Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset

Casey Hibbard

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Top Stories by Casey Hibbard

A customer story is one of the most versatile and powerful types of promotional content any organization can create. Here are the top 25 ways you can use case studies or success stories - or summaries of them - to establish or reinforce credibility, educate audiences, and validate products, services and organizations. Note: "Customer stories" refers to customer case studies or success stories. Web sites - Tease and link to customer stories right from the home page, and include customer stories with all relevant product and service pages. Newsletters - Run customer stories in newsletters that go to customers, employees and partners. Direct marketing - Highlight a customer success in a mailer to prospects and customers, either a full story or overview. Case-study booklets - Create booklets that highlight several of your key customer stories. Email - Capture the atten... (more)

A ready-to-use case study – How long does it take?

In the discussion about customer case studies, one question comes up over and over: How long does it take to get a case study done? How many days or weeks are needed to get a completed, approved customer story in hand and ready to use? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t that easy. On average, I would say about one month. BUT, it really depends on the part of the process that makes customer stories different from other marketing projects – the review and approval phase. From the time you interview the customer to completing the draft, video or audio might be a couple of weeks. Then... (more)

Dare to Give a Case Study Customer a Deadline?

What’s the biggest unknown in any case study or success story project? The customer’s review and approval time. As we’ve said, customers can turn a story around in a day or take months. You have to find a middle ground of being persistent but stopping short of pesky. Some people simply need specific targets. Or, to put it more bluntly, a deadline. Typically, I don’t give customers a deadline right out of the gate, when they first receive the story for review. I tell them that I’ll check back with them later in the week or early next week – usually giving them 3-4 days. The only... (more)

Will Customers Nominate Themselves as Stories?

If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success story candidates?  From consumer-products companies to B2B to nonprofit organizations, many now actively solicit stories with self-service “Share Your Story” links on their Web sites. Apple created a link for this soon after the release of its wildly popular iPhone. FileMaker software includes a link to “Tell us your story.” Girl Scouts of the USA asks former members to share their experiences for its alumnae program. And Toyota Motor Sales gather owners' stories and gets usage permission through an o... (more)

A Winning Strategy for Landing Big-Name Customer Stories

I'm a big proponent of what I call "win-win storytelling" in customer case studies and success stories. The company creating the customer story has to benefit, as does the featured customer. The key - especially for landing big-name customers for customer stories - is finding what motivates each customer (on an individual, departmental or company level). Simply reminding the customer they receive free publicity may not be enough. In just the past two weeks, I've worked on several stories with interesting customer motivators behind them: -       A civil engineer is enthusiastic a... (more)