Tag Archives: Customer Interviews

Filming Customer Interviews

Are you looking for Customer Interviews filming services in Essex? Look no further than Video Artisan. We are a specialist provider of business video services throughout Essex and East London region. Filming Customer Interviews is what we are all about!

Furthermore, are looking to harness the power of YouTube or website video to improve your search engine optimisation? Maybe you want to develop a series of public information films – or create a one-off company film? Therefore Video Artisan has the skills, resources and creative talents to deliver an imaginative and cost-effective solution for your next company video.

Filming Customer Interviews Location

Our location is perfect for servicing London, Essex, Harlow and South Eastern England with London Underground connections, the M25 and Stansted Airport very close to our studio edit facilities on the edge of Epping Forest.

In addition, we offer freelance camera operator and video editing services to client producers, agencies and other video production companies. With various cameras, lenses, camera mount systems, rails, sliders, dollies, lighting and sound kit we can cater for most video assignments.

Customer Reference Video made easy

Customer Reference Video - Title
Something your customers can believe in

Nothing sells products and services as well as a recommendation from a previous happy customer. You only have to look at all the online tools used by retailers and traders to capture customer experiences – such as Trustpilot, Feefo, Bizrate and TrustedCompany to name but a few. And who would book a holiday these days without having a quick look at TripAdvisor? Potential customers gain a great deal of confidence in knowing others have bought from you first and had a fantastic experience.

However, all these solutions lack something – putting a ‘real’ face to the name. Commissioning a Customer Reference Video does this and a whole lot more.

Building trust with a Customer Reference Video

They say that the camera never lies – and this is true. Unless you’re watching an Oscar-winning performance from a seasoned actor then it is very hard to mislead an audience. People know how to read each other through body language (including facial expression, eye contact and gesturing) – all of which is lost within written online customer referral systems. With a Customer Reference Video you have all these tools available – enabling you to achieve a far higher level of trust from your audience in what is being said.

The most common format for a Customer Reference Video is what is called a ‘talking-head interview’. This consists of an interviewee (customer) and an off-screen interviewer. The line of action is between these two characters – and whilst the interviewee does not respond directly down the lens, the audience is still able to read their body language.

Filming customer references for BT
A typical Customer Reference Video talking-head shot

Finding suitable subjects for your Customer Reference Video

Any successful business shouldn’t have a problem in finding satisfied customers – but are they really going to be happy about saying how they feel on camera? The quick answer is… not all of them, but there will be some who would be. This could be that they just like the thought of appearing on TV, but there will also be some who stand to benefit from sharing their story. This is especially true if you trade B2B (business-to-business) as your interviewee will be gaining exposure for their own business within the interview. In fact, once produced you should be actively encouraging them to share the video.

Whilst every customer’s experience is important, there may also be the opportunity to record a Customer Reference Video with a figurehead or known personality within your sphere of interest. For instance, this could be someone known as the leading authority on the subject; or a widely celebrated artist; or an accomplished sportsman – or anyone who your audience would consider to bring additional value with their endorsement of your product or service.

Shooting and editing your Customer Reference Video

First of all it is important to know exactly what you want your customers to say and then develop a range of questions that will draw this from them in a sincere and enthusiastic way. Once you know these questions you should share them with your interviewee so they can plan their response. This doesn’t mean you can’t spring additional questions on them during the interview, but allowing them to think about their response will result in a more believable Customer Reference Video.

You should also get your interviewee to sign a release form. This is basically an agreement from them which will enable you to use the video, preferably in perpetuity, for a given purpose. These do not have to consist of lengthy legal jargon, but they do have to fairly describe what the agreement between you is. Without signed release forms, or at the very least getting them to say on-camera what they agree to, could result in you not being able to use their very valuable endorsement. (A good video production company will have a variety of suitable release form templates for you to adapt and use)

Creating the right atmosphere at the filming stage is also very important. A relaxed interviewee will give you a far more natural performance which will generate a much higher level of trust in the audience. Shooting these interviews professionally will mean the interviewee coming to terms with the glare of lights, cameras and microphones – but these are soon forgotten about once the interviewer engages with them and develops the rapport. You’ll also need to shoot some cutaway shots too – see below.

