Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Client Experience Report Winter 2011

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

February 18, 2011

Comments (23)

Woman doing a survey and checking boxes on a clearboardWhat do clients using Voices.com want?

Surveying our customers is important to us at Voices.com and we hope you find this information to be useful.

So, what do people looking for voice talent online have in common and how can you use that knowledge to your advantage?

Find out in today's VOX Daily as we discuss results from our Client Experience Report from Winter 2011.


How Long Have You Been a Registered User at Voices.com?


Length of Time as a Member

What you see here is pretty self explanatory. While we love hearing from all of our customers, those who have recently signed up in the last three months have consistently been the most likely to provide feedback on how they found their experience at Voices.com. 305 people responded to this survey. Let's see what they had to say.

How Did You Find Voice Over Talent?

Most frequent talent search method

At Voices.com, we provide a number of ways to search for, audition and hire voice talent. The most popular way clients find talent is by posting a job. Given the benefits, I'd use the job posting form (and have used it) too! The beauty of this approach is that our patented system receives job specifications from the client and matches their needs with the most qualified voice talent based upon a number of criteria.

For those who would like to 'handpick' talent and send private invitations for their job, the Voices.com search engine allows clients to find the right voice based upon a descriptive keyword as well as gender, language, age range and union affiliation. Leveraging the power of the search engine is especially useful for people who already know what they want and choose to audition a handful of talent.

Finally, there is still plenty of activity from those clients who navigate directly to a voice talent profile and click the button to request a quote. These clients have done the groundwork and have an even more defined need that they feel can be filled by the voice talent they send a private request for quote to.

How Many Voice Over Auditions Did You Review?

Voice Over Auditions Reviewed

While we've seen this statistic many times before, it often surprises talent that the majority of clients review all their auditions. I say majority as that includes those who reviewed "all of the auditions" (45%) plus those who reviewed "50-100 auditions" (8%).

Remember that many jobs are either private audition requests where generally only a small group of voice talent would be invited to respond while other jobs are in a language other than English, where again, there is a limited number of voice talent who could respond.

Did You Receive Too Many Auditions?

Many Voice Over Audition Responses

If you've ever reviewed a job posting at Voices.com and seen that there have already been 50 or so voice talent who have replied, don't let this impact your decision to audition if you feel the opportunity is right for you! Not only do the majority of clients review all their responses, but they also tell us that they received just the right number of responses (75%). Some clients even ask for more! (9%).

You might be wondering about what we're doing for the clients who say they've received too many responses. We are working on a solution to allow clients to close the door to further auditions which will both save your time and make the selection process for clients even more enjoyable.

Would You Consider a Generic Audition Even if the Script Was Provided?

Generic Voice Over Demo as Audition

Every client is different but there is an obvious preference here for custom demos. If the client provided a script, the expectation on their end is that talent take time to read a small portion of it. That's the lesson and the key takeaway after learning that 55% of clients will not consider generic demos. Yes, 44% of clients will consider your standard commercial demo, however the edge definitely goes to those who provide a sample read of the script.

From someone who has casting experience, I can confirm that I would much prefer hearing a custom read, even if it is short or truncated, than receive a stock demo. When you read from the script, you take a lot of guesswork out of the reviewing and decision making process for clients who don't have the time to try to imagine how you might read their copy. Many people also want to hear the copy because they simply need to in order to make an informed decision so that there are no surprises when it comes to working with you.

Not everyone who is casting these days has casting experience or regularly works with performers. By recording a brief custom demo, you demonstrate a heightened interest in the opportunity as well as a sample of your artistic abilities and interpretive skills as they pertain to a particular job posting.

While we're on the topic, the custom demo isn't just an online marketplace phenomenon but is something that is expected on all levels of work acquisition. Agents will have you read custom copy to audition. Trailer voices often need to provide a scratch vocal for consideration. Based upon conversations I've had and presentations I've seen, doing a custom read in an audition situation is not uncommon these days, even among those who are booking some of the biggest jobs.

Did You Use The Shortlist Feature?

Did You Use The Favorites to Shortlist

Whether auditions are held traditionally in a recording studio with a producer, engineer and creative director or the audition is received and reviewed online, shortlisting is a technique to narrow down the number of amazing responses to a few finalists.

Voices.com has a new shortlisting feature called the "Like" button which we talked about yesterday. In the chart, we see that 60% of the people are shortlisting their responses.

To clarify, "Liking" an audition is not the same thing as adding someone to your "Favorites" list. Favorites is a system wide feature and Likes are on a per audition basis used to shortlist talent and help clients identify talent they are considering for a given opportunity.

What Were the Factors that Influenced Your Hiring Decision?

What Influenced the hiring decision

Good news! Clients are most interested in your audition recording which also explains why they prefer sample reads of their script. Again, the emphasis here is placed on crafting relevant and impressive auditions. Some talent have even given two or three reads in a single MP3 while others add music and sound effects and others still prefer to record dry voice samples. If you're interested in hearing about what others are doing, consider engaging fellow voice talent at the Voices.com Facebook community to learn about their audition techniques.

