Customer testimonial videos are powerful and essential marketing assets that can provide incredible value to any business looking to grow their brand and increase sales. And while almost any form of social proof is helpful, there are definitely ways to increase the effectiveness of your efforts.

If you are looking to create videos that your prospects actually care about, and that drive them to make purchasing decisions, you are going to want to make sure that those videos communicate clearly the value and the benefits of working with, and buying from, your business.

All of this starts with capturing compelling content from your customers.

All of this starts with asking the right questions.

In this post, I am going to share with you three questions that you should be asking in every single interview in order to capture the kind of compelling content you need to make a great, and effective, customer testimonial video.

#0. How are you doing?

Ok, real quick before we get started…just a pro tip from years of experience. If you are the one asking the questions, make sure to get the dialog started before the camera starts rolling. Often times it will take a minute or two to get the camera focused, the lights adjusted, etc. Make sure to put the “talent” at ease by just having a normal conversation. This puts them in the right conversational mindset for the interview, and loosens them up a bit. “What do you think of the conference so far? How was your weekend?” Anything you can do to ease the nerves will go a long way.

Once you have them loose, and the camera is rolling, fire away with the interview questions.

#1. Can you tell me about your company and what you do?

I love to start off interviews like this because it accomplishes one important goal – differentiation. After all, if you are conducting several testimonial interviews all for one service or product, what is the one thing that will set each interview apart? It’s your customer’s company, and the work they do every day.

There are also several other advantages to asking this question as well. First, it should be something the talent is familiar with, allowing them to start off talking about something they know. Second, if you conduct multiple interviews across multiple verticals and companies, it gives your sales team leverage in providing them with assets that can speak directly to their prospect. If they are trying to sell a pizza restaurant your product or service, and you have a testimonial from a pizza restaurant explaining how your product or service solves important problems in their business, the prospect is much more likely to see their need for the product or service as well.

You could also phrase this question similarly to the way that Davin Wilfred does, who is the Sr. Manager of Content and Customer Advocacy at Quick Base. He approaches it like this:

“For me, the best (and hardest) question is “What is your company’s mission?” Customers often struggle with it, but it helps frame the success they have with our product. If we can tie their success to their company’s goals, we’re not only driving a thoughtful testimonial for our product but also positioning our champion as a driver of success. “

#2. What Problems Did you Have in Your Business Before Using Our Product/Service?

This right here is the most important question you can ask in the interview. Why? It is so important because the people that you want to be watching your video, your prospects, should be dealing with these problems right now.

Don’t be afraid here to ask your customer to rephrase their answer, or to ask multiple follow up questions to get them to express the pain clearly. You want your prospect watching the video to jump out of their chair and say, “Yes! That is exactly what I am dealing with.”

This is powerful stuff. You product or service solves real problems (if it doesn’t, how are you in business?). If your existing customers can clearly articulate those problems, and how your product/service solves them, it will be incredibly difficult for your prospects to ignore.

#3: Do You Have any Specifics You Can Share?

Out of all the interviews I’ve done, this question is the one that is forgotten about the most. We get so excited when our customers tell us how much they love us because we’ve solved their business problems, that we forget to ask for specifics.

Specifics are what add credibility. Specifics are what will tell your prospect – wow, they really do make a big difference.

Let me give you a few examples to make my point. Circle the statement which is more compelling (ok, you don’t have to draw on your computer screen, but do it mentally):

  1. I’ve saved a lot of money by switching to lizard insurance, OR since switching to lizard insurance, I’ve saved over $100 a month.
  2. My business has grown substantially after I hired Joe’s marketing agency OR since I hired Joe’s marketing agency, my business has seen a 75% increase in leads, which has led to over 1 million dollars in sales in six months
  3. After taking this product, I have lost a lot of weight OR after taking this product regularly I have lost 40 pounds in six months

Isn’t it incredible? When you give these specifics, your prospects start to think what these kinds of results could mean for their businesses.

One word of warning – be sure to ask your customers to prepare for this question ahead of time if you can. Not everyone has this kind of data memorized, and if they need to look it up, or consult with other members of their team to gather the data, by the time they are sitting in front of the camera it is probably too late.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it,  the three questions you should ask in every customer testimonial video interview.

To be clear, you should definitely be asking more than three questions when you interview your customer. The purpose of this post is to highlight some of the ones that I have personally seen to generate some big results.

At The Customer Story – we have been done literally hundreds of customer testimonials. If you’d like some help, don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you’d like an entire list of questions that you can ask your customers, click the link below for a downloadable word file that you can use, free of charge, to conduct your customer testimonial interviews. This document is completely editable to make it perfect for you and your business.

Special thanks to Stuart Wade of Wade Communications for his input for this article.