Ever since reviews have risen in popularity, dealerships have mostly focused on written reviews — they were the most prominent in search engine results and on third party sites.
This worked pretty well for a while. However, with the rise in the importance of reviews, some companies chose to act unscrupulously and falsely boosted their reputation by posting fake reviews. As word of this spread in the media, consumers became increasingly skeptical of ANY reviews. These days, if a consumer lands on a dealer’s review site and sees all 5-star reviews, they tend to discount those reviews as filtered, or perhaps solicited by the dealership. They feel they are not a true reflection of how the customers really view the dealership.
Well, in today’s digital age, there is a fairly simple solution to this problem. We have found that testimonial videos can help. In fact, they have a very powerful effect. Humans naturally tend to read a person visually. Body language and inflection can go a long way to convince a viewer of the sincerity of the customer giving the testimonial. And, the viewer can SEE that it’s a real live person.
Dealers who work with their customers and film quality video testimonials find that these videos are one of the most powerful influencing factors in convincing potential buyers that they should choose that dealership over any competition.
That being said, there is more to creating an effective and compelling testimonial video than simply pressing the record button.
Here are three tips that should help take your testimonial videos to the next level:
- First and foremost, remember that stories sell. Simply convincing a customer to allow you to film a testimonial may feel like a win. However, a customer testimonial which shows a monotone, expressionless customer, may not be the most effective. Consider prepping your customer before the video. Help them to get comfortable in front of the camera and ask them to tell a story. Perhaps they can describe a pain point in their car buying or service experience and talk about how your dealership solved it for them. Or they could compare the experience at your dealership to past experiences at other dealerships that may not have gone quite as smoothly.
In some cases, you may want to spoon feed the customer to keep them talking and to get the content that you want. So, an interview format, versus just asking the customer to talk, may work better Ask the customer what their fears were prior to service and how they feel now, post service. The questions part of the conversation can then simply be edited out of the video, leaving just the comments.
Also, it can take a ‘roll’ of perhaps 200 shots to get the one or two that you are looking for! So remember this when setting up your customer expectations for any interview. To keep it natural, take your time to keep the conversation going – assure the customer that they can take as many takes as needed. Then keep it short. It’s okay to edit down to the 45 seconds of gold. You can keep the customer conversation long, to keep them comfortable and talking naturally. But do keep the final clip short.
And a word of caution here: If the customer mentions that they had a better experience at your dealership, ask them not to name the dealership where they had a poor experience. Just as it is bad form to talk negatively about your competition, posting a review in which a customer does so would also be frowned upon by other customers.
- Another option is to have the customer share a concern they had about doing business with your dealership and then share how impressed they were or how you alleviated that concern. For example, statements such as: “I was concerned that the price would be too high but I ended up getting a really good deal.” Or, “I was afraid that bringing my car here for an oil change would take too long, but I was out of here in 30 minutes!”
- Last, but not least: As is true for all great content, make sure that you have a powerful headline for the video. Simply saying “Mary Jones Customer Testimonial,” really isn’t going to compel someone to click the play button. Consider headlines that address the pain point such as, “Mary was concerned that our prices would be too high…” Or, “Concerned that Servicing Your Vehicle Here Will Take Too Long?” These type of headlines will attract attention. Potential customers with similar concerns will be compelled to watch the video.
Customer testimonial videos are definitely something that dealerships should adopt in any video marketing strategy. The videos should be displayed prominently on the website and can be used for all sorts of purposes. Incorporate them into follow up emails for any Internet leads. Or edit into a compelling “Why Buy from Us?” video.
If your customers’ have a great experience, many of them will be willing to share that experience with the world. All you have to do is ask –and have your smartphone or video camera ready when they say “Yes!”
Make a commitment today to begin interacting with your customers and start collecting video testimonials. You won’t regret it.