Top ten tips on getting great customer or patient testimonials on video so you can share them on YouTube, Facebook, and social media

  1. Work with an organized videographer. There’s a mantra when filming online marketing videos that sometime, somehow during the filming session, something will go wrong. It always does. A well-prepared and organized video production company or professional will easily be able to manage the hiccup.
  2. Have your customers or patients sign a video release so you don’t have to worry about them changing their mind later. Avoid last-minute surprises and have the release sent over and signed before the day of the shoot. Shoving a video release in the face of a customer or patient right before they interview on camera will not help them stay relaxed.
  3. Send over the interview questions in advance (if the customer or patient would like). Some people like to see what will be asked of them—others would like their answers to be spontaneous. Keep the number of questions under ten.
  4. If interview questions are sent to customers or dental patients, ask them to practice giving their answers–practice rather than memorize. Trying to recall specific phrases or lines is too difficult for untrained actors. To get the best results, have them think a little about what they’ll say ahead of time; practice a little; and let the rest come naturally.
  5. Encourage your small business customers and dental patients to practice incorporating part of the question in their answer. This is by far the most challenging aspect of their interview. Most likely, the interviewer’s voice will not be in the video, so it’s vital the customer or patient reframe the question in their answer. For example, if the video production company asked, “Why have you enjoyed working with ABC company?” and the customer replied “Because they are great,” the only segment in the video would be a confusing fragment “Because they are great.” Instead, the encourage the customer to practice saying something like, “I enjoy working with the ABC company because…”
  6. Provide food during the shoot. Adding food and some beverages is an expense, which need to be kept to a minimum. However, just having some finger sandwiches, chips, fruit, and some pop and water is an inexpensive way to thank your customers or patients for coming in to speak on your behalf. It’s also a great way to keep people occupied until it’s their turn to speak on camera.
  7. Work with your videographer on developing a schedule well before the day of the shoot. Interviews typically take from 5-15 minutes. Once audio and video are set up and ready to roll.
  8. Inform your customers or patients to arrive 10-15 minutes before it’s time for them to be on camera. It’s important for people to have the opportunity to unwind a bit, get used to seeing the camera and lights, as well as getting some food and something to drink before providing their testimonial.
  9. Make sure you work with a videographer who is patient, prepared, and nimble-minded enough to interview your customers or patients rather than having them read from a script or recall what to say from memory. A talented director working for a marketing agency or video production company will have invested time learning about how to focus the testimonials so they highlight your strengths, and she/he will help your customers or patients relax on camera. If your videographer can’t assure you she/he will relax and interview your clients one-on-one, choose someone else.
  10. Consider getting bRoll (or action footage) of everyone who speaks on camera. For example, having your customer speaking with you in a conference room or you providing mock or “not for real” treatment to a dental patient in an operatory. Watching a talking head, even if it’s a testimonial, can get boring quickly for your views. To ensure your website or YouTube visitors stay engaged and watch/listen to the whole testimonial, add in some of this action footage into the video.
  11. BONUS: mind your manners. When a customer or patient arrives, introduce them to the video production person / videographer. Thank them for taking time out of their day to help. Let them know they’re welcome to some food and drink, and let them know where the bathroom is. The videographer should be able to direct the customer or patient from there. After the filming is done, tell the customer or patient that they did a nice job and that you appreciate them. Offer some food or drink for the road. Maybe consider providing them a little gift at the end of their interview (a gift certificate to Starbucks), or at the least, send them a nice thank you card in the mail.