«Return to Blog List How About Suggesting ROI to Featured Customers?

I just wrote a customer story where the interview subject was somewhat reserved. His company hasn’t used the software for all that long, so he spoke conservatively about the benefits they have experienced so far.

But to meet my client’s sales objectives, I need more measurable detail from that customer. So I suggested some return on investment detail to the customer contact. Based on what the customer told me in the interview, I calculated that the company saves about five man-hours per week. I then guessed at how much a man-hour might be worth in the organization. I put those figures in the actual written success story for the contact to review.

If my numbers are off, then he will correct them. If the company isn’t comfortable providing ROI numbers, then he’ll let me know. It never hurts to try. At least we did our best to get better detail in the customer story!

Anyone have any tactics to share for drawing out measurable detail from customers?

2 Responses to How About Suggesting ROI to Featured Customers?

  1. I think that tangible results in the form of ROI, increased sales/profits, and any other “hard numbers” are invaluable in a case study. Writers should do everything in their power to include these.
    As to the how, doing your own math is a good way. I think just asking your client is a good move to. Push him or her (or the research contacts) to give some hard numbers.
    Even if there is no way to exactly measure results, you can couch these in terms like “about $1 million increase in sales” or “increased efficiency by 15-20%”. Even “Joe CEO estimates an increase of…” will work. The CEO’s perception may not be hard fact, but often perceived results — especially those of a CEO — are enough.
    If, as in this case, your contact is hesitant about quoting exact numbers, you could get around this by asking what their projected numbers are using your client’s product or service, and whether they feel they are on track to meeting (or exceeding) those numbers.
    But these are all fall-back measures. Hard proof should be used whenever possible, IMHO!

  2. Graham,
    Good point about perceived results in case studies. If the CEO estimates certain cost-savings or other benefits, that carries a lot of credibility.
    You also make a good point about projected numbers. If they can’t share actual, then projected/expected is also compelling.
    Like you said, you have to push and prod a bit and try different tactics to get what you need. Every interviewee and customer is different!