B2B Writers International

How to Turn an Interview into a Compelling Case Study

4 minute read

Talking to a satisfied customer is a rewarding experience. When someone tells you their success story, their positivity is contagious. You can’t wait to tell the story for them.

But… how do you take an entire interview and turn it into an engaging story? One that people want to read and that will influence their buying decisions? To write an effective case study, you need have a clear understanding of your client’s goals and find the story elements that support those goals. You also need to know what to keep and what to leave out of your case study.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps that will help you pull out the gems from your interview and polish them into a compelling story.

1.        Prepare Your Content

The easiest way to work with your interview is to have it transcribed. While this step is optional, recording the interview and getting a transcript will make the organizing and writing processes much easier.

There are many services that will transcribe your recording for a reasonable cost. To learn more about recording and transcription services, review Strategies and Technology to Master Your Case Study Interview.

As you start to organize your content, make sure you have your transcript, notes taken during the interview, and any background information provided by your client.

2.        Search for Key Messages

Once you have your transcript, read through the entire interview and highlight important statements and quotes. Not all of the customer’s responses will end up in the finished case study. Some statements might be interesting, but not really relevant to the story.

Remember your client’s intentions for the case study and look for statements from the customer’s story that align with these intentions. Also, since most case studies follow the “challenge, solution, results” format, you will want to keep this in mind as you read.

3.        Sort and Organize

Sort the responses to your interview questions into the three main parts of your case study: the challenge, the solution, and the results. You can use letters, numbers, or different colors to distinguish between the categories.

It’s important to remember that even if your interview questions follow a linear path of challenge, solution, and results, sometimes the interviewee’s responses can take a different turn. The customer might say something in their response that fits better in another section of the case study. For example, when speaking about the challenge, the customer might also mention an important aspect of the solution. In this case, you would want to highlight that information for the solution section.

4.        Choose the Quotes

Once you’ve sorted all the information from your interview, go into each category and look for quotes. As you write your case study, you will synthesize what the customer has said and tell it in your own words. However, you will also want to include some direct quotes. Using direct quotes adds to the credibility of the case study, as the reader will hear the customer’s voice and their own words.

Consider including customer quotes in each section of the case study. You’ll also want to choose a “why” quote. This quote is a key part of the story since it describes why the customer chose the specific solution — your client’s product or service.

With any quotes you select, try to focus on the emotions of the customer, whether you’re describing “before” or “after” the solution in the story. If the emotional appeal is relatable, it will draw in the audience and keep them reading.

5.        Polish It Up

If you’ve asked good questions, you should have many valuable quotes to use in your case study. What if your customer uses a lot of words to say something important? Can you clean it up? Absolutely. Polishing a quote improves its effectiveness in telling the story. Your goal should be to convey the customer’s words as clearly and concisely as possible, while preserving their original meaning.

Here’s an example:

“The impact of implementing XYZ Solution has been nothing short of transformative for our business. The seamless integration of their technology streamlined our processes, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Our team now operates more efficiently, and the positive effect on our bottom line is undeniable. The ongoing support from XYZ Solution’s team has been outstanding, ensuring that we continue to maximize the benefits of their solution. We couldn’t be happier with the decision to partner with them!”

This quote contains strong praise for the solution, but it’s quite wordy. You can still keep the main idea by using a shorter version:

“XYZ Solution’s impact on our business has been transformative. The seamless integration saved us time and costs, boosting our efficiency and bottom line. Ongoing support is outstanding. We couldn’t be happier!”

If you are reluctant to alter the original words, remember that the customer will be able to review and approve the final copy. This assures that they agree with what you’ve written even if you haven’t used their exact words. It will also avoid misrepresenting any part of their story.


What should you leave out of a case study? It may seem obvious, but any negative comments or things your client does not want to talk about should not be included in the case study. As a general rule, do not mention competitors’ names. You also don’t want to add excessive descriptions of a product or use lots of technical language. Tell enough about the product or service to be clear but keep your main focus on the solution.

Now you are ready to begin writing your case study. Following these tips not only helps you use the most important information, it also creates a ready-made outline to follow as you write.