Entries Tagged as 'travel'

can you serve your customers this well?

The new Delsay suitcase

The new Delsay suitcase

The internet is full of complainers about bad customer service (I am occasionally guilty of complaining) which really doesn’t mean a thing to most businesses unless something goes viral and who has time for that?

Yet in addition to the occasional complaint, I also am of the school of ‘don’t recognize a problem without offering a solution” as well as “be as effusive in your praise as you are in your condemnation”. (OK on that last one, I’m not sure there’s an actual school).

So as you may recall from a Facebook post this summer (because where else was I going to share such useless information) I got a new suitcase. I know, the shock of that news probably still makes you woozy but stay with me here.

The brand of suitcase I bought was Delsay and I bought it not because of the brand (which sorry to say I didn’t know – not a student of luggage, just a very big user of it) but because of all the suitcases at the Marshall’s store I was in, it looked the best (believe me, I was in there for an hour checking every darn thing out).

So using the suitcase for about 3 months, the retractable metal handle was giving me problems. Sometimes it would open and sometimes not. Sometimes it would close and sometimes not. Both at completely inopportune times, like when a line of people behind me on the airplane are trying to get to their seats and I could not get my suitcase in the overhead bin cause the damn handle won’t CLOSE!!!!!’

Well one day on a trip (again after only about 3 months of use) the handle just plain broke. I wasn’t even angry. Not surprised but maybe a little disappointed.

I went on line to the customer service page of Delsay and saw there was a repair center in Buffalo at a very well respected luggage store. So I went over there to see how much the repair would cost. The gentleman at Militello’s Luggage was very nice and said before he quoted it, he wanted to call Delsay because it might be under warranty.

A bit embarrassed, I advised the owner I bought the luggage at Marshall’s – a discount store. None the less, he said he would let me know what he heard and then call me back.

Not only was it covered, but Delsay said forget the repair, we’re sending you a brand new suitcase. And not the same one, but, like a much nicer one than I bought. I had to pay $10 or something for handling.

Done! Done with joy. Done with a happy dance — that might have kinda creeped out the guy from the luggage store.

So in return, I must advise you, nay order you to only buy your travel luggage from Delsay. Period. No one else ever again – Delsay is the brand to buy for your luggage. Cause mistake can happen occasionally and Delsay professionally fixes the mistakes.

And I have not had a stich of problem with my new bag. Thank you Delsay.

sunday night in washington, d.c.

audioconnell_the white house_2011

Like many of you on this Sunday evening, I took a lovely evening stroll (which was lovely except for the sweltering heat and building humidity).

My Sunday stroll took place in one of my favorite cities, Washington, D.C.

I’m here because tomorrow morning I’m scheduled to testify before Congress in a closed session on the ethics of watermarking voice over auditions. Even with the wars, unemployment and the looming fiscal crisis (well, there’s always one hanging out there, isn’t there) Congress has its priorities clearly in order – investigate the voice over watermark.

Rest assured, on behalf of the industry, I shall give it my all.

You can see some other D.C. stroll shots here.

audio’connell in boston

On a windy, damp and foggy evening in Bahsten, I had the good fortune to meet up with my friend and fellow SunSetter Awning voice over talent Lee Gordon for a little dinner and a bunch of voice over talk.

Lee is smart as a whip on the regional radio scene and when you get a couple of old radio guys chatting it up, well you better have the waitress bring another bread basket cause we’re going to be here awhile!

It was a great treat to see Lee who I will see again in September at Faffcon 3.

a quick lesson in social marketing, social media and voice over

Father and son voice actors Donald and Kiefer Sutherland

People ask me alot about how I succeed in my search engine optimization, why I seem to be alot of places on the web and “how do you do that?”

It involves pixie dust and eye of newt, to be sure 😉 but I think a better example would be a recent experience I had that describes it pretty well.

I subscribe to Google Alerts with a bunch of key words – I want to know what those words uncover on the web for me.

One of those terms is voice over talent (because I is one, ya know).

