One of the core principles of customer service is the age old belief that the customer is always right.
But are they?
If you agree on terms of a voice over project and the client changes those terms after the fact, is the client really right?
If you’ve delivered a quality service, providing a professional read, high quality audio and finished ahead of the deadline, but the client can do nothing but complain, is the client really right?
When Is Enough Enough?
I enjoy the TV show Restaurant Stakeout. A crew comes in, sets up a number of hidden cameras, monitors the service from behind the scenes and then attempts to correct the problems that plague the restaurant.
In one particular episode an unruly diner kept hassling the server over a steak and how it was prepared. Despite the fact that each time it was prepared exactly as requested, this difficult diner returned the steak several times. Each time, the server growing more frustrated. Was the customer really right?
I believe in making my clients happy. I do all I can to provide them with the exceptional service I promise. I deliver audio on time (or ahead of schedule), I deliver audio on budget, and I always deliver audio hassle free.
Need a small correction? I’ll fix it. Need a different file format? No big deal. Didn’t like the way I read a sentence? Let me re-read it.
I want my clients to be 100% satisfied with their final audio.
Know When It’s Time To Let Go
As a self employed voice actor, I never want to lose a client. Every client is money in my pocket. Money to pay my bills. Money to enjoy life.
Regular clients are always nice because it’s as close to a guaranteed income as you can get in this business. I strive to hang on to those clients, sometimes maybe too hard.
When a client is never satisfied it probably doesn’t matter what you do, it won’t change them. When a client is a generally unhappy person, the best service in the world won’t make them smile. When you drop everything to meet their needs and it’s still not good enough, rest assured, nothing you ever do will be good enough.
The problem with hanging onto a client like that is, it impacts you. Have you ever had an angry client ruin your day? Has a dealing with an angry client caused you to become short with a great client, just because your attitude wasn’t in check?
If the customer is always right, that doesn’t mean they’re always worth it!
In my voice over career which has spanned nearly two decades, only twice have I ever got to a point where I made a decision to fire a client. One time, I actually told them I could no longer work with them. The second time, I simply removed them from my marketing plan and they stopped calling.
No client is worth your happiness.
We all have bad days. That’s a given. Some of my best clients have had bad days. We’ve worked through them. I’m not talking about clients having a bad day or asking for a little extra from time to time.
I’m talking about the clients who you dread. The ones you don’t ever want to work with. The ones who, at the very mention of their name, you begin to anticipate all the hassles and pain.
Save your best work, your exceptional service, for the clients who actually deserve it and it won’t belong before your business is attracting more of the same!