This is why we’ve never opted to include revisions as standard in our gigs. It’s so ambiguous with VO, unless someone gives you an audio reference to work off (and even then, we might think it’s spot-on, but the client might hear something different). Our policy is now covered in our FAQs (referenced in our description) and is literally, “Mistakes will be fixed for free, revisions for any other reason are at our discretion. Contact us if you have issues.”
Requirements can be ambiguous in other fields like logo design, writing etc also, but I find it to be a real issue in VO work, especially when so often, you’re dealing with a third party (and you usually only find out when you get a message after delivery saying “my client has listened to the file and…”)
Buyers often just stuff a load of buzzwords into their requirements, that often contradict one another. “Slow, but commercial enough to still appeal to our demographic, the corporate buyers of Garden Centre Warehouse Management Systems. High-energy but not cheesy, soft with an almost maternal vibe, but still punchy and authoritative…”
Honestly, for about the past year now, our approach has been to read the script, read the brief, but then reserve the right to just go with our gut if the brief makes no sense. We’ve done that so many times now, and with maybe the odd exception here and there, it usually works out great.
We know our revisions policy has lead to some clients not choosing us. We had someone message the other day about a 500 word company voicemail script, and he wanted to know (this is the opening message to us) how many times we’d be willing to do it again until it was exactly how he wanted it. We explained our policy, so he then asked what we’d charge for a full re-record, if needed, clearly expecting a discount. When we explained our policy to him (for the second time), he disappeared, and we’ve not heard from him since. I know we could have done that project without issue, but if a buyer is already expecting a job to require multiple takes before they’ve placed an order, that sets alarm bells ringing for me.