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New Clients vs Old Clients; Are You Treating Them Right?

In Canada there are really only a couple of legit cellular providers. This creates a really unfortunate scenario for consumers. Where a lack of options exist, so does a lack of competition. With two providers holding a near monopoly, finding a great deal on a mobile plan and phone is highly unlikely.

Now that I’m getting married, this past weekend, I decided to try and get my fiancée and I together on a mobile plan. Currently, she’s with one of the major players in Canada and I’m with the other.

Since her contract recently expired, I figured we’d check with her provider first, to find out what options were available.

After chatting with the fellow behind the counter for a few minutes, I was absolutely floored by the deals he had to offer.

Attracting New At The Expense Of Old

If I decided to come to her provider, I could get a brand new phone and a somewhat decent package for LESS than what they were offering her to stay.

You read that correctly.

She’s been a loyal customer of this company for years and apparently, that doesn’t mean much of anything to them. The contact they offered her was $15/month MORE than she currently pays and she’d have to buy a new phone. But for me to come over, I was offered a plan for less money per month and it came with a free phone!


We had the exact same conversation with my mobile provider, and guess what… the EXACT same result.

They offered my fiancée a far better deal as a new customer than they offered me as an existing customer.

An existing customer who has been with them for a decade!

New Clients vs Old Clients; Are You Treating Them Right?

When I’m coaching voice actors on marketing, one of the first places I start with is their existing clients. I ask them all the same couple questions.

How many clients do you have that you haven’t reached out to in six months?

How many clients do you have that you haven’t reached out to in a year or more?

Almost every time, they’re embarrassed to realize how many clients they have – people who have previously paid them for voice over work – that they haven’t spoken with in far too long!

On the flip side, I also ask them about their efforts in finding new leads and new clients. More often than not, they can always tell me about the efforts they’ve put into trying to generate new work; whether it be via direct marketing, agents or casting sites.

Why do we so often forget about our voice over clients?

Don’t let the pursuit of new #voiceover clients come at the expense of loyal ones!
Tweet Quote

You Better Be Valuing Them All

Obviously we want to always be on the lookout for new leads. Potential new work.

I’m the guy that encourages voice actors to find 20 new leads a day! But while you’re doing that, it’s so important not to forget about the relationships you’ve already got established. The clients who have already been loyal to you.

Don’t focus exclusively on the new at the expense of the old.

I was embarrassed and, if I’m being honest, a little offended, that my current provider would offer my fiancée a far better deal than they’d offer me as a loyal customer. It’s that sort of customer service (or lack thereof) that would make me want to take my business elsewhere.

Make sure you’re not making the same mistake in your voice over business.

Do you have some old clients you need to reach out to and take care of today?

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Taxis, Uber and the Dying Art of Customer Service

As a bit of a traditionalist, one trend I’ve always avoided is ride-share/Uber/Lyft. For whatever reason, I’ve just felt like taxis were more trustworthy. This assumption, for the record, is based on absolutely no actual fact or knowledge.

It’s just one of those deals where cabs have been around forever when you need a ride, so logic would lend to them being the natural, safest choice.

After all, how do I know some 20 year old with an app to dispatch him to a location to pick up total stranger even has proper insurance to do such a thing???

So I always cab it.

Until recently.

A couple weeks ago I had to make the trek into Toronto for a morning voice over session at MCS Recording. Toronto traffic during the morning rush from my hometown could leave me with a commute ranging anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours plus.

Unpredictable at best.

Thank goodness there’s a train! Heck, even the train station, which under ideal driving conditions is about 25 minutes from my place, takes me an hour to reach during the morning rush!

Off the train at Union Station I had a 20ish minute walk to MCS. Generally, I’d do it happily while enjoying the fresh air. On this particular day, however, the air wasn’t only fresh, but also bitterly cold.

I’d rather not walk too far when the air hurts my face.

So I took a cab.

Taxis, Uber and the Dying Art of Customer Service

The driver punched up my destination on his GPS. Queen St. E. In my mind, any self respecting Toronto cab driver wouldn’t need a GPS to direct them to Queen St. E. from Union Station. But, I tried not to judge.

An odd thing happened, however, as we approached our coming right-hand turn (as guided by the GPS).