One of the better ways to protect auditions is to record a brief portion of the script and then let it fade out. After hearing from a number of people on this topic and having listened to some of the auditions that have booked on the site recently, brief custom demos tend to work best.

How Did You Pay the Voice Over Talent For Their Work?

Payment Method

As you know, Voices.com offers a secure payment service called SurePay. Clients prefer to pay through Voices.com as it's easy and also provides a means of receiving and approving the files. Plus, you and your client can rate each other on how the transaction went which builds up your public feedback ratings as displayed on the profile and alongside your auditions. Here's a link to where you can learn more about how SurePay benefits voice talents.

What Did You Learn?

I hope you've gained some insight from the statistics and additional clarity when reviewing our analysis of these findings.

When we publish these survey results, the hope is that they benefit you and also that there are some takeaways... did you learn anything new?

Add a comment and let us know what you learned!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Kutay Tanir

Related Topics: agents, clients, experience, report, statistics, union, Voices.com


Comments


    Great confirmation that it's not hit and miss. Producers do listen. Which encourages maximum effort on a custom demo, including, according to some, FX and music. So that's something new to try - such info is very helpful! Thanks again for the care you take.

    Posted by:

      I almost-always favor recording custom auditions and I am glad to see that many clients favor them. However, because voices.com also allows talents to submit general demos, those of us who take the time to cut custom demos are put at a disadvantage because we are being pushed to the back of the line by other talents who quickly send their general demos. I'd like to see a system that is fairer, where one can "reserve" ones place in line for 10 minutes or so, so that a quality custom demo can be recorded, rather than trying to beat the clock.

      Posted by:

        Thank You. This was very useful information.

        Posted by:
        • Tom Dykes
        • February 18, 2011 7:51 PM

          Hi Stephanie,
          Thanks again! I found this article to be very helpful an encouraging. I do like the upcoming/possible feature, that will enable a cut off of auditions, after a client has received his or her limit. It is frustrating if a client doesn't review the demo you have taken the time to submit. Even if you are not chosen.
          Thank you again for all you wonderful feedback and advise!
          Sincerely, Ms. Tarryn Lyda

          Posted by:

            Hi Tom,

            Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree, custom demos are much more preferred and the option to attach a stock demo does make it harder for talent to dedicate time to recording a custom demo as quickly as someone else who is simply attaching a file from their profile.

            I'll speak to David about this. In the past we have received requests from talent asking that a box be checked if the audition requires a custom demo. Perhaps in those instances (should that option be added to the job posting form), only an upload function would be available instead of offering both a "browse" function and an "attach" function.

            Best wishes,

            Stephanie

            Posted by:

              Hi Stephanie,

              Speaking as a voice whose carefully recorded custom demos are only 50% reviewed, I find this extremely useful information. One thing missing from your survey is any feedback on clients' reaction to speed of response.
              This is important to me because I live in France, and therefore have to cope with a time difference. For instance, I usually get notifications of new jobs around midday ET, which translates to 6pm over here - just the time when I have to start cooking dinner, noise begins as everybody comes home... So am I putting myself out of the running by recording and submitting the next morning?
              Many times I've had notification of job that expires the same day, so I have to choose between staying up until past midnight, when all the noisemakers have gone to bed, or missing out on the job. Luckily I have a home studio, which does at least give me that choice!
              But what percentage of clients stop listening to auditions after the first day?

              Regards,
              another Stephanie

              Posted by:

                Thanks so much for the valuable insight. This helps a lot.

                I wonder (on a side note) - Has any thought been given to encouraging clients to give feedback to talents that they didn't choose for the job. Maybe one or two auditions were considered but needed one more little detail that may have gotten the talen the job. Just a thought.

                Posted by:

                  Stephanie,

                  Once again--Voices.com proves it's the best.
                  You folks go out of your way...to do studies like this...and I really appreciate it! It gives us an insight into how clients THINK, and gives us a better understanding of how the 'system' works.

                  I am especially interested in the concept of the new "LIKE" button for jobs. Great idea!

                  Posted by:
                  • JC Haze
                  • February 19, 2011 10:20 AM

                    Hi Stephanie,

                    That option would be great, and I'm sure the client, too, would appreciate being able to decide what he/she wants to hear from us. Thanks for considering.

                    Tom

                    Posted by:

                      forgive me if I am wrong. I thought I read somewhere, something about talent being able to see you is reviewing their demos. perhaps it was a questions that was previously posed. Is there a feature being developed, that would allow us to know who is reviewing us.

                      Posted by:
                      • Tarryn Lyda
                      • February 19, 2011 5:23 PM

                        Wow! Major updates and terrific updates!! Still, in the "WHAT INFLUENCED THE HIRING DECISION" section, a significant issue wasn't clearly addressed: Fee. Your research shows that barely 1/3 figure the "demo" as the primary factor in their hiring decision. Nearly 2/3 indicate the "quote" as a big factor. If a solid dollar-figure were offered, the hiring decision would be made purely on the demo. As you're working on the site, why not replace the "100 - $250" etc checkbox(s) and require our producer-clients to insert a specific, definitive, unambiguous dollar figure?

