Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Is Seeking Voice Talent Like Ordering Pizza?

The idea for this blog came from an experience with trying to use The Dominos Pizza online ordering website, while working late one night last week.

The Common Thread
Pizza and voice overs...both can be ordered on a website, but they are two entirely different businesses. But the fact that they can be ordered, or sought, on a website creates a common perception as to ‘how things should work because it is a website, after all!’.

The Bad Experience With Dominos
Now living in New York City, it may seem I betrayed brethren by ordering pizza from a chain restaurant; online no less, but I was in a bind. I was working alone and could not leave my desk. I placed an order asking for Buffalo chicken wings, cheesy bread, and diet coke; yes, from a pizza place. The website showed me this really cool graphic, that I could track my order, and I thought, ‘Great, back to work. I got this graphic telling me what's up!’.

Then, the food arrived...kind of...

The Buffalo wings were the wrong type, the sauce was wrong, they sent me Sprite and Coke, and the delivery man had no pen to sign the credit card receipt....because it is a website, so I paid online. I was forced to ask, 'Did you bring me the wrong order? Maybe this was meant for someone else?'.

It got worse...
I tried to call the store, the delivery guy, and the supervisor; numbers given to me by the website. No one answered the phone.

Back to voice overs...
Imagine, you are a voice seeker and you 'go to a website', ask for a female speaking voice talent who has ISDN, and you need the voice over work within a day. For that reason, you agree to pay a little more than usual. Now, because the money looks good, some voice talent who are the complete opposite of what you requested (perhaps men), decide to submit auditions, state that they are experienced (and they are...offline), and therefore they should be considered.

Did someone just show up at the door with a bottle of coke? These two anecdotes are taken straight from my work experience here.

Human Nature
When it comes to doing anything with a website, the fact a person takes the time to request something, means they want what they asked for, or as close to it as possible. You can be a chef straight out of Sicily, or a union talent with decades of experience, any client ready to spend money simply wants what they requested; the chef's/voice talent interpretation of the request...not the polar opposite. Creative license expires when you offer the 'absolute wrong', in a business with no 'absolute right'. Artistic interpretation aside, do not be the voice talent who makes great pizza, but has no business plan in place to deliver it in the manner expected of a website.

Be it a pizza or a voice talent, websites in any service industry have to provide solutions, and therefore the same psychology applies across the board for a ‘paid more when pleased more’ business:

  • ‘Please...I know what I want. Show me you know what I need.’

Epilogue: Ending on a positive note!
Over the weekend, the corporate offices of Dominos called me to apologize, and refunded my money. Even still, we all know how impressions can lead us away from something; opportunity has been lost.

I took what happened Friday, as a sign someone was telling me to eat healthier.

Voice123 - The Voice Marketplace

Steven Lowell
Community Development Manager
Voice123 Facebook
Voice123 Youtube Channel
Twitter: @voice123

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