writing about it on my blog. Free press, free marketing, free advertising reaching who knows how many people all over the country from someone who hasn’t even done business with him yet.

It’s a lesson that all businesses can learn from.