In a world of over-produced hype videos and clickbait news story headlines authentic customer voice is a breath of fresh air.  Using real customer voice in your marketing is a great way to make real, emotional connections with prospective customers, and to show real-world examples of the problems your product can solve.  Though there are lots of ways to use customer voice in your marketing, one of the most powerful is the customer testimonial video.

Customer testimonial video

Customers that love your product are often more than willing to help out and share their stories on camera.  But to make sure you create the best possible content, what you ask, and how you ask it makes a huge difference. In this post, we go through a couple of tips that can help make sure you generate the best content possible.

1. Make a personal connection

One of the most important aspects of getting great testimonial content is simply asking the right way–and that starts with a personal connection.

Avoid generic or mass emails if you can.  Though it can sometimes work for large or highly engaged audiences, these tend not to convert very well.  Better is to foster a real connection with customers that love your product by sending a personal note. Speak directly to the details of how they’re using your product or service so they understand that their specific experience is important.

Customers respond best to the person in your organization they have an existing connection with, so make sure the initial contact comes from that person.  This seems obvious, but companies often get this wrong, making the initial contact from the person tasked with building the testimonial rather than somebody with a personal connection.  Often the personal connection is with a customer success or service agent, but it could also be the salesperson who first interacted with them or the CEO they learned about the product from, for example.

2. Explain why their story matters

Engaged customers often want to help companies that they love and are willing to share their experiences.  But they may not know what it is about their specific experience that's so important.  In order to help them frame their responses to your questions, you need to explain why their specific testimonial is important to your business.

The most important question is why you chose this specific customer.  Do you want to focus in on the specific problem they're solving with your product? A particular industry?  A specific customer persona?  Explaining why their story is important will help to frame the conversation and will lead to better, more cohesive content.

3. Make an appointment & provide clear instructions

Just like you, your customers are busy.  You often get just one shot at recording your footage, so make sure both you and your customer are well-prepared.  It's important to set aside ample time and provide clear instructions so that the opportunity is not wasted.

If you’re asking customers to capture footage in a “self-serve” fashion using their own devices, it’s important to make sure they set aside a specific time to do it properly so that it doesn’t get rushed or forgotten.  One extremely effective way to do this is to reserve a time-slot via an appointment on their calendar, even though you will not actually be meeting.

Put detailed instruction into the invitation so that your customer knows exactly what you’re asking for.  They should already have context as described in the previous step, but in the instructions you can give some light coaching and additional details of what you're looking for. You should also make yourself available at the time of the meeting via chat or phone, just in case there are any questions. With clear & simple instructions, it probably won’t be needed, but having your contact information lets customers know that you are there to assist them.

4. Ask the right questions

Asking the right questions for a customer testimonial is more art than science. Your customer testimonial will help tell a story to prospective clients, so as you put together a list of questions to ask a customer, start with the narrative that your testimonial will follow.

A common narrative to follow is the buyer journey that a customer might follow to solve a specific problem using your product.  Frame the problem and talk about the before, during and after. What was it like before they used your product?  How does your product help solve that problem? What is it like now that the customer is using your product?

Over time, you can repeat this process to grow your content library with testimonials that speak to other problems your product can solve, or to other target buyers.  For example, your company's "small business" narrative might be very different than the "big business" narrative, or you may want to build out different content for different types of problems your business can solve.  Picking the right questions will help you tell the right stories for your target customers.

Finally, use the right tools

There are lots of ways to build customer testimonial videos.  At the high end, you can work with video crews and production teams who have experience with this kind of content.  This approach can build amazing content with great production values, but can also be very time consuming and very costly.  If you have video editing experience, you can also build testimonial videos yourself.  This is certainly most affordable but even more time consuming.

Of course, there are lots of great tools and services out there that help with particular aspects of testimonial production, such as the video capture or other editing.  Using the right set of tools can vastly accelerate the process, reduce the cost and still produce great results.

If you're looking for an end-to-end solution that automates the whole process and helps put the tips in this post into practice, we would humbly suggest you look at Verifiablee’s testimonial automation. Verifiablee automate the entire process including the collection, production & publishing of beautiful fully-branded customer testimonials.

Whatever approach you take to building your content, keep these tips in mind in order to build out the best customer testimonial video content possible!