Don't forget the service!
I was surprised at a recent interaction that I had with a fellow voice actor. They asked me why I loved the craft so much. My answer was that I love providing the highest level of customer service to my clients. They raised their eyebrows and had a baffled look on their face. “What’s that got to do with voice acting?” they asked. I smiled and told them my story.
Ever since I was Paperboy at the age of 14, I understood how what I did affected other people. If I was late with the papers or if I posted the wrong paper to a customer, then that person inevitably contacted the newsagent owner to let them know they were not happy. When I was told what had happened I was upset. I was a perfectionist. I knew that the customers were relying on me to supply them with their morning read to get the day started right for them. I was hurt that I had let them down. Really – it affected me deep down. I would then go out of my way to make it up to the customer by making sure it didn’t happen again and even left notes inside the papers apologizing for my mistake. At Christmas time I would insert a personalized card into every paper wishing them the happiest of times. I had built relationships with these people without even realizing it. Then, an amazing thing happened. When I went in to collect my newspapers at 6am on a cold, frosty December morning in Scotland I was greeted with a smile in the paper shop. The newsagent handed me a pile of envelopes. As I opened each one I found hand written cards with my name on it wishing me a happy Christmas and thank you for being a great paperboy. On top of this, some of the cards contained tips for me. At that exact moment ,I got an overwhelming feeling that I will never forget. When you provide people with a high level of customer service – good things happen.
I have applied this to nearly every part of my life since then. I treat everyone I meet with the respect that I would like from them. I smile and make eye contact when I meet people. I open doors for people and always say please and thank you. If anyone is unhappy with any part of the service that I provide I try and see it from their side and work out a way to make the situation better for them. And the strange thing is – it’s not forced, it’s not a business model that I chose. It’s who I am. It makes me happy.
In return, this core belief that I have has allowed me to make many great relationships with video production clients and other voice seekers. Clients have gone out of their way to send me some fantastic testimonials, left 5-star reviews on P2P sites and even went to Google business and left a 5 star review. And truthfully – that’s why I love doing voice over. I love making people happy. I get a huge buzz when a client sends me the finished project and tells me how happy the end client was.
So, whatever the reason was that you got into voice over, don’t forget that a huge part of what you do is customer service. Yes, being creative is fun but at the end of the day there is a client at the end who is paying you for a service that has a product at the end of it. And when I speak to my clients, they always remind me that one of the reasons that they keep using me for their voice over needs is because I make life easy for them and I am a pleasure to work with. I’m good with that!
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