Customer testimonials are a necessary part of your marketing strategy, but getting them can be daunting. A good place to start is choosing a dialogue.
Ask these questions in a testimonial
- What's your name, company, and position?
Consider asking (in this order):
- Why did you do business with us?
- What are our strengths?
- What have we done for you that others don’t or haven’t?
- What have we done that made the biggest difference for you?
- Did you have concerns before doing business with us?
- How were those concerns overcome?
- What would you tell someone considering (your service/product)?
Always follow up with:
- Is there anything else you’d like to add?
When preparing to create customer testimonials, many clients ask us:
How should I prepare for a video testimonial?
Don’t get caught up in having the right equipment. If you don’t want to spring for expensive camera equipment, a quality smart phone, mic attachment, and tripod usually do the trick! Keep your equipment with you whenever you can because you’re more likely to get a client to participate in the testimonial process when you ask them and capture the video in the same session.
Additional tips for preparing to gather customer testimonials include:
- Starting with customers who already love working with you
- Listening for opportunities
- Approaching the client correctly
- Deciding which “type” of testimonial you want
Read more about how to prepare for better customer testimonials in this blog.
Should I send my client the questions ahead of time?
No – you want their initial reaction, not the one they had time to think about. Let the client talk it through on camera to get more honest feedback and insights. It makes the testimonial more authentic, and you can always clean it up in editing.
Do testimonials have to be video?
Not always. If your primary clients are vampires, definitely don’t use video; otherwise, try to use video; prospects consider video testimonials more authentic than other types of testimonials. However, if your client refuses to do a video, ask if they’ll do an audio or written testimonial – audio/video testimonials are better than none at all.
What if my client is afraid of how they’ll look on camera?
We always offer this deal: we show the client the video after editing but before publishing, and if they say they don’t want to post it, it’s ok. (You can always ask for permission to use the transcript or audio). And if they want the video down after we post it, we tell them to email us and it will be gone within 24 hours.
Testimonials are powerful lead generation tools and can push a sale to close. But beware: most of us are cynical about marketing, so we've gotten good at sniffing out fake testimonials – and that loss of trust is far more devastating than having no testimonials.
Read our related post, 7 Tips for Better Video, to get started on your next customer testimonial video.
This blog was originally posted on March 7, 2013 and has been updated for clarity.