Unbelievable! Why you need to avoid ‘fantastic’ case studies.
Browse the ‘case studies’ section of a few websites and you’ll find a recurring theme: every story describes a perfect, trouble-free process.
There weren’t any problems? Really?
You and I both know that projects don’t usually work that way; they all have a few hiccups. What’s more, we’ve never interviewed a client’s customer who didn’t anticipate a few setbacks along the way, so showcasing how well you deal with these unforeseen issues is crucial to the impression you’ll make.
After all, anyone who’s ever struggled with poor customer service knows that what makes a company stand out isn’t how they behave when things go well, but how they respond when things go badly. So if there’s an opportunity to demonstrate how you overcome adversity, use it.
Tell believable stories if you want to be believed:
Don’t gloss over the unexpected setbacks; if they’re noteworthy, and your client has been impressed with your response, they can be one of the strongest parts of the story. It adds a bit of drama and makes the whole story more real, more believable—especially for large, complex transformation projects.
If you airbrush out the difficulties, not only are you unlikely to make anyone believe that there weren’t any problems, you might make them view the project as literally fantastic—imaginary, highly unrealistic, fanciful.
I don’t know about you, but that that doesn’t sound very convincing to me.
For further actionable advice on telling more impactful success stories, check out our customer reference eBook.