7 Best Ways to Make a
Compelling Customer Testimonial Video
If your client has memorised a script they will sound like a fake newsreader at best or a tongue-tied salesperson at worst. That being said, don't use actors. They will backfire. If testimonial videos are too polished or sound like ads, they'll come across as inauthentic.
2. Use real, happy customers
Choose happy customers who sound natural and relaxed.
Wait for the relationship to mature before asking them.
Contact them to check they are happy being on your video.
Always tell them where the video will be displayed - in your shop or clinic, website, Facebook page etc.
Prepare them just enough - give them some questions in advance if you like (but no script).
Don't offer an incentive in return for their services. The special quality of testimonies is in the sharing of their experience without strings attached. Of course, a small thank-you gift is necessary but implicit. It's not the reason.
The customer must speak from experience and from the heart.
If we detect the slightest sense of them planting words in our minds we will switch off.
It's the truth of this emotional connection that has the power to change the behaviour of your audience favourably.
Don't put words into their mouth.
Don't hard sell.
Keep authentic by asking questions that trigger appropriate sharing.
Encourage telling a personal story.
Don't worry if the customer is camera shy. Just keep talking with them to let the camera and other film crew fade into the distance.
Remove all distractions from the room you are filming in. Don't allow people in the room to stare at them.
4. Hire a great videographer
The customer must feel comfortable with the cameraperson or team doing the filming. That will help them focus on the questions.
Aside from a great attitude, they will need three things:
Pro Camera - they need a professional film or DSLR camera. They must film at least two shot sizes at the minimum so you can edit just the good bits without it looking abrupt. Leave that to Tik Tok videos! The lenses must create depth of field (bokeh) so they need a few sizes.
Lighting Coverage - the key to good lighting is placement, so positioning your light source in a way that illuminates the subject and not the background can be helpful. Good lighting is important for filming testimonial videos because it makes your subject look their best and gives your video a professional touch.
Great Sound - sound is absolutely the most important technical factor. We can forgive poor images but if we strain to hear we will stop watching. The videographer must use a professional-quality lapel microphone (Sanken, Sennheiser, Tram, Countryman) or boom mic (Sanken, Sennheiser, Rode, Schoeps).
NB: It's okay for the mic to be on the outside of the client's shirt. No need to hide it like in the movies. That can cause their discomfort for being too close too soon.
Keep the testimonials short. Around 60 seconds is plenty of time. Unless it's an educational video or engaging explainer video, the stats show people will just tune out.
6. Great Questions trigger heartfelt Responses
We want to create aha moments for the customer without us forcing them. We want to see their joy, relief and betterment because of their experience.
Below we share our questions and an example video to show how we did it.
Testimonial Example Questions
We crafted these questions for two patients of Singapore urologist Dr Chin Chong Min.
1. Summarise your experience with Dr Chin
2. In your opinion, what sets Dr Chin apart
3. [For lady customer]: For women, it can be challenging finding the right male doctor who understands them. How did you find Dr Chin throughout the entire experience? (welcoming, professional, approachable)
4. Tell me about Dr Chin's funny way of saying "no worry, no worry" and how he made you feel in general (hopeful, assuring)
5. Tell me about your operation and fast recovery
6. How was your overall satisfaction with Dr Chin?
7. Tell me about the facilities at Mt Elizabeth Novena hospital
In the video below, you should see that these questions triggered natural responses, encouraging storytelling.
Patient Testimonial Video Example From Schurr Productions