In recent years I have seen customer testimonials in the form of video proving to be highly beneficial for businesses and this is for a number of reasons. Video allows businesses to get their message across quickly and concisely and it can also be shared easily across a variety of platforms, allowing your business to reach a much wider audience.
I have filmed a variety of videos for a variety of businesses, but the one type of video that has always proved effective is customer testimonials. This type of video proves effective for almost every business as they speak volumes to potential customers – they add credibility to a business. Due to the effectiveness of customer testimonials, I have filmed a large number of them in my career – in other words, through experience I have learnt the do’s and don’ts of customer testimonials and have developed a form of checklist that I always follow.
Before I even think about putting someone in front of the camera, I always discuss with the client what they want the video to convey – do they want the video to inform their customers of a particular product or service? Do they want the video to inform customers of the friendly team of staff they have? etc. After discussing this with the business, we then go about forming the questions that their customer will be asked. I usually suggest between 5-10 questions is enough, if they are asking the right questions.
Once the business have decided on their 5-10 questions, I usually advise them to look over them to ensure they are not asking any closed questions. The worst type of questions a business can ask an interviewee are those that can be answered with “yes” or “no”. For the purpose of a customer testimonial video, the business wants their customer to be saying as much as possible. I also advise them to allow room for spontaneity within their customer’s interview. Even though they have prepared their questions, if their customer answers a question with something interesting and beneficial, they will want to elaborate on it rather than continuing with their set questions.
Now this is where I come into the picture. After the questions have been prepared and finalised, it then comes down to the nitty gritty of filming the customer testimonial. The first and most important point I want to check off my list is ensuring the interviewee is comfortable. Not only does this look good on my behalf, but it also encourages the customer to provide better answers in terms of quality and quantity. Relaxation will deliver the best results, as it won’t look or feel awkward or unauthentic.
After the interviewee is comfortable, I will then begin filming. When the interviewee is answering the questions, I always like to have them repeat the question at the beginning of their answer. This helps me with the video editing process, especially if the business wishes to have no narration over the customer testimonial video – in order to make it look more natural.
When it comes to ending the interview, I usually like to ask the question “Anything to add?”. By asking this question, the interviewee usually creates a great summary for the video and brings out some great information that the business hadn’t thought of asking. After asking the above I will then call “Cut!”, well not really. I like to keep the camera rolling after the interview is over, especially if the interviewee I have had was nervous and never properly got comfortable within the interview. By keeping the camera rolling, I can continue to have conversation with the business’ customer and because they will no longer feel the “pressure” of the interview psychologically, they tend to loosen up. This is when I find I end up with the best quotes of the entire interview.