Do you ever get the feeling that your questions, concerns or worries are falling on deaf ears by those of whom could provide a solution?

Many times you feel like you’re beating head against the wall. It can be so frustrating. I’m sure you can think of many examples. Here’s the classic one for me; You call a business with a concern and are placed on hold….. “Your call is important to us….please stay on the line for the next available operator” ....this then goes on and on….sometimes it’s just unbearable....and you finally give up.

Funny, when this occurs I always visualize a phone bank with flashing lights “on hold” and operators talking and laughing among each other about the latest episode of American Idol or something...all the while completely oblivious to the callers on hold.

A person or business which is accessible and sincerely listens and then is responsive is a rarity today.....and yet there are exceptions!

I’d like to share just such an exception with you.

Webster’s Dictionary defines listening as the following:

1: to pay attention to sound

2: to hear something with thoughtful attention or give consideration

3: to be alert to catch an expected sound.

Dr. Larry Nadig Ph.D. a Clinical Psychologist says ~

“Expressing our wants, feelings, thoughts and opinions clearly and effectively is only half of the communication process needed for interpersonal effectiveness. The other half is listening and understanding what others communicate to us. When a person decides to communicate with another person, he/she does so to fulfill a need. The person wants something, feels discomfort, and/or has feelings or thoughts about something. In deciding to communicate, the person selects the method or code which he/she believes will effectively deliver the message to the other person. The code used to send the message can be either verbal or nonverbal. When the other person receives the coded message, they go through the process of decoding or interpreting it into understanding and meaning. Effective communication exists between two people when the receiver interprets and understands the sender’s message in the same way the sender intended it.”

As a Voice Actor I uses many professional resources to market my services. They range from an Agent, Casting Director, WEB Page, Internet Voice Acting Services and of course good old fashioned word of mouth.

Voices.com is a superb on-line service which provides a one stop resource for clientele worldwide searching to find talented Voice Actors. I have been a member of Voices.com for many years. My business has been sincerely enhanced by the excellent service offered from Voices.com for both clients and Voice Actors.

Several days ago, Voices.com made a change to its “home page” which (in my opinion) changed the successful dynamic and “sizzle” of the service they offer. The change involved removing featured talent which included pictures and links and was replaced by a simple informational page.

In fact, the change was such a concern to me, I wrote a lengthy email and then followed it up with a phone call to David Ciccarelli CEO of Voices.com.

I was immediately connected to David without delay or being placed on hold for ever. When connected with David, I was met with gracious concern for my criticism.

We were engaged in conversation for what felt like an unlimited amount of time. David spent the better part of our time with patience listening to my concerns and suggestions. He indicated that the changes had made based on research and testing. He did acknowledged my concerns and sincerely appreciated my suggestions and ideas.

When we concluded the call I had a better understanding of the changes and felt David was very gracious and professional.

I remained concerned about the change to the Voices.com home page.

I wrote several more emails and included Stephanie Ciccarelli co-founder and PR Director, Laurynda Pasma the Product Development Director in addition to David Ciccarelli. Boy, I really vented my concerns. I shared a few examples of why I remained concerned including a research study I had discovered about "change for change" sake. I guess I was beginning to think my emails were becoming irritating...and was reasonably certain I would never receive a response.

I immediately received a warm response from Stephanie Ciccarelli. She was very gracious to me and while offering support of the revisions made to the home page…indicated that she and the Voices Team appreciated my candor and concerns. Here’s a portion of Stephanie’s comments -

“In fairness to David, you have given him a very narrow window in which to implement any of your suggestions. If you have been following the conversation on VOX Daily, you know that we are considering adding a link to the Featured Talent listings, it's just a matter of where on the home page and how it would appear. In the past, we had used images of people on the home page and know that it works. We're still exploring how we may do this while ensuring that the website performs to the best of its ability for both voice talent and clients hiring them.”

David, Stephanie, Laurynda and entire Voices.com team could have chosen to ignore my concerns, not taken my call, and thought of my concerns among the more than 107,000 users of Voices as just a “blip” on the screen…and forged ahead with blinders on.

Instead, they choose to do the right thing and sincerely listened.

I’m confident I was not the only Voice Actor from whom they heard with concern for the changes. But I certainly was made to feel I was the most important and thus will remain loyal and grateful always.

The Voices.com home page has now returned to its original layout.

As you can imagine I highly recommend Voices.com and wish to commend and thank David, Stephanie, Laurynda for the professionalism and excellence each demonstrated.

Inside Studio A……………I’m James Herron

Thanks for forwarding my pieces to your friends and linking to your websites and boards.

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Comment by James Herron on April 22, 2009 at 8:47pm
Hey Mutt~
Thanks for the note. It's nice to be connected too. Thank you for your efforts via Voices.com.....it certainly helped.

You've been a top ranked regular in various listings...and it indeed helps generate business as clients sample talent. I sincerely believe that David and Stephanie are trying to do the right thing...and be fair to all. I am so grateful for there willingness to return to a winning formula!.

Thanks again!


~James
Comment by Mutt on April 21, 2009 at 8:47am
James-

Mr. Herron-

You and I have shared the "recently hired" spot several times in the last few months and applaud you for getting their attention and elliciting a response. I too wrote, however got no response.

In my letter to Voices.com I expressed to them that as a talent it is that feature that really seperates them from the rest. Being on the "recently hired" page is a nice ego stroke but more powefully it tells potential clients that their colleagues ad enough confidence in your work to hire you. That is huge as it turns into many more demo listens and more jobs.

Being a "featured artist" or on the "recently hired" page is truly a rare reward in this industry that I am glad we were able to lobby for and get back.

Way to go us!

Looking forward to being back up there among your talented ranks,

Mutt:))

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