When it comes to customer service and my voice over business, I subscribe to a practice I learned as a youngster….from a movie….okay, a Christmas movie. I call it the M34 Principle. What the heck is that, you ask? Good question!
The M34 Principal comes from the holiday classic Miracle on Thirty-forth Street. As you’ll recall, the new, real (I WILL fight you on this point!) Santa is gaining traction and winning over customers as the Macy’s in-store Mr. Claus. When a customer asks about a toy that is being sold for less at Macy’s arch rival Gimbal’s across the street, our customer-focused St. Nick doesn’t hesitate longer than a reindeer’s snort to encourage her to take her business to the competition.
Risking the ire of his bosses might have seemed to be not the most savvy career move, but when the delighted customer declares that she’ll be a Macy’s customer for life, everyone is happy and a new store-wide policy is born!
That basic concept, that the most important thing in business is a satisfied customer, has always been a core principle for how I run my voice over business. If I can’t do it, or if someone else I trust can provide the same level of service for less, I will happily direct a client to them, potentially losing out on short term income in return for (hopefully) long term good will.
But, you say, there are tons of people who do what you do, why send clients to the competition? Ah, but there’s the rub! I said the same level of service. I can count on one hand the number of folks I know who subscribe to this same ethos, that winning long term business is more important than a single assignment, and none of them have a style or voice print in my range. And I can absolutely rule out all the “Dollar-a-Holler” low ballers because I know they won’t bust their fannies to provide the level of service I do!
Has this practice cost me work? Maybe, but it’s how Santa and I roll.
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