The driver chose to not take it.

Nor did he take the next one.

Or the one after that.

Or several beyond that.

At this point it became obvious what was happening.

The cab ride from Union to my Queen St. destination was a short one. This taxi driver had clearly chosen to take the scenic route and run up the meter. Even ignoring repeated prompts from his own GPS!

It’s not the first time it’s happened to me. But it will be the last.

Watching him blatantly drive out of his way to run the meter up when I had a session to get to really upset me. To the point that while sitting in the back of his cab, I downloaded the Uber app.

There was no way I’d be taking a cab back to Union Station after the session.

Cab drivers running up the meter, I suspect, is half the reason a company like Uber even exists!

The final fare for my cab ride was $19.

The Uber fare for my ride back to Union was $6.

The real issue here wasn’t the money. It was the utter disrespect shown to me, as a customer, by a cab driver who was just trying to get a more expensive fare out of an otherwise short ride.

It was ignorant.

And the symptom of a greater problem.

Lack of customer service skill.

When I’m working with my voice over clients, I will bend over backwards to make sure they have an easy and professional experience. Every. Single. Time.

There are far too many other VO’s out there waiting in the wings if I fail to deliver.

They’re the Uber drivers waiting to grab cab fares. Not because they cost less. Rather, because they provide a better experience!

The Task is Simple: Take Care of Your Clients

My commitment to my clients is simple. On time. On budget. Hassle free.

With each and every job I book, my goal is always the same. Under promise. Over deliver.

Exceed expectations.

Happy clients are repeat clients.

Unhappy clients download Uber in the backseat of the taxi.

This is really easy to do when you’re working with easy clients. It can be a test when you’re working with difficult ones. Regardless, your objective should still be the same.

Always give them your best, no matter what.

Don’t hassle them over the script.

Don’t nickel and dime them over the budget.

Don’t make them wait if you can deliver sooner.

Make their life easier and your part in the production process go smooth, and they’ll be back. Trust me. Even better, they’ll likely tell their friends.

Sometimes I think exceptional customer service is becoming a lost art.

Don’t let it become a relic of the past in your voice over business.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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Burned Breadsticks

Last night I ordered pizza. Pizza from a reputable, national franchise. I’m not naming names. This isn’t about shaming and calling out. It’s about a learning experience.

For you.

For me.

After I returned home from picking up the pizza, I dove into my box of breadsticks like a savage beast who hadn’t eaten in a week. There were two problems…

  1. My breadsticks I ordered with cheese had no cheese.
  2. My breadsticks were burned. Not a little burned. A lot burned. I’m a firefighter. I know burned!

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.

After a minute or two contemplating whether it was worth it to drive my pizza back across town and have my order corrected, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I was hungry. Too hungry to go for another drive and wait for another 20 minutes. The pizza franchise got off easy tonight.

Burned Breadsticks

How many times have you walked into a fast food joint, ordered a burger, and when you sit down to eat it, it’s just a sloppy mess?

This happens to me a lot. Each time, I ask myself the same question.

“Doesn’t anybody take pride in their work anymore?”

Sandwich artist, my butt!

If I was the pizza guy and I pulled totally burned breadsticks out of the oven, I’d throw them straight into the trash. Not straight into a takeout box. It’s about taking pride in your work. It’s about honouring and respecting your customers who are paying hard earned money for your food.

It’s easier to be lazy and not care.

Only Your Best. Toss The Rest

When you’re cranking out audition after audition all day, it’s really easy to get complacent and let your effort slide.

When you’re editing a 20 minute eLearning project that’s taking forever, it’s easy to let the “less noticeable” clicks and breaths slide.

When you misread the script, but think the client won’t notice, it’s easy to let the edit slide.

Sloppy burgers and burned breadsticks.

Doesn’t your client deserve better? I know mine do!

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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Five Lessons Learned From Two Customer Service Fails

These days, as sad yet true as it is, I enter into my customer service experiences with other businesses anticipating misery. Some will say that’s a negative mindset. I can’t argue that. Others might warn that in doing so, I’m creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. Perhaps.

Then there’s the rest of you. Who feel exactly the same way!

It seems almost inevitable we’ll be spending most of our time on hold. When someone does answer, it’s from a call centre we’ve been transferred to overseas, and in their very best (horrible) fake English accent, they read straight from their script making little to no effort to actually solve our problems.

