Create a compelling case study

Case studies that illustrate how your Xero connected app has helped other businesses succeed are a great way to demonstrate its value to prospective customers. You can feature case studies on your website, turn them into content for blogs, use them as collateral for your sales team, or have them on hand at your Xerocon booth.

Building your case

Case studies are real-life success stories that feature a customer as the main character. They outline how a solution has helped them overcome challenges and achieve great results in their business.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a case study, but here’s a commonly used format we recommend:

  • Intro: In your opening paragraph, start with a short summary of the story and then move into some background about the customer’s company – you can usually find this info on their website.
  • The challenge: Take two to three paragraphs to explain the challenges and obstacles the company faced before they started using your app with Xero, and the goals the customer set out to achieve.
  • The solution: Explain how your app helped the customer handle the challenges and met their goals. It’s a great chance to describe your app in detail, how it was implemented, and how it’s now used in the customer's business.
  • The result: This is the time for your app to shine. Show how it positively impacted your customer's business using specific metrics that quantify the benefits such as the number of hours of time saved a month or the impact on the bottom line. The proof is in the pudding, so include strong quotes from your customers that show how valuable your app is to their business.
  • Conclusion: A nice way to wrap it all up can be to outline your customer’s future plans for their business and for using your solution. But the most important thing to include in your conclusion is a call to action, for example a link to your marketplace landing page or your signup form.

How to find out this info

Case study content is best collected by interview (keep it under an hour). Whether in person, over hangouts, or phone, it gives your customer a chance to expand on interesting points and get great quotes. You may like to record the interview (with permission) and transcribe it afterwards.

Here are sample interview questions that you can adapt as needed:

  • How long has your company been in business and how many employees do you have?
  • What challenges was your company facing? what objectives did you have that led you to look for a solution?
  • What was your team’s process prior to using our app?
  • What were the major pain points of that process?
  • What was most important to you when evaluating your options?
  • How long did it take to get our app up and running?
  • Did that meet your expectations?
  • Who was involved in the process?
  • Is there a particular aspect of the app that you rely on most?
  • How has our product impacted your businesses success?
  • In what ways does that enhance your competitive advantage?
  • Can you measure any reduced costs or improved productivity/time savings as a result of using our app?
  • By using our app can you measure any increases in revenue or growth?
  • What are your company’s aspirations for the future, and how will our solution help with your ongoing success?

A few more tips and tricks to consider

There’s a lots to think about when you create a case study, from finding the right person to talk with to making sure it’s signed off by the right people. Here are a few more pointers:

  • Customers who’ve experienced remarkable results make the best subjects for case studies. It helps if they know your product well. Even better if they’re well known in their field or a recognised brand.
  • When you get in touch with a subject, be clear about the expectations and timeframes from the outset, including how the case study will be used. Be friendly, and outline how they will benefit from the case study too.
  • Make sure you get all the necessary permissions for the content you use, including naming people or firms, logos, photos and other pictures. Once you’ve completed editing your case study, send it to your customer for their final approval.
  • Once the case study goes live, let your customer know and send them a link or a copy.
  • Don't be shy about asking participants to share the case study with their own networks – it’s a positive story and good PR for them too.