From startups to global enterprises, every company struggles at times with
getting customers to go on record. Here are some ideas in practice at
companies today for encouraging customers to be featured:
1. Access and involvement-Surprisingly, the #1 thing customers want is
access and involvement-access to your execs and involvement in your
product/service roadmap. Generate ways for your top customers to interact
with your organization on a deeper level.
2. Co-marketing campaigns-Create a few co-marketing campaigns for the
customers you most want to feature. The focus: How successful the customer
is, and one of its steps to success has been using your solutions.
3. Joint-benefit story angles-If possible, find a way to tell your
story and the story that your customer wants to tell the public. Win-win!
4. An evolving relationship-Move customers through a ... (more)
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
Some people simply need specific targets. Or, to put it more bluntly, a
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
The only... (more)
Several times a week, an appeal for funds from a charity (or alma mater)
arrives in my mailbox or inbox. The same organizations contact me over and
It’s annoying, but if they don’t ask for contributions, they usually
don’t get them.
That’s just how it works. We have too much going through our heads. If
you’re in an asking position, you have to be in the audience’s line of
sight often if you hope to get a response.
The same goes for the quest for case study or success story candidates and
reference customers. Marketing and reference managers are constantly looking
for ste... (more)
If asked, will customers submit themselves as possible case study or success
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
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)
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)