Client interview tips to enhance your case studies

May 29, 2024 | Business, marketing

Interviewing a client or someone else involved in your construction project is a powerful way to make your case study stand out. This is often how I obtain what I call “gold nuggets” – those testimonials and client quotes that nail exactly how good you are at what you do. But conducting a successful interview can be hard, especially if you’re not used to it. So I’ve compiled some client interview tips to help you.

 

Prepare yourself

If you didn’t work on the project but will be the one conducting interviews, take the time to familiarise yourself with the project details. Understanding the background will help you formulate insightful questions and engage more meaningfully with the interviewee. Research the project’s objectives, challenges, and outcomes so you can ask informed questions that elicit detailed responses.

 

Prepare the interviewee

Give your interviewee ample notice about the interview. Explain that you’d like to discuss their involvement in the project for a case study. To ease any anxiety, refer to it as a “chat” rather than an “interview” and maybe provide broad examples of the type of questions you’ll ask. This approach helps put the interviewee at ease, making the conversation flow more naturally. 

 

Prepare questions but be flexible

While it’s recommended that you have a set of questions prepared, it’s also important to remain open and flexible during the interview. Active listening is crucial. Be ready to follow up on interesting points raised, even if they weren’t part of your questions. This adaptability can lead to unexpected insights and richer content for your case study.

 

Dig deeper

If your interviewee mentions something intriguing, or doesn’t give enough details, don’t hesitate to ask follow up questions. This technique can uncover the deeper insights and memorable quotes that make a case study stand out. Encourage the interviewee to elaborate on interesting points, providing a fuller picture of their experience and contributions.

 

Use open-ended questions

Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Open-ended questions encourage the interviewee to provide more detailed and thoughtful responses. For example, instead of asking, “Did you face any challenges?” ask, “Can you describe some of the challenges you faced during the project?”

 

Don’t interrupt

Practice the art of listening without interruption. Allow your interviewee to complete their thoughts before you jump in with another question or comment. Often, the best quotes come when the interviewee feels they have the space to share their story fully. However, if the conversation goes off track, gently steer it back to the relevant topics.

 

Use plain English

If you’re interviewing an expert, they might use jargon or acronyms that aren’t widely understood. Ask them to explain their points in simple language that anyone can understand. This ensures your case study is accessible and engaging to a broader audience.

 

Record your conversation

Unless you’re a proficient note taker and know shorthand, it can be hard to write down exact quotes during an interview. By recording the interview, you can quote more accurately. It also frees up your energy so you can really listen and engage with the interviewee, rather than concentrating on taking notes. Always ask permission to record before beginning.

 

Wrap up with gratitude

Always remember to thank the interviewee for their time and insights. Let them know the expected time frame for the case study’s publication and offer to send them a copy once it’s finished. Showing appreciation helps build goodwill and can encourage future collaboration, or even sharing of the case study among the interviewee’s audience.

 

By preparing thoroughly, listening actively, and asking the right questions, you can turn interviews into valuable content that enhances your case studies. These interviews provide depth and authenticity, but they also help transform clients into advocates of your work. So, take the time to conduct thoughtful interviews and uncover those “gold nuggets” that will make your case studies shine.

 

Before you start though, you might also like to grab your free guide to writing your own case studies for more tips.

If you don’t have time or couldn’t think of anything worse than writing a case study but still want to utilise this amazing marketing technique, check out my case study packages. You can also follow me on YouTube for more tips about case studies and marketing your construction business.

 

 

Other blogs you may be interested in:

How to write a customer success story that converts

10 ways to use a case study to grow your construction business

How to structure your case study for maximum  impact

How case studies drive business growth

Welcome to The Copywriting Chonicles

I love the building industry as much as I love writing. You can learn more about me here.

If you have a question about anything building related that you would like me to blog about, please drop me a quick note.

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