Reading a day’s post headlines in the Google Alerts, I was directed to the blog for the very popular advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy New York who evidently have the Delta Airlines account. Following its merger with Northwest Airlines, Delta is now the nation’s (or world’s or galaxy’s) biggest airline.

Anyway, the agency has a blog (oooo, is that social media at work? hint) and they did a post about their recent TV spots for Delta. These spots feature the voice over genius of Donald Sutherland.

Damn those Sutherland boys (Donald and Kiefer), I just KNOW that every spot they were picked for, I was the client’s SECOND choice for voice talent. I just know it! You’d think those boys could say no once and a while! 😉

Anyway so I watch the spots and they are magnificent. They are well shot (in black and white no less), well edited, superbly written and the voiceover is as I said genius. You can see them at the end here. I say that not only as a marketing, advertising and voice over professional but also as a frequently flyer and not always on Delta.

So bringing this back to the lesson:

* With a free subscription to Google Alerts to find information that is customized for my likes

* I found a blog post to a major advertising agency’s blog (maybe they could be my client some day – why not?)

* Who produced some amazing TV spots that fill my creative mind with more ideas

* Which also included a wonderful voice over performance that I can also learn from

* And without even any of the parties knowing it (Delta Airlines, Wieden+Kennedy, Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland) I am telling you (and showing you) about their work which now makes it viral.

* If you share this story with even one more person it makes it more viral

And all of it is social.

Any questions?

audio’connell in milwaukee

Lori Lins Talent Management

A quick trip to Milwaukee on Friday for some biz that went successfully.

On the way to the airport, I had a bit of extra time that provided a nice cushion before my plane left so I GPS’d (on the great i-phone) the office of my voice over agent in Milwaukee, Lori Lins of (not surprisingly) Lori Lins Limited Talent Management. We partnered in 2007 but I had never met her and only communicated via email. As the stars seemed to align on this trip, I stopped by unannounced just to say hi.

Had they said they were busy or otherwise occupied, I would have been cool with that as mine was a bit of a drive-by. But Lori came right out to greet me and we chatted for a good 15 minutes about my career, her agency and the VO business in general.

Naturally, I forgot my camera in the car (stupid!) so I didn’t get a picture with Lori but the quick shot in the blog spot through the passenger window of my rental car (again, courtesy i-phone) at least proves I was there.

My thanks to Lori and her staff for being so gracious. And Lori, Nancy Wolfson says hi via Twitter.

free wi-fi should be a constitutional right


OK, I know that providing internet service has costs and with every business there is a right to include a profit margin and that applies to Wi-Fi providers. So I’ll back off the constitutional amendment and focus strictly on travelers.

What do you mean this sounds like a selfish post from a business man who travels a lot? OK, maybe it is but just listen cause I think this will benefit you too.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are testing Wi-Fi service on their planes. OK good, please stop testing and let’s do this thing! Internet access on airplanes would be a God-send. Please do it.

And (here’s where I need you to back me up) let’s make it free.

“Zoinks!” (yelled Shaggy from Scooby Doo) you think Wi-Fi should be free? But airlines need new revenue streams, they’re bleeding red ink! They must charge!

No they mustn’t nor should the airports. They should take a page from one of the busiest airports in America – Charlotte Douglas International. Free Wi-Fi.

My logic is this: Wi-Fi is a one time set up fee with minimal maintenance… maintenance that can probably be done in most cases by a current employee who will be trained…many people perform multiple jobs at their work. I voice commercials and clean the toilets…if it needs doing I do it. Simple.

And the fee for getting the Wi-Fi service to the plane is the fee. Eat it.

Airlines nickel and dime travelers for everything. Air travel is about as glamorous as a flying bus. So impart some much needed good will. Make Wi-Fi free.

Airports, you charge fees to travelers and airlines and vendors who have shops but you also have security and upkeep costs. You also have often angry travelers who would like some good news. Stop dinging your customers….that’s for governments to do (and I know some of you are city and county run….but you don’t have to act like it all the time!).

Anyway, free Wi-Fi for travelers is the right thing to do. Can we make this the next trend: do the right thing? What do you think? Am I nuts?