The Easiest Way to Get a Case Study Win

BY Joel Klettke
December 17, 2020

Updating your existing case studies isn’t an obvious thing to do.

It certainly wasn’t obvious to me when I first started creating them.

Instead, all of my focus was on creating NEW case studies. The idea of updating existing ones didn’t really occur to me.

But when you think strategically, the benefits become obvious.

Things Change—and So Should Your Case Study

Business isn’t static. So your case studies shouldn’t be static either.

Things change. And almost certainly, your customer has changed in the past year.

Maybe they’ve shifted to new markets, expanded like crazy, or acquired another company.

Their industry has also changed. Maybe new regulations are in place or new competitors have emerged.

Certainly, we know the economy has changed dramatically in the past year. There’s a lot more economic uncertainty, demographics are changing, buying patterns are shifting, and new technological innovations hit the market every day.

And let’s not forget about the impact of a global pandemic!

Without doubt, YOUR company has changed during the past year as well. Maybe you have new service offerings or are targeting a new market.

With so many changes, it doesn’t take long for your fresh-as-a-daisy case study to wilt. And wilting diminishes its power to persuade and convince.

Not convinced? Here are some additional benefits:

1. It’s Easier to Update Than Start from Scratch

This might be the lazy-man’s reasoning for updating case studies. But it’s valid.

So much work goes into creating a case study.

You have strategy, buy in, project management, research and interviews—and that’s all before pen meets paper!

You also have the writing, reviews and approvals. And then there’s the design and branding.

It’s a ton of work!

Updating existing case studies isn’t nearly as onerous as creating them from scratch.

Sometimes, all it takes is a fifteen-minute conversation where the customer brings you up to speed and shares a few updated stats.

Plug these updates into your case study, and you can legitimately append the case study with a “last updated on ________.”

Which makes your case study just as powerful as the day it was written.

2. It Shows the Journey of Your Relationship with the Customer

When you consistently reach to customers for updates, you build the story of your relationship with that customer over time.

Showing that long-term relationship, with all of its twists and turns, demonstrates the bond between you with the customer.

And it describes how your capabilities have grown and evolved just as the customer’s needs have grown and evolved.

Describing that long, evolving journey in your case study—and your evolution within it—is a lot more powerful than a “one-and-done.”

3. It’s a Sneaky Way to Freshen the Customer Relationship

Lazy-man thinking aside, an even better reason to update your case studies is because it’s a backdoor way to freshen your relationships with customers.

It’s the perfect excuse to reach out, talk shop and find out what’s going on in their world.

You may find they have need for your services again. Or they may know someone else that does.

4. It’s an Antidote to Post-Case-Study Delusion

Some companies tend to lose focus once a case study is complete. With the case study in the bag, they unconsciously assume that all those good feelings wrapped up in the case study will last forever.

And so they develop a post-case-study delusion that everything’s great and will stay that way.

But this isn’t the time to take a step back. This is the time to lean in. It’s an opportunity to further solidify the relationship and build on it even more.

By keeping your case studies up to date, you’re forcing yourself to see more clearly and not be lulled into complacency.

5. It Keeps Your Team Accountable

When you systematize the process of updating your case studies—it’s in the calendar and it’s happening—everyone on that customer’s team is motivated to keep having conversations with the customer to deliver another win.

Having these conversations perpetually on the horizon keeps everyone’s hands on the “customer relationship steering wheel” because the follow up is a given.

Where’s That Resistance Coming From?

You may agree—in theory—that updating your case studies makes perfect sense.

But still, you resist.

That feeling of “Nah, I don’t want to do that” often comes from a place of not wanting to hassle the client. After all, they already did you the favor of participating the first time. Should you really bother them again?

That’s the wrong mindset to have.

When you come from a place of wanting to delight your customers long term—not just until the case study is done—it only makes sense to periodically ask for feedback and updates.

It’s all part of providing excellent customer service.

Make Updating Case Studies Part of Your Customer Success Conversations

The best way to make sure case study updates happen is to build them into your ongoing customer success conversations.

If you’re a small company, it may just be a case of putting a reminder in your calendar to reach to that customer and touch base.

If you’re a larger company, build reminders into your CRM and assign them to account managers.

The idea is to make continued engagement an anticipated part of your client relationship.

This is all worth the effort because telling the story of what you’re doing with a client today is so much more powerful than telling the story of what you did with a client two years ago.

Because a lot can change in just a few months.

As we all know very well these days.


Let’s talk about updating your case studies.

Contact us to start the conversation.

Ya, you like that? Well, there’s more where that came from!

How to Handle a Difficult Interviewee (With Scripts!)

Without a good interview, your case study will suffer. You can probably still write it. But it won’t have the coherent story and sparkling details that make good case studies so irresistible. So what do you do when you face a difficult interviewee? “Difficult” not because they’re a bad person or purposefully uncommunicative. (Although this CAN happen. Some interviewees are combative and gruff, and you need a thick skin.) But sometimes, difficult interviewees are simply people who feel shy, go...

BY Holly Yoos

6 Bad Things That Can Kill a Good Case Study

A surprising number of things can kill a good case study before the finished product finally lands in the hands of your prospective customers. Case studies are harder to do than most people expect. And a whole lot of things can happen that take them off the rails. At Case Study Buddy, we’ve created hundreds (maybe thousands?) of case studies for our clients, so we know a thing or two about where things can go wrong. So how do we...

BY Joel Klettke

5 of the Most Common Case Study Mistakes

Creating a good case study sounds pretty simple. After all, it’s just problem-solution-result, right? How hard can it be? But when you actually put a case study together, a lot can go wrong. It takes nuance to tell your best possible story. At Case Study Buddy, case studies are all that we do. Literally. It’s our job to keep an eye on what’s working and what’s not. And we’ve looked at hundreds and hundreds of them. In the process of...

BY Joel Klettke

Let’s tell your stories together.

Get in touch to start a conversation.

Contact Us