Make better customer testimonial videos

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 7.25.24 PM

This blog post isn’t about cameras, microphones, elaborate graphics or the latest technology; it’s about the human side of getting great interviews.

It can take months or even years for clients to agree to give a testimonial. Don’t make the mistake of simply having people say why your business is great because that’s really not the point. It’s about personalizing and sharing their experiences and explaining how working with your company helped them succeed. Always remember, you’re not interviewing a company; you’re interviewing a person.

Sit in the hot seat:

Every interviewer should sit in the interviewee seat and experience what it’s like to be in front of the camera. If you’re like most people, you’ll quickly have an appreciation for how awkward it can be. Simply telling someone to just relax often doesn’t help the situation. As the interviewer, it’s your responsibility to assure people you’ll make them look and sound great. It can also help to remind people that the footage will be edited so they’re free to start and stop as needed.


You’ll probably have a long list of questions to ask people, but frequently the best comments come from natural follow up questions that were never on a list.


If your customer agrees to be in a video testimonial, be sure you show them genuine appreciation. Corporate swag (branded gifts) often go over big because if someone’s passionate enough about your business to provide a testimonial, they frequently love trinkets with your logo on it. Gift giving can be tricky with some industries, so do your research. After the interviews are done and you’re back at the office, follow up with a hand written note about how much you appreciated their participation and patience in the process.

Human backups:

You’ve just flown to someone’s office.  The crew is eager to set up. The you learn your interviewee needs to cancel.  It’s good practice to interview multiple people on a recording day. Aside from saving the day, it allows you to hear different perspectives from people in the organization. We encourage clients to use our “Rule of Three” which simply means, if you want to come away with three great interviews, make sure you interview five people. In our experience, one person is weak, one is mediocre and three will be fantastic.

Get a great crew:

Lots of people can make beautiful video but can you trust them in front of your customer’s C level executives? You have one shot at getting it right and having to do re-takes because the person behind the camera wasn’t paying attention is unacceptable. The kid out of high school might be cheap and talented but what they often lack is experience and professionalism. Like you, your crew should also appreciate being in the hot seat and be respectful of everyone who has agreed to speak with you.

Reverse the request:

How would you feel if someone asked you to do a video testimonial? Chances are you have a busy schedule and you’re not a big fan of being on camera. When someone says yes to the process, know they are probably not doing it because they enjoy the experience; they’re doing it because they want to share how your company has helped them and how other companies might also benefit.

Know when to stop:

You’re not interrogating a criminal, you’re simply having a conversation. It’s critical to know when to stop pushing for the perfect answer. If you get stuck, move on to other questions. Consider rephrasing your question and asking it again later in the interview. Keep an eye on the clock and be respectful of the other person’s time. When you first greet the person, confirm how much time they have and let them know you’ll do your best to get them out quickly.

Plan for an entire day:

If you’re interviewing a high level executive, make sure you have a flexible schedule. Often times CEOs are pulled in different directions and they might not be ready when you are. Try to book interviews in the early morning so if something comes up, you can stick around until the person becomes available. This takes pressure off everyone and shows you’re flexible. Lastly, always let people know they’ll have final approval of the content before the video is shared.

We’ve been recording interviews for years and it never gets boring. People have great stories to tell and we love the challenge of showing product and service passion. If you have questions or want to book us to record your most important customer, send us an email at or call us at 978.338.5699.