I hear it all the time…"We have an amazing customer story, but just can’t get them to agree to be a case study…"
Many companies name customer participation as the toughest challenge of managing case studies. They just can’t get their happiest customers on board.
There’s no magic answer for this because there are numerous reasons why customers won’t tell their stories publicly–they don’t have time, their company doesn’t allow it, they don’t want to reveal competitive secrets, and so on.
But chances are, most customers don’t see the positives of success story participation. Customers have their noses down, buried deep in their day-to-day business activities. Sometimes you need to do some of the thinking for them.
It’s our jobs to help customers see the benefits. A customer story is effectively a positive feature story, created at no cost to the featured customer, ideally showing the customer contacts and their organizations as innovative and progressive. It’s rich content that goes online, out into the media, into blogs, into e-newsletters and more–all positive exposure!
If the prospect of free PR isn’t so attractive to your customer contacts or their organizations, talk with them and find out what’s attractive. Maybe they want to be on your tech council, have input in your product roadmap, or speak at a major industry conference. Help a customer achieve its own goals in the course of featuring it in a story.
You may need to baby-step customers toward a full public story, but that persistence and collaboration pays off for many.