Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new book, pair of shoes or computer, or even scoping out hotels near your upcoming vacation destination. If one of the first things you do is check out online reviews, you’re certainly in good company.
Nearly 80 percent of Americans have taken to reading reviews before purchasing any type of product or service, MarketingCharts reported in December 2014, and the power of online reviews has continued to increase ever since.
More recent statistics reported on Invesp.com note that:
- 90% Read online reviews before visiting a business.
- 88% Trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- 72% Will only take action after reading a positive review.
- 86% Will hesitate purchasing anything from a business that has negative reviews online.
Those purchases can range from small, inexpensive items like books, all the way up to luxury items, such as cars and vacation stays.
And, yes, even voice-over talent reviews and testimonials are a worthy search.
People are reading reviews for various reasons, but generally it’s to increase the odds that they’ll be happy with their product or service purchase.
- 79% Read reviews to ensure they’re getting an awesome product or service.
- 61% Read reviews to make sure the product or service actually works.
- 53% Read reviews to make sure they’re not going to get ripped off.
High Levels of Trust
The most trustworthy reviews are generally found on third-party sites, like TripAdvisor.com, which has no affiliation with the business or hotel being reviewed. In general, third-party reviews seem to have more credibility among potential customers, for obvious reasons.
If we’re talking about voice-over talent reviews, a good example of a third-party site (and the one I’ve used for several years now) is CustomerLobby.com. While I also post reviews on my website, I feel that displaying reviews directly on a third-party reviews collection site automatically makes them more credible, since they are posted independently of the service provider being reviewed. Third-party reviews are also very searchable on the net, which also helps with SEO and brand recognition.
Another voice-over talent reviews example is the P2P site, Voices.com, which helps people find voice-over talent for hire, and gives consumers a chance to review the talent once the job is complete.
Because the goal of the site is for customers to have an excellent experience and keep coming back for more, it’s in the site’s best interest to have many stellar reviews for the most reliable and top performing talent. By weeding out talent with poor reviews, the selection process can be streamlined for the voice talent seeker.
What Can Voice-Over Talent Reviews Tell You?
For anyone looking to hire talent, online voice-over talent reviews can inform on a number of different aspects about a prospective talent that may not be evident from an audition alone.
- Experience levels. True, the talents’ bios may list years of experience, but reviews can showcase how they handled themselves in a real-world situation. Perhaps they aced a difficult script on the first take, brought fresh ideas to the table, or otherwise exhibited a keen professionalism that only comes from 15 or more years in the industry.
- Quality of work. Crisp recordings, high-end studio equipment, fast turnaround times and a seamless delivery are some of the aspects you can look for when gauging a voice-over talent’s quality. Repeat customers often cite quality of work as the reason they keep coming back, which is another strong testament to a job well done and the type of service that can be expected.
- Specific comments that talk about specific strengths of the talent.
Maybe you’re looking for someone who can easily transition between two or three different voices. Or you’re in dire straits and need a turnaround time of 24 hours or less. Testimonials and reviews can serve up small details that make a big difference when choosing talent best suited for your job.
- What it’s like to work with the talent. Here you can look for terms like “friendly, easy to work with, flexible, sincere and enthusiastic.” While it’s not likely that you’ll find a host of reviews sharing negative traits of a voice-over talent, if there is an absence of solid positive remarks about a talent, that can potentially be a red flag.
No matter what you’re looking for in a voice-over talent (or book, shoes, hotel or whatever) – online reviews have become a dependable place to research them all and increase your odds of a very satisfying purchase that fulfills your needs.
Howard Ellison says
Being British (though not in everyday life ‘stiff upper lip’!) I’m reticent about asking busy clients for the okay to quote their feedback, and wonder if I should do so without asking? If already displayed on a P2P site I take it to be okay, but what if it’s in a personal communication?
To you Debbie, and others here, does that all sound too backward in coming forward?
Debbie Grattan says
Hi Howard – and thanks for commenting. Not sure about the British etiquette, so if there’s a different standard, then I may not be aware. For me, I think it perfectly acceptable to make requests of clients to either use something they’ve already sent as a review/testimonial, or to solicit them to write one on a third party site, or my Linkedin professional page. We’re all busy, but we’re all business people too, and understand the climate of marketing our businesses. I find it quite professional to politely request a review of services, (via email) and I think it also gives the client license to write anything they choose, which may actually provide some positive (or constructive) feedback. Don’t you feel special when someone asks for your opinion? Of course, they are under no obligation. But if you don’t ask, then you have nothing. As long as you’re polite, I wouldn’t anticipate a client taking offense. Does anyone else have any opinion on this?