B2B Writers International

Strategies and Technology to Master Your Case Study Interview

4 minute read

Case studies are powerful tools that help your client tell a customer’s success story using their product or service.

And the most exciting, and challenging, part of writing a case study is conducting the interview.

Luckily, it’s easier than you may think. Some planning and a little help from technology can make everything run smoothly. So you’ll ace the interview and set yourself up to write an exceptional case study.

The key is to be prepared when you talk to your subject. Use these strategies and technology options for meeting, recording, and transcribing an interview.

1.  Meet with Your Client

Ask questions so you’re clear on the client’s goals for the case study. How will they use it? Who do they want to reach?

Then get as much background information on the customer as you can. How long have they been a customer? What products or services are they using?

Bonus Tip: Reach out to the customer right away after this meeting. Even if the case study isn’t due for a couple of weeks, don’t delay. Get the time for the interview nailed down as soon as possible. You never know if the customer is heading out for a two-week vacation or starting an intense business project.

2.  Decide on the Meeting Details

If you conduct your interview on a phone call, you’ll need to explore audio recording options. On an iPhone, you can use the Voice Memo feature to record your call. Android phones have Call Recorder, a feature that can be turned on in Accessibility settings. There are also many audio recording apps available, including Audacity, Podcastle, and  Veed.io.

A video call is another option. There are many video conferencing platforms with different features and price points. Check with the customer first to see if they prefer a specific platform. If they don’t have a preference, you can choose from some of the most popular ones:

  • Zoom. Possibly the best-known video conferencing platform, Zoom offers a basic free plan and other paid options. The biggest drawback of the free plan is you are limited to 40 minutes before your call automatically ends. To avoid this, you can upgrade to a Pro account, currently $15.99 per month. Zoom offers local recordings for all plans, and cloud recordings for paid accounts. To compare all of Zoom’s plans, click here.
  • Google Meet. If you have a Google account, you can use Google Meet for your interview. A meeting up to 60 minutes is included in the free plan for three or more participants. Meetings with only two participants have no time limit. Google also offers paid plans with various features, starting at $6 per month. For Google’s full range of options, click here.
  • Microsoft Teams. This app is included in the cloud-based Microsoft 365 subscription. However, you can get a free basic plan with just a Microsoft account. The free plan includes meetings up to 60 minutes with a maximum of 100 participants. Teams offers several paid account options that include editing, app bundles, and other features. To compare their plan options, click here.


Some earlier platforms, such as Skype and Free Conference Call are still popular and new options continue to emerge. Features and pricing tend to change frequently, so be sure to check the platform’s website for the most updated information. When researching one of these options, consider ease of use, cost, meeting limitations, recording features, and file options (local or cloud-based).

3.  Schedule the Interview and Confirm

Always respect the customer’s time. Remember their participation in the interview is a favor to your client, so schedule a meeting time that’s convenient for them. Tell the customer how long the interview should take. And be sure to confirm the day before the interview.

4.  Prepare Your Interview Questions

Start with basic questions that follow the “challenge, solution, results” format. To tell the story, you must learn about the customer’s challenge, and what led them to find a solution. You also need details about the solution and how the results changed their situation for the better. Next, you can add questions that are specific to the customer, industry, and your client’s goals.

It is a good practice to send the customer your list of questions at least one day before the meeting. This will put them at ease by knowing what questions will be asked and gives them time to put more thought into their responses. And better responses mean a better case study.

5.  Plan to Record the Interview

Ask the customer’s permission first and explain you will use the recording only to assist in your writing. Most videoconferencing platforms offer a recording option. Be sure to test the recording features of your chosen platform BEFORE your interview, so you know how to use them. Remember that even the best technology can fail at times. It’s a good idea to have a back-up plan to record, like your smartphone, just in case.

6.  Take Notes

Even when recording, you’ll want to take notes while the customer is talking. Writing down important points may prompt further questions. Make sure you understand all aspects of the customer’s story and ask for clarification when needed.

7.  Close the Interview

Thank the customer for their time. Ask if you can email them if you need to clarify anything and assure them that you will respect their time.

8.  Transcribe Your Recording

I highly recommend transcribing your finished interview. While not absolutely necessary, a transcript makes the planning and writing processes much simpler.

Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams have built-in transcription services. There are also other services available offering machine or human transcription, or both. Machine transcription is faster and often much cheaper, but the quality is not as good as human transcription.

When choosing a service for your transcript, some important factors to consider are cost, speed, and accuracy. Here are some popular transcription services (including current rate information) to consider:

  • Rev is known for its quick turnaround and reasonable rates. Machine transcription is $.25 per minute and human transcription is $1.50. The standard turnaround time is within 12 hours; however, I have received transcripts much faster. They also offer rush service for an additional charge. View all of Rev’s services here.
  • GoTranscript is best known for its human transcription, priced at $.84 per minute. It also offers machine transcription at $.20 per minute but only guarantees 80%-90% accuracy for this service. You can check out their options here.
  • TranscribeMe offers machine transcription at a reasonable cost. Pricing ranges from $.07 to $2.00 per minute with different degrees of accuracy. Turnaround average is 1-3 days. They also offer translation into multiple languages. Compare all of their services here.

Other popular services include Otter.ai, Scribie, and Trint, and there are many others to choose from. Once your interview transcription is complete, you’re ready to start writing!

When you follow these strategies and explore your technology options, you’ll feel more confident when it’s time to conduct your interview and you’ll ace it. For tips on transforming your interview into a polished case study, stay tuned (coming soon).