By the end of filming your interview you will probably have a lot more content than you’ll need – almost certainly far too much to be useful to release as a Customer Reference Video. At the editing stage you have the opportunity to pick out just the best bits and a skilful editor will be able to craft these into a seamless narrative. If you’ve prepared and phrased your questions correctly the story will be in there and the trick is to tell it as concisely as possible. This often means very tight cutting and pasting of passages within a reply and reordering – but never changing the meaning of the interviewee or quoting them out of context.

It can be very helpful to transcribe the whole interview and carry out what is referred to as a ‘Paper Edit’. This will allow you to set out the perfect reply in the shortest possible number of words, and then take this with you into the edit suite. This might result in many cuts in the interviewee’s response which looks very unnatural. The editor’s trick here is to cover these edits with cutaways (sometimes referred to as ‘B-Roll’ footage) of relevant images – leaving the audio from the interview in place. For instance, if the interviewee is talking about the product at that time you could show images of them using it, or unpacking it or simply just the product itself. If they are talking about their business – then maybe just a few shots of the building. This is why it is always better to shoot your interview first as you will then know what cutaway images will be needed to complete the edit.

Filming in the call centre at High Street TV
A typical location cutaway shot

The cost of producing a Customer Reference Video

Unlike other areas of video production, pricing a Customer Reference Video is relatively easy once we know locations, likely shooting durations and complexity of the edit. You could simply just refer to our Freelance Detail Sheet to work out what our costs would be. With good logistical planning and a concise set of questions you could easily shoot ten or more customer interviews in the same day. With a good paper edit to work to the editing time is greatly reduced – sometimes giving you as much as 1:2 shoot/edit ratio (1-day filming to every 2-days editing).

Hopefully now you’ll fully appreciate the value of creating a Customer Reference Video. You could of course create these in-house but, to achieve a more professional looking film that your audience will find more believable and sincere, you might find it more profitable to engage a professional video production company. If so, Video Artisan is just a telephone call away – 020 3602 3356.

Notes: If you like to see how a Customer Reference Video works, please click on the links below to view a few of the short films we’ve produced for British Telecom.

BT – Workstyle Managed Service

BT – High Street TV and Avaya IP Office

BT – N3 Mobile Health Worker

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Filming customer references

Filming Customer References

Why you really need to start filming customer references

One of my most exciting and promising contacts came in towards the end of 2012 with an approach from a local agency on filming customer references for a number of blue-chip clients.  One of their largest and more prolific clients that use their services is British Telecom.

The agency specialise in producing a mixture of marketing collateral based on interviews and interactions with their client’s customers.  These marketing tools can be brochures, website content, fact sheets and/or videos – which are ultimately used to help their clients sell more of their products or services.

Filming customer references for BT

My work for them started with a edit-only job on a short film about ABM Rexel in Spain outsourcing their world-wide telecommunications infrastructure to BT Global. Filmed in Spain by a separate film company, the first task was to transcribe and then translate the customer interviews from which the agency produced a paper edit for me to follow.  Two versions of this film were eventually produced – one with and one without English subtitles.

The second commission was a short film about the John Taylor Hospice who had adopted BT’s N3 Mobile Health Worker technology into their practice in Erdington, Birmingham.  This was partly finished project which required additional and more up to date footage by way of filming customer references and BT representative interviews at the hospice. In a nutshell, N3 Mobile Health Worker is a system which enables health workers to instantly access patient records in the field – and also to enable collaboration with other health workers involved in their care.

The original footage supplied by BT was taken roughly a year before my involvement and consisted of interviews with various health workers who use the technology in their work.  These were all filmed in standard definition so I had to be a little creative in using them against the new high definition interview material.  Insetting these shots into pictures I took of the the mobile device overcame this problem quite well.  I also think the benefits of the N3 Mobile Health Worker technology to the hospice and their patients is very clear from the final film…

The task of filming customer references

Filming customer references and case studies are relatively straight forward filming challenges.  However, the work that goes on prior to filming is key to their success.  The agency are incredibly skilful word-smiths who understand their client’s needs and know how to capture the messages that will result in their clients achieving their goals.  They also fully understand the video production process and the best ways to get the message over using video.  Every shoot is therefore tightly storyboarded and planned – but at the same time they realise the benefits of using creative professionals such as Video Artisan to help direct and craft the content into something with purpose.

I’m now in the middle of the third film for this agency and BT Global which is in the final approval stages.  We’ve also started planning another film which is due to go into the filming stage mid-April – so it looks like this is going to be a regular stream of work for Video Artisan.

I’ll be adding these films to my showreel as each one gets signed off – so keep an eye out for them.

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