                        Regarding a "cut-off" time: we already have it. Each client chooses her/his own deadline. It's first come - first served. It's up to us talents to be on-the-ball and creative. "Fair" isn't a nice word in competitive marketing. There's no "level playing field".

                        Thanks for the site and for your team's hard work.

                        Dan Gold

                        Posted by:
                        • Dan Gold
                        • February 20, 2011 5:43 PM

                          Hello Stephanie,

                          Always like to see improvements and going and above and beyond the "status quo"... voices.com does things I like, such as encouraging auditions as much as possible, but I wonder if writing the comments hinders or helps voice talent book jobs. I always think I'm writing the same thing and never know how it "translates" to the client. Keep up the good work !!!

                          Posted by:

                            Hi Stephanie,

                            Thank you for your comment and question! To answer your question, while it is generally better to audition sooner than later, we have proof that there are talent who are hired even though they were later to answer than others who auditioned on the first day.

                            With regard to your question about clients stopping listening to auditions after the first day, clients are sent an email the day after their job is approved to encourage them to go in and listen. Some check in before then of course but I'm sure you can imagine how many of them decide to wait until they hear something to check in, especially if the casting decision isn't urgent in terms of the first 24 hours.

                            I hope that helps :)

                            Best wishes,

                            Stephanie

                            Posted by:

                              Hi Tom,

                              Thank you very much for commenting and for your question. As you've noted, we now make it easy for clients to contact talent to let them know that they appreciated their audition and to send personal messages pertaining to their casting decisions through the new "Send a Thank You" option. Clients had asked for a way to communicate their gratitude more easily and we've just fulfilled that request.

                              I understand that talent appreciate as much detail and feedback as they can get which is another reason why we implemented this new feature. Clients that want to go the extra mile in terms of sending messages to talent they did not work with are certainly welcome to do so but we are not making that suggestion at present on a per client basis. They come to Voices.com to achieve their primary objective which is to find someone to work with. If they decide to provide feedback to others, that's great but not required of them.

                              Best wishes,

                              Stephanie

                              Posted by:

                                Hi Tarryn,

                                Thank you for your comment and question. You can see if a client has reviewed your audition by going to your Answered folder and clicking on the audition you'd like to know about. We're working on a way to make this an easier process for talent that will save you from having to click into a job to know if you have been reviewed or not.

                                Thanks for asking!

                                Best wishes,

                                Stephanie

                                Posted by:

                                  Hi Dan,

                                  Thank you for your comments, questions and suggestions. The reason why budget ranges are necessary options for clients to consider in addition to fixed budgets is because sometimes they have a window to work with budget wise, and other times, they simply don't know how much something will cost.

                                  There is some education involved but at the end of the day, they want the freedom to pick either a budget range or to specify a definitive dollar figure.

                                  Again, thank you for your support! I'm glad you appreciate the updates and feature additions.

                                  Best wishes,

                                  Stephanie

                                  Posted by:

                                    Query about notifications: Like Stephanie Campion in France, I have to make the best of my UK time zoning on USA/Canadian demos, and want to respond immediately.
                                    So here's a query: why do not all auditions generate an email alert? Occasionally, I discover them attached to my name on the site only.
                                    This tempts compulsive visits to the site hour by hour, if not quite all through the night. Is one's level of membership a factor?

                                    Posted by:

                                      Hi Howard,

                                      Thank you for your comment and question. Membership level has nothing to do with how notifications are received for job postings that you are qualified to answer. As you've pointed out, if you are seeing them on the board, you should be receiving an invitation. For a short time, there was an issue with notifications that may be related to what you are talking about. Is this still persisting for you? Let me know and I'll have our developer look into it.

                                      Thank you,

                                      Stephanie

                                      Posted by:

                                        Hi Stephanie - thankyou for your immediate reply! No issues now. Howard.

                                        Posted by:

                                          I would love to hear what some of the "other" factors that "influenced your hiring decision" were, since they make up nearly a quarter of the pie.

                                          Posted by:
                                          • Terry White
                                          • March 3, 2011 1:28 PM

                                            Hi Terry,

                                            Thank you for commenting and for your questions. On this particular question in the survey, clients are able to select as many criteria as apply to them, in this case, choosing from six variables which include:

                                            Written Proposal
                                            Quote
                                            Demo
                                            Is in my Favorites
                                            Listing in the Featured Voices on homepage
                                            Talent Website

                                            The "other" field represents a mixture of the talent website (profile at Voices.com), listings in the Featured Voices on our homepage and whether the talent was a Favorite of that client already.

                                            I hope that helps!

                                            Best wishes,

                                            Stephanie

                                            Posted by:

                                              Big "Thank you" to Stephanie and the Voices.com team for doing the survey. Great info from the clients. Your recap has given me ideas on ways to improved my auditions and to continue doing what works best.

                                              Posted by:

                                                Wow,....Steph, you really hit home! See, this is why I'm trying so HARD to get my home studio up & running! Sendoing generics don't do the job anymore. Thanx for your work on this survey,...it backs up what you guys say on the Webinars and online. You ladies are amazing as an asset for Voices.com,...get a raise!

                                                Posted by:
                                                • Bill Hollis
                                                • May 26, 2011 1:44 PM

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