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phone call

“I’m so glad we’re finally doing this interview because maybe I won’t have to take as many calls.”

That’s an actual quote from a customer being interviewed for a case study. Across all the projects I’ve done, I’ve heard this several times from customers. Imagine how many thought that but didn’t say it?

Add this to the list of motivators for customers to be featured in case studies.

Customers, even the ones that love the vendor the most, have their limits when it comes to taking time to be a reference. The customer above agreed at some point to take calls from potential new customers for the vendor, but has now grown weary. It’s “reference fatigue.”

Smaller Vendors, Bigger Risk

Large companies aren’t at such a risk of overusing their satisfied customers. They have hundreds of customers to choose from, ensuring no one is called too often.

And admittedly, they usually have more resources to track the frequency that customers are being contacted.

What can smaller companies or early-stage companies do, those with fewer satisfied customers?

Simple. Document their experiences in a case study.

Think a case study can’t assuage a prospect wanting to talk to a live person? It actually can.

A case study, preferably with the customer’s name on it, serves as a close second to a call.

Answer Prospect Questions

More importantly, create case studies that answer the questions that prospects typically ask current customers and sales reps. Chat with reps to understand prospects’ concerns and biggest objections.

Then ensure the writer is equipped with that information. He or she can then tailor questions to gather those points and write the story accordingly.

It’s what customer stories are about – giving prospects insight into another customer’s situation without the need for a call.

A Carrot for Participating

Honestly, requesting a case study can go over very easily with customers that have taken prospect calls in the past. If the company pushes back, remind them about the time-savings of fewer calls in the future.

Vendors still may not be able to get customers to go on record, but it doesn’t hurt to try this route. Add this to the list of reasons why it’s valuable for the customer to be featured.

Have you ever “sold” a case study to a customer by promising it will reduce live reference calls?

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