Writing style guide

Customer stories

Overview
Customer stories are among our most powerful storytelling tools. They bring the Citrix story to life in an authentic way, celebrate our customers’ success, and show what’s possible by partnering with us.
We keep the stories positive and inspiring by focusing on what our customers have achieved, rather than the challenges. They should highlight how, with Citrix technology, organizations are embracing new ways of working, improving the employee experience, and unlocking the full potential of their workforce to drive greater innovation and business success. 
The interview
Every great story starts with great interviewAsking the right questions is key to uncovering how our solutions enable individuals and organizations to achieve more.  
Preparing for your interview

Research the customer 

 

Learning as much as you can about the customer in advance will help you maximize your time on business benefits and outcomes. Because most organizations have corporate information on their websites, it’s a great idea to gather things like company description, headquarters location, products or services, and number of employees and customers ahead of time. 

Line up a mix of sources

A good mix of roles and perspectives will add dimension to your story. High-level roles like CEOs, CIOs, CHROs, VPs, and IT directors are great at illustrating business challenges and goals, and how Citrix has helped achieve those goals, but they may not be able to talk about the specifics, like how their IT team is using our products in their environment.  

Roles like IT managers and administrators can give you specific details about how they’ve deployed our products, plus some valuable information like quantifiable measurements in costs, productivity, revenue, headcount, and more. 

Conducting your interview

Introductions  

Start out by verifying names, roles, and titles of those you’re interviewing. Now’s a good time to ask for any additional information that may not be reflected on their website, brochure, or other publicly available materials. 

How do their people work? 

Our technology helps people do their best work by giving them the freedom to choose how, when, and where they work—which enables our customers to pursue what truly makes them competitive. 

So next, ask questions about how their employees need and want to work:

  • Are they primarily office-based, or are they out in the field?
  • Are people co-located or distributed across locations and geos?
  • Do they use their own devices for work?
  • Do they need access to corporate apps and data from anywhere? 

What did they need to do?

 

Then dive into what it was they were trying to accomplish that led them to a Citrix solution:

  • What were their key business and IT initiatives and goals?
  • What was holding them back from achieving those goals?  

How did Citrix help?

Now ask about Citrix helped them accomplish their initiatives. Find out which products they have and how our solutions have made them more agile, efficient, and secure. 

  • Have they been able to reduce costs?
  • How have our solutions helped them get ahead of threats?
  • Circle back to what you learned earlier about their employee workstyles, and ask how workforce productivity and experience have improved. 

How has their business evolved? 

And last but not least, ask questions to reveal benefits. This is the most important part of your interview because you’ll be learning how Citrix helped them achieve remarkable business outcomes.  

Ask things like:

  • What has better employee experience done for your business? 
  • Now that you’re more agile, what has that freed you to do?
  • How have our solutions helped you reimagine business?
  • What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? 

You’re looking for at least three benefits, like improved employee engagement, increased revenue, new business strategies, better customer engagement, wider customer base, business growth, and so on.  

Quantifiable metrics can help make your story more powerful. Things like:

  • Increased revenue by $1 million annually or a 35 percent increase in employee engagement. 
Writing your story

Style

Put on your reporter hat, and write the story as a journalist. Start with the most important, most interesting takeaway, and work your way down into the details. It should feel like a news story, not a marketing piece.  

Organization and length

Organize your story into an introduction section, followed by at least three benefit sections, for a total of about 700 words. Skip the challenge and solution sections. Instead, work that information into your benefit sections to make sure you’re leading with outcomes, not problems.  

Headline

In your headline, sum up with Citrix helped the customer do. To help you zero in on the main outcome, think about what you’d tell a friend if you only had 5 seconds. Steer clear of technical terms and marketing buzzwords.  

Like this:
As Worldpay doubles in size, the payment giant turns to Citrix Workspace to empower its workforce 

Introduction

Start with a general sentence that could relate to anyone who reads the customer story. You could say something like, “Everyone needs a safe and sanitary place to live.” Or, “Every organization wants to get its workers the apps they need to do their jobs quickly and securely.” Avoid beginnings that just list company details; infuse that information into your story instead. 

