Testimonial videos are an awesome way to promote your business. If you ask the right testimonial questions. And get emotionally-connected answers. So how do you get the genuinely emotional content you need for your customer testimonials? It is about the right testimonial questions…and a little more than that.
Choose the Right Customers to Ask Testimonial Questions
First, choose great customers who are really in love with your company.
If you’re not sure how to ask or not sure who would be willing to answer your testimonial questions on camera, here’s an idea that can work for B2B companies:
- Get on LinkedIn and write recommendations for customers you want to feature (everyone appreciates an unexpected endorsement!)
- Ask them for a recommendation back on LinkedIn (you may be surprised at how enthusiastic they’ll be)
- From your most enthusiastic customers, ask if they would be willing to be interviewed on camera using a testimonial questions format
B2C companies may have an easier time choosing from written reviews that already exist on sites like Yelp. You’ll already have a great idea of how they’re likely to answer video testimonial questions based on their written reviews. From there, develop your testimonial questions that will lead them to the type of answers you want.
Also, don’t underestimate your own staff! They can make the best evangelists. The customer testimonial questions below can also be modified to use as employee testimonial video questions.
Go Unscripted with Testimonial Questions
Next, set up an interview. Scripted testimonials aren’t going to work in video. They’ll be stiff and awkward because your customers aren’t actors. What matters most about video customer testimonials is establishing trust and if your customer appears to lack confidence on camera, that will undermine the goal of establishing trust. By a lot. When you ask the right testimonial video questions, you’ll get a genuine, authentic response.
Consider Remote Recording When Using Client Testimonial Questions
Decide if you’re going to film in person or remotely. We film a lot of our customer testimonials remotely because they’re less expensive for our clients, more convenient for everyone, and the production value doesn’t take away from the purpose of the video as a sales tool: to establish trust. Asking testimonial questions on video can be done remotely with the right tools. Curious about how remote video recording works? Check out this blog post.
Example of a Great Video Created By Using the Right Testimonial Questions
Here’s an example of a remotely recorded customer testimonial we created for our client, HazardHub. During this interview, I used the same video testimonials questions you’ll see below.
Make your customer feel super comfortable. Asking client testimonial questions isn’t an interrogation, it’s a fun conversation! It helps to hire an interviewer who isn’t directly associated with your company. (Yes, we do that!) At the very least, choose an interviewer who isn’t the direct contact of the customer. There’s this weird human thing that seems to happen–it’s hard to talk about people when they’re there, even if it’s all positive. You’ll get a better video if you create a little separation in that regard. As long as your interviewer has a genuine curiosity and the right testimonial questions, your interviewer will set a more authentic tone for the interview because they won’t know the answers already.
A quick note on what not to do: don’t offer incentives to customers that violate Federal Trade Commission laws. Be familiar with these guidelines from the FTC and make sure you follow them. For our clients, we’re careful to follow the rules and make sure everyone is aware of how to conduct things properly so you (and your customers) don’t get in trouble. The testimonial interview questions you ask should align with FTC guidelines.
Get Even More Comfortable
If you’re looking for more in-depth detail on how to set up lighting and make your interviewee feel comfortable, check out this guest post I wrote for Vimeo: How to film and interview like the pros, plus examples we love. It also gets into pre-interview testimonial questions.
8 Great Sample Testimonial Questions
Alright, so you have a great customer and everything is camera-ready, a great interviewer…now, what customer testimonial questions to ask?
Here are eight great sample testimonial questions to ask:
- Tell me in just a few sentences about you and what you like most about what you do.
People love talking about themselves so give them an opportunity to do it upfront. It will help you establish rapport and get them into a positive frame of mind.
2. How are you using the company’s products/services?
You want to avoid a lot of “what” and “how” questions but this one is important because it establishes the “they’re like me rapport” your prospective customers need from your current customers.
3. In your role, why is it important to [insert primary differentiator of your product or service]? (For example, why is it important to have a lot of data? Why is it important to process payments quickly? Why is it important to use the finest quality ingredients?)
Again, this clues in your prospective customers to the fact that you are solving problems for people like them.
4. In your industry, why does it matter to [insert primary differentiator of your product or service]?
This testimonial question signals your customer to tout themselves as an industry leader, which is very good for them and very good for you.
5. What were your first thoughts when you hear about the company’s products/services?
This will hopefully get a good emotional response. Enthusiastic customers are likely to naturally express the excitement and relief they first felt when they knew your company could solve their problem.
6. What’s your favorite part of working with the company’s team?
When it comes down to it, people want to work with people they like. In your testimonial questions, give your customer a chance to talk about your team members as human beings.
7. What’s your experience been like working with this company compared to alternatives?
This focuses in on the story of change. You want to move your prospective customer out of their current situation into yours and communicate a transformation story in a short customer testimonial.
8. In one word, describe your experience working with the company.
This will likely give you a really nice sound bite. And your interviewee will likely elaborate. If they don’t, you can always use the testimonial question (unquestion) prompt: “tell me more!”
Get Complete Sentences
Speaking of sound bites…I have a little trick I use to get those. In video, you need complete sentences. So at the end of every interview, I do a little “repeat after me” section. I offer prompts and ask the interviewee to repeat the prompt and fill in the blank. You want to be careful not to put words in their mouths so make sure they know they can skip a prompt and say it in their own words. As long as you get complete sentences, that’s what matters. It’s likely that they’ll repeat things they said previously, which is great because you’ll get a more concise answer, while still being unscripted. You won’t always get the answer you’re looking for but you don’t need all of them to work, just enough for a short video.
A Few Examples of Prompts
- It’s important to me…
- In my industry, it matters…
- When I first heard about…
- I love working with the team at [company name] because…
- Before working with [company name]…
- Working with [company name] is…
A Few More Pro Tips about Testimonial Questions
When I prepare for interviews, I do quite a bit of research and come up with at least 20 questions and 12-15 fill in the blanks. I also improvise and follow threads that come up to get more detail and specifics. I also I might not use every question but it’s good to have more than you need. And always give the option to skip a question.