Chances are that you’re using these words interchangeably. That’s a common issue, but there’s actually a difference between customer testimonials vs customer success story vs case studies. And it’s more than you might think. We’ll break down why 2 out of 3 is what you’re looking to get for your website to convert better. The goal here is customer advocacy.

Why case studies don’t work

Well, they do… if your goal is to bore your potential customers to death. Case studies of the past were always written from the internal organisation’s perspective in the 3rd person as PR fodder. All of those things are bad news. You offer no social proof when you’re the speaker. And using the 3rd person is ultra-impersonal. Plus, your dry copy isn’t going to get picked up by the BBC anytime soon. According to B2B Marketing, “The traditional case study involves a formulaic piece of copy that explains why company A chose product or service B as opposed to C, D and E; how good they found B and what benefits they have derived from it.” Pepper in a dash of jargon and you’ve got a bounce rate off the charts. Do yourself a favour and retire all your case studies right now. Go on. You’ll thank us later.

Customer testimonials are ok for bite-sized info.

These work well for superficial research. They give a dash of legitimacy to your landing pages and help with your potential client’s exploratory phase. Where they fall down is in the details. It’s all well and good that X manager at X company thinks your work is fast, but what did you do for them? What’s the rest of the story? If anything, these snippets should link to full-blown customer success stories. We can help with that, by the way. That way, if they strike a chord with your potential client, they can click through to learn more.

Customer success stories are sales winners.

First off, they are stories. They are fun to read (unlike case studies). They go into detail about your client, their challenges, their goals, the solution and the results. But beyond that, they use your client’s own words. They are humanising. Instead of just a window, they’re the full landscape – rubbish and all – of what working with your company is like. According to Salesforce, “The main source of their efficacy is their position as a powerful form of social proof, taking a prospect through a journey that features a real-world problem and presenting a concrete solution. When these compelling narratives are backed by reliable data points and finished with a strong pitch and call-to-action, they provide the client with a compelling list of reasons to move to the next stage in the buying funnel.” If you need a template for building great customer success stories, check out our guide. Remember that when a client relates to a case study, they are basically self-qualifying. So, your cost of sale will go right down when your leads are of better quality.

To get the most authentic stories possible, you should consider smart tech that can help. We’d love to show you what Wizu can do to help. Let’s chat.