By Stephanie Ciccarelli
March 27, 2014
Clients come in all shapes and sizes. It's easy to be professional with great clients, but what do you do with clients who are a little more challenging to work with? How you handle a client's request matters. Learn how to give your clients a 5-star customer service experience in this Voice Over Experts podcast from J. Michael Collins.
As an industry-leading voice talent and coach, J. Michael Collins is able to call upon a wealth of experience and accumulated knowledge to provide his clients with the very best product possible.
Throughout his career, he has dedicated himself to providing voiceovers of superior quality to all of his clients, large and small.
From advertisements for major corporations such as Coca Cola and McDonald's, movie trailers for worldwide release, television documentaries, Fortune 500 corporate narration, and audio-books, to promos for the local pizza place, his experience with a wide range of clients allows him to expertly create a perfect product for them, whatever their needs.
Welcome to Voice Over Experts, brought to you by Voices.com the number one voice over marketplace. Voice Over Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom, and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voice over. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voice over talent. It's never been easier to learn, perform and succeed from the privacy of your own home, and at your own pace. This is truly an education you won't find anywhere else. Now for our special guest.
J.M. Collins: Hi everyone, I'm Jay Michael Collins and today I will be discussing professionalism in the voice over business in general and in online casting specifically. Many talents enter into the voice over business with incredible delivery skills, great voices and killer demos. But they may have little or no background in business or customer service. I mention customer service because it is the key to understanding the level of professionalism required in the modern voice over industry.
We have all had memorable customer service experiences both good and bad. Can you think of a hotel that really impressed you or one that led you down? What about a restaurant or an airline? I recall a hotel in Dublin, Ireland, where my wife and I stayed a few years ago when we were planning our wedding. We were at the property specifically to consider it as a venue and we contacted them about this in advance. It was a well-known brand with a great reputation and we had always had excellent experiences with them at other locations.
When we arrived we were shocked to find them short-staff, impersonable, incompetent in many respects and very disappointed that despite the opportunity our visit provided for them we were assigned a suite of a lovely view of dumpsters. We complained, of course, but they seemed disinterested. We took that as a sign that they weren't interested in our business either and we eventually found another place that was. It was so bad that I didn't bother rehashing it with the manager when we checked out, I just paid the bill and left never to return.
Contrast that with my favourite airline which recently during a difficult personal situation that involved last minute travel took the circumstances into consideration and opened up two business class seats on an overbooked flight and allowed me to use my frequent flyer miles to book them. They lost money on the deal I'm sure and probably even had to compensate the bumped passengers. But guess who I just booked another dozen paid tickets with.
These examples can be applied to voice over as well. Clients come in all shapes and sizes, some are so easy to work with and pay so well that you have to pinch yourself to make sure they're real. It's easy to be professional with clients like that, right. But others are more demanding, on tighter budgets and deadlines and want to fit 8,000 seconds of copy into a 30. This is where your customer service skills will make or break your voice over career.
If you stay in a big suite in a fancy hotel you expect to be treated well, right. Maybe you'll notice but it's just as likely you won't because they will only be meeting your expectations. What's impressive is when you book the cheapest room at the Hilton and they treat you like a VIP from start to finish. That you'll remember because they exceeded your expectations.
Book a big national commercial, that's a great client. But that client gets treated like a king by every talent they work with. But when Bob's pizza is paying you 200 bucks for a local 15 in [Norman], Oklahoma that they need to air tomorrow and they call you at six a.m. with three revisions they will definitely remember when you handle their request just like you would if it were Ford calling because they're getting tired of Dennis Leary.
I like to talk about giving my clients a five star customer service experience. I believe with all my heart that the customer is always right, even when they're wrong. I want my clients to feel like they're staying in a Mandarin Oriental or flying first class. I would give them little hot towels if I could. If they want to call at three a.m. to change one word, I want them to know that they can. I hope they never do but they should feel like it would be no bother at all.
If you adopt this similar philosophy you will leave a trail of happy clients behind you as you build a successful and profitable business. And who knows Bob's Pizza might be owned by Domino's and Bob might know somebody who knows somebody.
For voice over experts, I'm Jay Michael Collins. And remember I often team up with Edge Studio and guys like Brad Ziffer and David Caplan - you've probably heard of them - on exciting and informative webinars and seminars. Go to edgestudio.com and check out what we're up to these days. Happy voicing everybody.
Announcer: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this voices.com podcast, visit the Voice Over Experts show notes at podcasts.voices.com/voiceoverexperts. Remember to stay subscribed. If you're a first time listener you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes podcast directory or by visiting podcasts.voices.com. To start your voice over career online go to voices.com and register for voice talent membership today. This has been a voices.com production.
Voice Over Experts is the industry's most downloaded educational podcast featuring renowned voice over coaches from US, Canada and abroad. Join us each week for pearls of wisdom and tricks of the trade to improve your voice over career. Listen online or subscribe in iTunes to hear from leading experts in the field of voice-overs.