Use the rest of the introduction to summarize the story. Think of it as an executive summary. Concisely explain who the customer is, what they needed, and how Citrix helped.  

Like this:
Whether shopping in store, online, or on a mobile device, today’s consumers want a seamless payment experience — a fact that perhaps no one understands better than those at Worldpay. Processing more than 40 billion transactions a year, the global payment provider simplifies payments for companies of all sizes around the world. But when Worldpay joined forces with payment giant Vantiv, the new powerhouse needed a way to simplify and unite a disparate IT landscape to fuel future innovation and growth. 

Benefits sections

Organize your case study into 3-4 sections that show how Citrix products met the customer’s needs. Use snappy headings that sum up a benefit. Things like, “A staggering feat,” and “$1M a year saved.” Start with the most significant benefit and work your way down. 

Explain how a Citrix product gave them this benefit. A great way to do this is to talk about what the customer did before versus what they can do now. 

When you first mention a product, link to its landing page on Citrix.com. Example: With Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, they can deliver apps quickly and securely to thousands of users at once.  

We want these stories to have a journalistic flavor. So pepper in quotes from the customer where they make sense. It’s always great to hear things in their own words. 

Like this:
“Users needed to feel as if they were working directly on their own desktops,” says Firstname Lastname, IT manager. “So speed and a natural user experience were important features.” 

You can even use a snippet from a customer quote as the section heading. Just make sure it’s short and sweet.  

If possible, wrap up the story with a customer quote, which helps to end on a strong note. For example“We’re already seeing residents embrace our new mobile services,” says Lastname. “We’ve seen that a majority of seniors and young people favor accessing our services via mobile devices. They were actually ready for mobile before we were.” 

Like this:

Simplifying IT and improving collaboration in the midst of change 

Doubling the size of a workforce has many advantages — but it also presents challenges for IT. Worldpay turned to Citrix Workspace to manage the complexity of unifying diverse IT systems, quickly onboarding new users, and ensuring an optimal user experience. 

“We have people using traditional applications. We have people accessing web-browser-based applications. We have people going to the public internet for SaaS applications,” says Jason Keith Scott-Taggart, Worldpay’s head of business technology services. “We want to give the whole of our enterprise a single place to come to access resources.” 

With Citrix Workspace, not only has Worldpay been able to provide simple, secure anywhere access to the apps and content people need, but also, it’s enabled a company that’s increasing in size to work together more effectively.  

“Citrix has really helped us as an organization to innovate because it brings us together, and it allows us to collaborate in a common platform,” Scott-Taggart says. 

Sidebars

Sidebars are a great way to add details without bogging down your story with too many details. Include impressive stats or more detailed product information. Or feature a compelling quote—ideally one that mentions results. 

Example sidebar stats:
40 billion
Number of transactions processed annually 

300
Number of payment types managed across 146 countries and 126 currencies 

$1.5 trillion
Amount processed in payment volume 

 

Example sidebar quote:
“Citrix is really important to us because it allows us to hide complexity from our end users and allow them to concentrate on doing what they need to do to drive the business forward, whilst at the same time giving me the tools as a technology leader that I need to empower them.”
Jason Keith Scott-Taggart
Head of Business Technology Services
Worldpay 

Additional tips
  • Use “Citrix” for us and “they/them” for the customer.  
  • Follow Citrix voice and writing guidelines. 
  • Balance short and long sentences, and keep your paragraphs short (no more than 4 lines each) 
  • Instead of using specific dates, generalize: “within six months” or “a few years ago.” 
  • Quotes are best kept brief and placed strategically to support a point or to emphasize challenges and benefits.  
  • Use “says” instead of “said.”  
  • To preserve the voice of the customer, use exact quotes whenever possible. To clarify a term or awkward phrasing, place your edited text in brackets. For example, “Taking into account hardware, heating and cooling, ABC achieved a 60 percent [reduction] in IT expenses,” says Jane Smith. 
  • Capitalize titles when you place them before a name, and lowercase them after a name. For example, Joe Smith, senior IT director, Company ABC or Senior IT Director Joe Smith. Capitalize titles in sidebar quotes.

 

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