A published customer testimonial is one of the strongest references a company can have for its products and services—especially in the high-tech industry. Sales prospects want to know how technology solutions work, why they work and what business value they provide for peer IT organizations. If you can keep their attention with an entertaining narrative and demonstrate how a company in their industry is saving time or money, you’ve put an incredibly useful tool in the hands of your salespeople.
Another benefit of working with your customers to produce a success story or a case study is that they get the opportunity to examine in-depth the business value they’re receiving from your products—and when it’s published, it’s in their own words. A customer who has gone on record to evangelize your solutions is more likely to keep coming back; and a good interviewer helps customers discover value they may not even know they’re receiving.
Treating the customer with respect during the interview and approval process goes without saying. Customers want to feel that interviewers and writers are sympathetic with their circumstances, understand the technology being discussed, and care about telling the customer’s unique story. Knowing how to guide a customer toward quantifying business value and volunteering key metrics is an essential skill, and also a fine line. Customers should never feel pressured to “come up with a number”—but the right suggestions from a knowledgeable interviewer can yield impressive results.