• Rob Marley

Under Promise/ Over Deliver

How can working a roller coaster help you as a voice talent? Well, If you ever want an education in customer service, it's hard to beat working at an amusement park in the Summer. It was here that I learned the importance of "under-promising and over-delivering."

Roller coasters require lots of maintenance. Everything from replacing the wheels and brake pads to lubing the chain that pulls the cars up the hill for that first drop. Usually all of this is done in the


mornings before the park opens, but sometimes it happens that maintenance is required in the middle of the day and a ride has to shut down temporarily. Working as a ride operator, a little trick we used to do was to tell the people waiting that the ride would be closed longer than we knew it needed to be. For example, say it's a busy day and the mechanics have decided to add an additional train of cars to shorten wait times. It's no big deal, but for the ride I worked, it required several mechanical, hydraulic and manpower tasks to accomplish. This is a routine procedure and the mechanics I worked with all knew that the entire operation took only about 10-15 minutes to do safely.

We would position someone at the front of the line (usually a new guy) and have them tell people that the ride was closed, but would be open again in about 30-45 minutes. This way, when the people waiting discovered that the ride was opening sooner, they'd get excited and happy instead of angry and frustrated.

This idea works beautifully in the voiceover business:

Give the client more than they expect,

and faster than they expect it.

Maybe that means being able to get a finished VO delivered sooner than expected. Maybe you throw in an outgoing voicemail message for free. Or perhaps the VO has some additional takes in styles the client didn't consider. Once you've given them what they expect, surprise them with more.

Everyone has a boss they report to. If you can make your boss look good in the eyes of THEIR boss, you improve your chances of being remembered when the next big voiceover project is needed.


About Rob Marley -

A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, coach, producer and writer, now living in the hill country of Austin Texas.