Helen’s Dad was a HR director for a major UK company and a published author in people management. I remember a conversation with him some time in the 90s when he told me that many of his peers in other companies were having epiphany moments when they realised that you get better work out of your employees if you treat them as human beings, that morale and productivity was increased if they stopped limiting toilet breaks and sick days, and started trusting their employees and giving them the leeway that things-that-aren’t-machines need from time to time. To me – and to him – it seemed like simple common sense, but apparently it wasn’t.
Conversations that Helen and I have had with clients and prospective clients would suggest that such common sense is still none too common as we’ve been thanked quite often not just for what we do, but also for how we do it.
I don’t just want to sit here and blow our own trumpet and I can’t claim to be any kind of business genius, but I do want to say that I’ve been surprised by some of the comments I’ve received and sorry that people have obviously had bad experiences with other companies.
Oh my goodness, this is like pulling a few weeds in the veg patch and finding solid GOLD bars beneath!!! Your email [newsletter] is so helpful and supportive… And free! I can’t thank you enough.Abbe Opher, Voiceover
B Double E is very much based on Helen and me. We didn’t sit down and have a discussion on our business ethics. We didn’t need to – we’re both very much on the same page. The business is based around our skillset, so along with that we bring our personalities and along with that we bring our personal morality and ethics. It’s not very British to say ‘You enjoy working with us because we’re lovely people,’ so I’ll not say it! We’re both essentially honest people who enjoy the opportunities that are presented to us to help people out. Yes we’re running a business so we need to make money, but if it were just about the money there are many other more profitable industries we could have chosen. Ensuring happy clients and a job well done is a major motivating factor for us both.
As a two-person enterprise we’re very aware how easily reputations can be ruined, and so we endeavour to treat not-just-our-clients how we’d expect to be treated if the shoe were on the other foot. We apply what we presume to be common sense in how we deal with people. And that’s it really. Maybe it’s easier for us than it is for big businesses because we’re so small and have relatively few clients, but surely it’s not rocket science that if you’re good to work with people will want to work with you again?
I do very little casting these days, but when I think back to my days as a regular voiceover producer, if I were choosing between two similarly skilled VOs for a job my final decision would be based in part on who was better to work with – who took direction without complaining, who wouldn’t roll their eyes too audibly at the client’s ridiculous demands, who I could have a nice chat with.
I guess there’s two take-homes from this. Firstly is to say that as a relatively young company, all the encouragement we receive means an awful lot. So thank you to all those who have told us that you love what we do. And secondly, if these blogs must include a teaching point then it has to be that common sense thing – give all your clients the levels of service you’d expect to receive yourself and you’ll keep them coming back.
Tl;DR – You enjoy working with us because we’re lovely people.