Think about the last time a company or person was responsive to you.
It felt pretty nice that they stayed on top of whatever the issue was, right?
There is a fine line between good service and being responsive. Good service can be responsive. But being responsive, at times, may be more important, especially when something needs immediate attention.
So where does a voice talent fit in to all of this?
I think it’s safe to say that most voice talent prides themselves on good service. Rare is the instance when I’ve heard that voice talent has been boorish or tough to work with.
But, in one case, I actually benefitted from a talent who wasn’t responsive. It was a frantic call. The voice talent they hired just seemed to up and disappear. No responses to email. No returned phone calls. They needed some changes and they couldn’t find him.
Turns out the voice talent was on holiday and didn’t indicate that in email or voicemail. Nor did the voice talent tell the client that they were heading out of town.
I was on the short list, and the client was in a real pickle.
We all have boundaries when it comes to work. But in this line of work, you never know when the next opportunity can pop up.
In this instance, we had to literally start over, since it obviously made no sense to try to infill my voice.
And did I mention that they were stressed?
We got the lines voiced. And, just as we were hanging up, I said, “I will be here in case you need anything else. If I don’t answer email immediately, call me. Here is my mobile number. Here is my home number.” Very clear communication.
Sure enough, 4 hours later, there was a change. And I was able to be responsive.
This client was still stressed, but not about this part of the equation. We got it done and everything turned out beautifully.
The lesson learned from all of this is not just to be responsive, but to be crystal clear on as much as possible. When you’re out, make sure that people know. Make sure your out-of-office/vacation email bounce back gives something actionable, like a way to call or text. If you’re going to be somewhere where it’s not possible to get calls, make sure that you articulate that well in advance.
You’ll have very happy clients (and agents) and you won’t end up losing a gig.
Or worse, a valuable client.