«Return to Blog List Can a Case Study Help You KEEP a Customer?

sales meeting

Compelling customer case studies and success stories do many things…

  • Close a sale
  • Land PR
  • Generate leads
  • Upsell to existing customers
  • Train new sales reps and employees

Can we add to the list, help you keep an existing customer that is considering moving to another product or service?

And, here’s the kicker. The case study would be on the customer that is thinking of leaving.

Wait, if the customer is happy enough to be featured in a case study, then why are they at risk?

Business dynamics can be complicated, and many customers don’t fully realize the impact a product or service actually has.

Sometimes you have to continue proving why you’re better than the competition.

Here’s the scenario:

I’m currently working on a customer case study where the customer account is in jeopardy. The day-to-day person who manages the software is satisfied. In fact, the solution has helped the company make major strides in boosting its service to customers. There are even some measurable results!

But the new director of support has other ideas. He wants to switch to another product. The reasons are not 100 percent clear yet.

My client is hoping that well-documented success, summarized in a solid case study, will help convince the new director to keep the product.

So, how can we maximize this case study so it does its intended job?

Understand the objections

Try to find out as much as you can about WHY the customer is thinking of switching, though it may not be easy. The sales/account manager should be in tune to this.

Perhaps this new director doesn’t fully understand how the incumbent product can perform.

Answer the objections

Once you understand the goals and motivations behind the possible switch, you can respond accordingly. Be sure that your interview collects solid evidence to address the company’s concerns.


As clearly and thoroughly as possible, lay out the specific results of the product or service. Being vague here won’t accomplish the goal.

A case study alone may not save a customer. Maybe the customer needs some education about functionality or capabilities they are not yet taking advantage of.

But it does give them a summarized view of success to date—something your customer may not even be aware of.

2 Responses to Can a Case Study Help You KEEP a Customer?

  1. Great post, Casey! I spoke with a designer this AM who was perplexed b/c a loyal customer of 5-6 years — who had raved about her, given her testimonials and referrals — suddenly decided not to pay his bill. He said “he didn’t like the design.”
    There was no communication of a problem from the owner or his new marketing person. The marketing person wrote an email a week ago simply saying, “Been on vacation, I’ll get to your invoice soon.” (They are 30 days overdue.)
    With desperation setting in, I believe many companies are making drastic changes in an effort to stay afloat…and they need to blame something for the slow-down in business.
    The reality: It’s slow for everyone, but things are looking up. But for companies like this one, which sells luxury items, it’s slower than most.
    When the new person on-board doesn’t fully understand the advantage of using a professional who has a history with the company, a case study may be just the thing to open his/her eyes to a positive track record.

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for providing such a fitting, timely real-world example.
    It’s so unfortunate how changing dynamics in an organization can impact what has been a solid vendor-customer relationship. The new person doesn’t really know the history of the relationship, and so it’s easy to think about making a change.
    It’s like the company has to be sold all over again! I’ve been in that situation a few times too.
    I hope this works out for the designer in the end.
    Thanks for sharing!