Creating a Steady Flow of Customer Stories

Customer stories are essential, but establishing a process for asking customers to participate can be difficult. Having worked with hundreds of clients, we’ve learned what it takes to identify your best-fit customers and how to get them excited about participating in your video testimonials. By following the framework and using the templates throughout this post you can start to build out a consistent pipeline of customers willing to rave about you.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1: Identifying Best-Fit Customers

Analyze your goals and needs

To create the most authentic and impactful testimonials, you need to identify the goals you are trying to achieve with customer videos. Analyzing your goals will help determine which stages of the buyer's journey to focus on. This will help you define which types of content are best suited to those stages, whether you want to generate demand, close deals faster, or upsell existing customers.

Define what makes a successful customer and make a list of candidates

Now that you’ve zeroed in on the goals you’d like to achieve with customer videos, you need to determine a set of attributes or criteria to find best-fit participants. It may seem like a no brainer, but you ALWAYS want to feature customers who have had success or are happy with your product/service. Once you’ve narrowed down these customers you can drill down to the next level for defining your criteria:

  • You can base your list directly on ROI metrics and numbers to identify your most successful customers. 
  • You can also base your list on reviews or positive comments to identify your most outspoken customers.  
  • It could include filters like being a customer for more than 2 years, number of purchases, etc. 

Regardless of what you choose, how you define a successful customer should correlate with your goals and needs.

When you've defined your ideal testimonial participant, it's time to create a list of all your customers who meet the criteria. We prefer to keep our list in a spreadsheet so we can keep track of all of the important information about each customer at a glance. We have made a template for this that you can find here. [Customer Testimonial List Template]

Expectation vs. Reality

Remember that not all requests will be accepted, despite your best efforts. A variety of factors can affect your success rate with customers, including industry regulations, time of year, and other factors. Regardless, you can’t let no’s slow your momentum. If you're hoping to have one customer say yes, you'll want to play the numbers game and ask at least five to ten customers.

Lesson 2: Make the ask and get them excited

After you've identified your best-fit customers, you'll need to focus on making the actual ask and getting customers excited about getting involved. It’s important to keep in mind a couple things that can help improve your chances of getting a yes.


Take the time to determine the best person to make contact, and this could change depending on the customer. There’s a few ways to decide who should make the ask: you can base it on who has been their Person Of Contact most recently, who has worked with them longest, who has better communication skills, etc. You just want to ensure whoever has the closest  relationship with the customer is making initial contact.


The ideal time to ask for testimonials can differ depending on the situation and the company. However, there are a few rules of thumb you can follow to help your chances.

  • Ideally, you want to approach customers about participating in a testimonial after they have experienced some sort of ROI from your product or service. This can be at the very end of the project or after your customer has experienced a big win using your product or service.
  • The key is to make the ask when your customer is most excited about the service you’re providing them. Some of the best times to capitalize on excited customers are after a renewal, after a positive review, or after a  positive NPS or CSAT.


What you say to customers when asking for a testimonial is just as crucial as when you ask or who says it. You want to provide enough information about the process that you are making it easy for them to say yes and commit.

Here are some of the keys to making sure your ask resonates with your customer:

  • Be clear about the time commitment on their part. Our production process requires just 30-45 minutes of your time for remote filming or 60 minutes if it is an on-site shoot. 
  • Let them know that they'll be able to approve the questions for the interview ahead of time, and they'll get to sign off on the video's final version before publishing it.
  • Give them confidence by ensuring that they’ll be working with professionals to make it seamless and effortless for everyone.
  • Finally, keep it casual, as forced pressure rarely works.

Linked here you'll find some example email templates that put this messaging to use and can be customized for your particular circumstances. [Making the Ask Email Templates]
PDF Template (google slides)] [PDF Template (Canva)] [PDF Template (PDF)]


Now that you’ve given clear insight on the process and made it easy to say yes, you have to give your customer’s a reason why they should. You need to ensure a two-way exchange of value to increase your chances of getting that  yes. In other words, you must present the benefits in a way that is mutually beneficial and makes sense for your customer.

Here are a couple ways to present the value of participating in a testimonial video to your customer:

  • Emphasize that the video will show their success, and they will be positioned as the heroes of the story. It will highlight the person’s successful implementation of your product or service as a best practice, and could have a positive career impact when colleagues and company leaders see the video.
  • Make your product or service even more valuable so that the person can get even more ROI by sharing their success story. The inclusion of additional features, dedicated support, or some other valuable addition are great examples of how this can be done.

Get them excited

Put yourself in the shoes of your customer, speaking on camera for a video that will be shared across social media. This can be an extremely nerve wracking concept, especially if public speaking isn't your forte, or if you think your story isn’t worth sharing. So, it’s crucial that you take the steps to make your customers feel comfortable and confident about the whole experience, from start to finish. Assist them in feeling brave and encouraging them to share their experience as an example of best practices.

At Testimonial Hero we have talented Creative Producers that are experts at helping people feel comfortable on camera and guide them through every step. So you can assure your customers that they will have an exceptional experience.

Pursue the testimonials 

You've sent your first batch of emails... but you haven't gotten any responses. That's ok, it's actually totally normal. Persistence is a crucial part of deals that get closed during the sales process and the same goes for getting customers to agree to testimonials. You should treat the pursuit of a customer story like a salesperson trying to close a deal. Don’t go over the top and be annoying, but don’t just let potential testimonial participants fall by the wayside. Following up with a brief email or even a phone call is good practice if your company and industry permit.

The process of asking for video testimonials can be a bit intimidating at first. But the good news is, by using these tips and best practices, you can help your customers feel confident in their ability to act as advocates for your brand. Also, remember that we’re here to help you solve any road blocks using our industry leading expertise, we can answer any questions you have. Make sure you check out the resources and templates  throughout this post  to start building a strategy for acquiring customer testimonials.