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Say What? The Value of Customer Interviews For Small Business Marketing

Customer interviews and vidos can revolutionize your business. So you think you’ve got your video marketing game down for your small business. You have a few Facebook pre-recorded and Live videos under your belt, you’ve gotten past the initial hiccups and deer-in-the-headlights dead air time, and you feel like you are representing your product or service in the best light. You’ve maybe even gotten your feet wet by having a professional videographer create some promos for you to use on your social media channels or for advertising purposes. Polished, poised, and well-versed in your brand, you’ve got this in the bag. Are you ready for the next step?

Customer Testimonials

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos

Who better than our customers to help us continue to grow and improve our brand, inspire loyalty with our existing customers and provide first-hand experience on a personal level of the value they place on our product? Taking the time to interview customers is a true commitment to listening to your most important audience – your customer base.

Let’s Chat

Your interview should not feel like an interview. It should be a real conversation. Having questions and areas of discussion to make certain you capture the information you need is key but working from a script isn’t recommended. Let your questions guide you to a discussion that may bring up points or highlight areas you may not have initially focused on but your customer feels are important. From these conversations, you will glean wonderful snippets to use in your video marketing efforts.

Listen, Listen, Listen

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You’ve asked the question or are guiding the conversation. Then, wait for it and actually allow your customer interview subject adequate time to answer. Listen! Follow the conversation where it leads. Don’t be so pre-occupied with hitting on your bulleted list of topics that you cut off your subject. They might be ready to share that perfect nugget of information that makes their input stand out. Only by truly listening will you get the real value of this type of conversation.

Come Again?

When recording, make certain when asking your interview subject questions, to have them restate your question somehow in their response. Unless you go for a pure Q & A style customer interview with no edits, you want the flexibility of editing yourself out and having the customer speak directly to the viewer with their answers.

Pulling Teeth… Not

The video camera can be a bit intimidating at first.  With a little warm-up, customers do love the opportunity to have their opinion heard and the chance to maybe influence your brand or the viewer. Your job here is to listen.  Allow them the room to share ideas and details on what they love – and even maybe more importantly – what they don’t about your product. You may learn something truly valuable… remember, your loyal customers become your raving fans and ultimately become a key salesforce. People love to share their thoughts and ideas.  This is a great opportunity for them to get passionate about their experience with your brand. Try to support sharing so that their interview becomes more personal and genuine. Encourage emotional responses! Get to the real heart of their love for you and your company.

Planning for Results

Head into your customer interview with some main goals in mind. Gently steer the conversation toward areas that you want to touch on without leading your subject toward an expected answer. Let them surprise you. Leave room for their take on a what area you are focusing on and you will gain valuable insight. Ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into areas that reflect your brand and give you an honest look at your customer’s motivation. This motivation can revolutionize your business.

Interviewing customers can be an interesting experience as you don’t get to control the dialogue in the same way you do when you are the main star. However, you can learn about how your customers perceive your brand. These benefits and improvements from an outside eye become invaluable. The power of a genuine customer testimonial for marketing purposes is a valuable tool to add an honest, personal voice to your messaging. This is the real power of social proof.






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