Rob shares his wisdom and experience for students in this video we created for our “Professor in Residence” Kevin Hawley’s Graphic Programs class at USF. Be sure to watch with the sound on.
Who reads anymore?
Yes, I am aware of the irony that this title suggests. Hopefully, you are reading this and not scrolling past it. Whether it is zipping through the numerous apps on your phone, poking around on your iPad, or searching on your laptop, we are surrounded by programs that allow potential clients and customers to watch, tap and listen more than ever. With all this being available, who wants to spend agonizing minutes reading numerous paragraphs about an info page? The answer: Consumers are opting out of reading when they can just watch and listen to a video instead.
At Company Man Studios, we produce a lot of interviews. Whether it’s for a corporate brand video, a testimonial for a service or product, or just someone addressing a large group of people, we end up listening to—and editing—a wide variety of messages. The number one response we get from interviewees is “I hate the sound of my own voice!” Most people do (unless your last name is “Kardashian”), and there is scientific evidence as to why. The fact is, unless you’re on-camera often like an actor or reality TV star, you’re just not accustomed to hearing yourself speak from an outsider’s perspective. And, what makes the situation even worse, when people know they’ll be hearing or watching themselves on camera they often can’t focus on what they are actually saying—which is very inconvenient if you need to say something important.
Is making customer service a “Competitive Advantage” really the reason to value it?
Isn’t it kind of like claiming your humility, humbly? A business’ “success” is valued in terms of ROI, cost effectiveness, or bottom line. But, how do you prove that customer service plays a role in that success? How do you know the people that claim it actually have it? Is it even an “it?” Is customer service a commodity, or a concept? In my years, I’ve come to believe it’s a mentality. Customer service is a subconscious behavior that manifests itself in people that do what they love and genuinely do it for the right reasons. Why is that? You can handle any situation by placing principles before personalities.
Relationships are the key to the existence and success of any business. Talk to a small business owner and you’ll find a common theme that is not about ROI or metrics, it’s about the relationships and the referrals that came from those relationships. Customer service starts “at home” inside your business with constant discussions. The key is to over-communicate: don’t just send an email; call. Ask “how can I help,” before someone has to ask for help. It’s your best shot to avoid the potential for an embarrassing moment for you and your company.
Considering how you would want to be treated is, essentially, all customer service is. One of the most positive ways to provide excellent customer service is to have a conversation. Conversations regarding your product or service should always begin with knowing your product or service and being able to explain the fine details. Most of the time, when a client is frustrated, it’s due to a lack of communication. Being patient and engaging in effective communication can turn a negative situation into a positive experience—for both parties.
Digital Customer Service
Why can’t they just invent an app for that? Wait a second—they have and lots of them.
Today, we have greater ability to provide impeccable customer service employing analog principles in a digital world. I know, crazy. Just think about the potential of social media alone and the power it has to make or break a brand. Take a look at Christopher Heine’s article on Adweek.com and you’ll see the power of attentive brands.
Customer service isn’t a core value, either. And, having a list of core values doesn’t guarantee customer service—being thoughtful does. Is it “Old School” to care enough to write a hand-written note and mail it? Is it patronizing to send a little gift to a client on an anniversary or birthday? No, but it sure is rare. So, slow down. Take a deep breath. Think about how you would like to be treated. You might find you don’t have to learn customer service at all.
Congratulations to our client myMatrixx on winning the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s #CoolestOfficeSpace contest! We are glad to have played a small role in their win. Check out the submission video we created for myMatrixx, showcasing their awesome space.
LEARNING THE IN’S AND OUT’S
I walked into the doors of Company Man Studios not knowing what to expect. Starting a new job is both exciting and nerve racking. I have been here a few months now and I already feel like I have become fully integrated into this amazing company. The charm the office has is unlike others. And, without a doubt, Rob (Founder and Executive Creative Director) knows how to make you feel welcomed and part of the team of extremely creative people producing amazing things.
Sitting down with our senior editor Edna is always a delightful experience. I was able to sit in on a few edits including one for Achieva Credit Union. It was a great opportunity for me to see the process of the footage Jon (Director/Producer) shot turned into an edit from start to finish in post-production. As well as the client interaction that happens throughout the process. The turnout was amazing leaving both the client and our team proud of the work produced.
As I traveled around our office I made my way over to our two exceptionally talented animators. Kevin (Animation Director) and Jazz (Designer / Animator) know how to flow from a storyboard to the screen with ease. Producing fun and informational characters to help our clients like Tribridge easily get their message out about their company. Next up was a trip to the CXIS office, which gave me new insight on the continued abilities that Company Man Studios has. Making plans to transform the office space with Nathan (Senior Art Director) and Terry (Art Director) into a client friendly and welcoming environment. Putting plans into motion for future print and design changes to give their office the look they need.
In a short amount of time, I’ve been able to be a part of numerous shoots, listen in on voiceovers, watch animations come to life, read finished scripts, view websites go through revisions and sit in on post-production edits. The capabilities of this company surpass what I thought when I walked in on my first day. Everything from production, print design, web, info animation, billboards and the list continues. Understanding what everyone does allows me to be able to seek out the correct potential clients – and the fact that Buddy Brew is next door doesn’t hurt either!
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
Teamwork screams importance at Company Man—and not just with each other. It’s important that we have a collaborative approach with the clients, as well. We love to be able to sit down and talk in person with our clients about the content they would like to create. Whether it is working on the next promotional campaign for Achieva or scouting locations for Saint Leo’s commercials, everyone is available and ready to go. The environment that Company Man Studios has created is unlike the rest. I could see this from the moment I walked in and continue to notice it more and more every day that I work here. If you don’t believe me check out our 2016 recap video. Not only does it capture our awesome company culture but you get to have an inside look at the behind the scenes of projects produced throughout the year. Looking forward to an even greater 2017!
A tech scout can make your production days easy(er).
Somewhere in process of telling stories through video, before the camera comes out of the bag and after the shoot decision has been made, a tech scout takes place. (Or, at least it should.) There are a number of things that a tech scout should provide, but more than anything, it provides piece of mind that you’ll have the right equipment to be able to react to any unforeseen hiccups during your production. Saving money by not scouting can leave you scrambling last minute, running into over time, and having to sacrifice creative to meet financial and time restraints, so spend a little extra upfront, you’ll be glad you did.
Yeah, we’re cool…
Shout out to Buddy Brew Coffee buds for collaborating on this little short.
If there is anything the Tampa Bay community is short on, it’s not young, creative people. A great testament to this is the organization, Ad 2 Tampa Bay.
Ad 2 was founded over 50 years ago, on the simple—yet omnipotent—idea of people helping people. Members of Ad 2 share an interest in adversiting, but also in harnessing the power of advertising to influence and provoke change in our community.
Ad 2 devotes a lot of time to creating campaigns for community service organizations, as well as other projects to benefit the area. The group also hosts social events to encourage members to get out and network. They do this through a variety of outreach methods: service events, happy hours, agency tours, and more.
Company Man Studios was happy to host a “social” for Ad 2 members. We love any opportunity to showcase our badass space. And, it’s always great to meet other people in our industry, as well as young talent.