7 Tips to Making Compelling Customer Testimonial Videos

Testimonial videos are a great way to grow your business. Here's how to make them (Example Below).

By Ande Schurr

12 August 2021

The Value of a Great Testimony

Nothing inspires more trust than a recommendation from a happy customer.

A testimonial video is the most powerful way to increase the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.

If a website includes video, it is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google says SEO Inc.

So we should prioritise making compelling video content. And there's no better way to start than with a professional customer testimonial video.

When testimonials are authentic, they can be incredibly persuasive for your target audience.

We cover 7 ways that you can create authentic, effective testimonial videos for your company or clinic.

Contents

What kinds of testimonial videos are there?

97% of all consumers look for reviews online before making a purchase. In the process, they seek out good and bad customer service videos.

Testimonials videos come in three flavours:

  1. Patient testimonials for clinics and hospitals

  2. Customer testimonials

  3. Employee testimonials

In fact, a positive employee testimony may be more compelling than any other. Given how many people dislike their jobs, finding an enthusiastic employee is very special.

So wouldn't it be easier just to ask the customer to make their own video and save the trouble and expense?


Can customers create their own video testimony?

They can but it may not deliver.

A customer testimony is not merely a review. It's a personal revelation.

We are all familiar with product reviews and unboxing videos. They're sometimes cool but generally rather ordinary.

What we need to see is what a person really feels. That's what makes a video testimony special.

Having customers create their own video testimony is convenient but the pay-off is:

    1. Low production values - reflecting negatively on your company image. Home filming usually has poor audio, lighting, camera work and rough editing.

    2. Low energy and waffle - there is nobody there in person to create the atmosphere and guide them through the questions.

We realise that not everyone has the budget to hire a professional but it can be worth it in the end, and cheaper than you realise.


How can I keep costs down when hiring a local production company?

Choose a company that scales up or down to your size and works with your budget.

Hire them for just half a day. Some companies will charge only 60% of their daily rate if you cap the time spent filming to 5 hours.

Schedule all your customers who will give their testimonies, within that time.

Find a boutique production company with a great videographer or a small 2-3 person crew rather than a larger film crew.

A large production company will often have unnecessary assistants tagging along which can be a distraction.

Research them. See their previous work. Meet in person if possible. Make sure they satisfy all your questions and make you feel comfortable.



7 Best Ways to Make a Compelling Customer Testimonial Video

1. No script

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.

3. Keep it personal

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.

Remember:

  • 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.

5. Keep it short

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

7. Add Subtitles and Keep Graphics Minimal

If your testimonial videos are authentic and not too long, they will be engaging.

There is no need to clutter the screen with graphics. Keep that minimal. You really just need subtitles and 'lower third' titles of each customer.

Even with the sound turned off, the video must stand on its own and make complete sense.

Summary

  1. Making a testimony video is a smart way to promote your brand and grow your community.

  2. Testimonials aren’t just for potential customers, they are for your existing customers. They help build a sense of community.

  3. Testimonial videos aren't designed to be a hard sell. They're a soft form of advertising.

  4. Hire a professional video company to capture the best look and performance for your video.


Talk with us about our video testimonial service. Available in Singapore.