Case studies and testimonials are useful to have on hand. They 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.
Consider creating a library of customer stories your sales team can use to share targeted and relevant content with your prospects via your website and sales proposals.
To build this library, not only would you need to know how to write a case study, but you'll also need to ask the right questions that will surface valuable details and insights.
The following list of 100 case study questions will help you build a narrative using the "Problem - Agitate - Solve" method. Use these prompts to get started and add more specific case study questions for your business or products.
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.
Who can really blame them?
With every other brand claiming to be the best in the business, it's hard to sort exaggeration from reality. In the end, most customers will turn to a source that they trust for information: their peers, coworkers, and other customers.
This the most important reason why case studies are effective. They're testimonials given straight from previous customers and are backed with data and information supporting their claim.
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. 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.
Whether you're a salesperson trying to close a deal, or a marketer trying to educate people about your brand, case studies are great to have on hand because 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, in turn, can share that link with their peers and colleagues, and so on and so forth.
Case studies can also be useful during a sales pitch. Say a customer is explaining a problem that was solved in a case study, you can quickly surface that document and share it with them in a timely manner. In sales, timing is everything, and this could be that quick-thinking argument that convinces a customer to buy from you.
4. Case studies build rapport with your customers.
I'd love to tell you that creating a case study takes no time or effort at all. 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.
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 advocate for your business. They'll want to point potential leads and prospects to their case study and boast about how great one of your products or services is.
5. Case studies are less opinionated than customer reviews.
The difference between a case study and a customer review is the data backing it. 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. That way, it's not just a customer saying how amazing your product or service is; it's a complete argument with objective data backing the customer's opinion.
What makes a good case study questionnaire?
Certain key elements make up a good case study questionnaire.
One is that the questionnaire should feel like a conversation and not an interrogation. 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 company solved the problem they faced
- The measurable results of the service provided
- If the client is willing to share data and metrics the prove the success of your service or product
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 highly enthusiastic about the service you provide.
Thus, a good case study question hands the reins over to the client — an open-ended question that leaves them talking about how excellent your organization and the service you provide is.
Free Case Study Templates
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The Ultimate List of Case Study Questions
Categories for the best case study questions include:
- 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 the 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.
- Would you give me a quick overview of [company]?
- Can you describe your role?
- How do your role and team fit into the company and its goals?
- How long has your company been in business?
- How many employees do you have?
- Is your company revenue available? If so, what is it?
- Who is your target customer?
- How does our product help your team or company achieve its objectives?
- How are our companies aligned (mission, strategy, culture, etc.)?
- How many people are on your team? What are their roles?
Case Study Interview Questions About the Environment Before the Purchase
There are different ways to solve a problem, and when the readers see that the client considered other tools and processes before arriving at your service, it will build trust.
Learn which products, tools, and processes the customer used before purchasing your product. This will highlight the business needs they had to fulfill.
- What was your team's process prior to using our product?
- Were there any costs associated with the process prior to using our product?
- What were the major pain points of your process prior to using our product?
- Did our product replace a similar tool or is this the first time your team is using a product like this?
- What other challenges were you and your team experiencing prior to using our product?
- Were there any concerns about how your customers would be impacted by using our product?
- Why didn't you buy our product or a similar product earlier?
- Were there any "dealbreakers" involved in your decision to become a customer?
- Did you have to make any changes you weren't anticipating once you became a customer?
- How has your perception of the product changed since you've become a customer?
Case Study Interview Questions About the Decision Process
Readers of the case study will be interested in what 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.
What factors did the customer consider before choosing your solution? The answers to these questions will help potential customers through their decision-making process.
- How did you hear about our product?
- How long had you been looking for a solution to this problem?
- Were you comparing alternative solutions? Which ones?
- Would you describe a few of the reasons you decided to buy our product?
- What were the criteria you used when making the decision to buy our product?
- 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?
- What was the buying process like? Did you notice anything exceptional or any points of friction?
- How would you have changed the buying process, if at all?
- Who were the decision makers from your team that were involved in the buying process?
Case Study Interview Questions About the Customer's Business Case
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 this part, it enforces the belief that the case study is credible.
- How long have you been using our product?
- How many different people at your company use our product?
- Are there multiple departments or teams using our product?