The other thing I sometimes feel is the corporation simply doesn’t care because in the grand scheme of their business, I’m irrelevant. A customer they can afford to lose.

angry-customerLast week I had two horrible customer service experiences. One with a Pay 2 Play Casting Site I actually no longer even do business with, but an error THEY made many many months ago came back to haunt (and cost) me. The other, with the largest U.S. Rental Car Agency by sales.

In both of these terrible experiences I took some notes of things that bothered me most. If you’ve got to live through the experience, you may as well learn from it, right?

Here’s what I learned. I know these will help me do better business. Perhaps they’ll help you as well.

Five Lessons Learned From Two Customer Service Fails

1) Do what you say you’ll do. Don’t change the rules half way through the game: If you quoted a rate and reached an agreement on terms, stick to those terms. Don’t try to excuse yourself from it with fine print, technicalities or other terms that were never discussed.

2) Solve problems fast: In one of the above mentioned experiences, I was transferred through eight different reps including three managers! There’s absolutely no excuse such an occurrence to solve a simple problem. If a client comes to you with a problem, solve it. The end. If it was your mistake, solve it faster! I say it all the time, Happy clients are repeat clients!

3) Be available: One of these experiences lasted nearly two hours! I spent most of that time on hold. When clients call, answer. Quickly. Yes, there will be times when you can’t. Understood. But a quick email that even acknowledges their request can go a long way to providing exceptional service.

4) Never blame the client: In both of my experiences, the reps I spoke with blatantly blamed me for my problems, despite the fact in both cases the issues were clearly not of my own doing. I don’t care if the problem you’re faced with is your clients fault, NEVER throw it back in their face. Do what you can to solve the problem. Be excellent.

5) Someone else is ready to do what you can’t: The Rental Company was unwilling to solve my problem in a reasonable way. Their competition, however, was more than happy to step in, go above and beyond and solve my problem with absolutely no hassles. It took me less than four minutes! If you fail your clients, there are ten other VO’s ready to step in.

Although I had already long since stopped doing regular business with the Pay 2 Play site in question, I was a very loyal customer of the Rental Car Agency. No longer. Their lack of professionalism and their inability to quickly solve a simple problem sent me straight into the open and welcoming arms of one of their competitors.

That’s the price of bad customer service. You will lose business.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.

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Debunking The Myth Of Delivering Voice Overs Too Quick

Let me just go ahead and debunk a myth that’s been out there for a long time and I simply don’t believe has any truth to it. Some will agree. Some will disagree. Some will breathe a sigh of relief and maybe even re-evaluate the way they do business.

The Myth of Quick Delivery

The myth is simply this… it’s not good to provide quick turnaround to your clients because it makes them think you’re not busy and that makes you appear less professional and more desperate.

Have you heard this myth before? I have. In fact, in the past, I’ve had talent call me out for offering same day delivery on voice over projects. For turning small jobs around in an hour when possible. For doing everything in my power to shorten my clients wait time for their voice over.

Here’s the thing, and I don’t mean this to be rude, but let’s just get real for a minute. To make a client wait to make them think you’re busy operates on the assumption that your clients care about voice overs other than their own.

They don’t.

What Your Clients Want

Quick Turnaround Voice OverHonestly, they couldn’t care less if you’re booking one job a day. Or five. Or ten. Not because they don’t like you, or don’t want you to succeed. When it comes down to it, all they really care about is that you’re completing their voice over in a timely manner and providing the best service possible.

That’s it.

Clients aren’t judging your level of professionalism on how busy you are or aren’t. It’s based on whether or not they’re getting exceptional service from you. Did you give them a great read? Did you follow direction? Is the audio clean? Is it in the format they asked for? Did you get it done ahead of schedule? Were you on budget?

This is what matters to your clients. Not how many other voice overs you have to get done today.

Myth Debunked

So now that the myth is debunked, get to work. If you can crank a project out in an hour, do it. If you want to work after hours, do it. If your client asks you to record on a weekend, go for it.

It doesn’t make you look desperate. It doesn’t make you look any less busy.

It makes you look like a professional going out of their way to provide exceptional service.

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.