- How do you and your team currently use the product? What types of goals or tasks are you using the product to accomplish?
- If there are other teams or departments using our product, do you know how they're using it?
- What was the most obvious advantage you felt our product offered during the sales process?
- Were there any other advantages you discovered after using the product more regularly?
- Are there any metrics or KPIs you track with our product? What are they?
- Were you tracking any metrics prior to using our product? What were they?
- How has our product impacted your core metrics?
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?
- Is there anyone else on your team you think we should talk to?
- Are there any team members who you think might not be the biggest fans of our product or who might need more training?
- Would you share some details about how your team implemented our product?
- Who from your company was involved in implementing our product?
- Were there any internal risks or additional costs involved with implementing our product? If so, how did you address them?
- Is there a training process in place for your team's use of our product? If so, what does it look like?
- About how long does it take a new team member to get up to speed with our product?
- What was your main concern about rolling this product out to your company?
- What have people been saying about our product since they've started using it?
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?
- By using our product can you measure any improvements in productivity or time savings?
- By using our product can you measure any increases in revenue or growth?
- Are you likely to or have you recommended our product to a friend or colleague?
- How has our product impacted your success? Your team's success?
- In the beginning, you had XYZ concerns; how do you feel about them now?
- I noticed your team is currently doing XYZ with our product; tell me more about how that helps your business.
- Have you thought about using our product for a new use case with your team or at your company?
- How do you measure the value our product provides?
- What will it take for you and your team to get the most value out of our product?
Case Study Interview Questions About Product Feedback
Feedback is the breakfast of champions. The feedback from your clients can help improve the quality of your service.
Use the following questions to get feedback from the customer about the product.
- Is there anything about the product you would like to see changed or improved?
- Do you have any feature requests or suggestions for our team?
- What is your favorite feature or part of our product? Why?
- What is the feature or part of our product that you or your team use most frequently? Why?
- Have you used our customer support resources? If so, do you have any feedback from your experience?
- Have you checked out any of our support content or training resources recently? What do you think?
- Are there any content or support documents you would like us to work on and share?
- Do you have any overall feedback or advice for us as a company?
- Are there other members of your team who might have feedback for us?
- Could we be doing anything else to keep you happy?
Case Study Interview Questions About Willingness to Make Referrals
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?
- Have you ever talked about our product to any of your clients or peers? What did you say?
- How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or client?
- Can you think of any use cases your customers might have for our product?
- What is your advice for other teams or companies who are tackling problems similar to those you had before you purchased our product?
- Do you know someone in X industry who has similar problems to the ones you had prior to using our product?
- I noticed you work with Company Y; do you know if they are having any pain points with these processes?
- Does your company participate in any partner or referral programs?
- 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?
- Are you interested in working with us to produce additional marketing content?
Case Study Interview Questions to Prompt Quote-Worthy Feedback
People trust people, and quote-worthy feedback offers proof.
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.
- How would you describe your process in one sentence prior to using our product?
- What is your advice to others who might be considering our product?
- What would your team's workflow or process be like without our product?
- Do you think the investment in our product was worthwhile? Why?
- What would you say if we told you our product would soon be unavailable? What would this mean to you?
- How would you describe our product if you were explaining it to a friend?
- What do you love about your job? Your company?
- What was the worst part of your process before you started using our product?
- What do you love about our product?
- Why do you do business with us?
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?
- What are your goals for the next three months?
- How would you like to use our product to meet those challenges and goals?
- Is there anything we can do to help you and your team meet your goals?
- Do you think you will buy more, less, or about the same amount of our product next year?
- What are the growth plans for your company this year? Your team?
- How can we help you meet your long-term goals?
- What is the long-term impact of using our product?
- Are there any initiatives that you personally would like to achieve that our product or team can help with?
- What will you need from us in the future?
- Is there anything we can do to improve our product or process for working together in the future?
How to Ask Your Customer for a Case Study
Before you can start putting together your case study, you need to ask your customer's permission. These email templates will come in handy.
If you have a customer who's seen success with your product, proactively send them this 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:
Hey [customer name],
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.
Creating an Effective Case Study
If you want to create an effective case study, it needs to be credible, genuine, and clear that your product or service is better than your competition. It 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 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.
Originally published Jun 16, 2021 1:00:00 PM, updated June 16 2021