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Monday, August 6, 2007

Customer Service Opinions

ShowHype: hype it up!
I just recently found this article on the Consumerist. It's really interesting to me because this is what I deal with every single day I'm at the movie theatre. As I've written before, we know that customer service is what theatres NEED to excel at in order to keep the guests coming back. I know that there are things that annoy me about the job.. such as requirements on greetings, percentages that need to be met with loyalty clubs, etc. I'm a firm believer in that as long as the guest leaves happy they will come back. Its the pushy attitude that some theatre companies take that I didn't like, and I'm particularly glad the company I work for right now is not like that.

I mean... let's be honest. If you wanted a rewards card, you would ask for one. If we can give you a better deal by making the item bigger, then its worth it for us to tell you. It's another thing if the only reason why a cashier is asking is because they are being threatened with disciplinary warnings if they don't ask, and if they are offering a combo only to meet a quota on combos. Most of these kids don't like doing this. I understand the loyalty card, but to force people to meet quotas on sign ups is ridiculous. You could ask everyone and no one would sign up. What these programs need is more reason to join. I'm sure there are plenty of other things that annoy people about the movies, like ads before the show, ridiculous prices, etc. Most of the time, managers and staff recognize this, so we have to provide excellent customer service in order to get people to come back. It's when bosses get pushy about quotas, bad attitudes and less effort get pushed down the line, ruining the guest experience.

As it is mentioned in that article, he did not complain during the movie because he didn't want to miss any of it. This is true very often. I understand that and try to have people check theatres whenever I can. Yes, it is easier for us to get an issue resolved if a guest comes out and tells us about it. One thing we can't anticipate (to an extent) is how people will behave in a movie. There are some people who are just jerks and don't care that there could be hundreds of other people trying to enjoy a film while they are talking up a storm on their cell phone. If something gets reported to me, you can bet that I'll be in there as quickly as possible dealing with it. If a guest asks for a manager, I drop whatever I'm doing (if I can) and I'll be right there. I have no problems compensating for something we can try to fix. However, we can't catch every problem no matter how hard we try. If I hear a complaint during a movie and it doesn't get fixed, I'm more likely to comp a movie than if you come out afterwards to complain. That's not saying I won't, but it really depends on the situation at that point. It's hard to tell if someone is trying to scam you by getting a free movie unless a complaint has already been made.

I do like the idea of being able to rank theatres and seeing which ones have the best customer service. I'd also like to ask this: What do you generally think of the staff at the theatres you visit (if you still do)? Are they pushy, or are they polite and courteous?

I could go on for so much longer about this, especially with some of the experiences I have had, but I'll spare you the details for now. Just know that there are those theatre employees out there who know what the consumer has to go through sometimes, and we DO try hard to make things work!

2 Comments Posted!:

Anonymous said...

the last experience i had at a movie theater was awful. there was this rigged arcade machine that wouldn't let anybody, and by anybody i mean me, win anything. i ended up complaining to the manager and he gave me an endless supply of free tokens. that still didn't help, because the machine was rigged and i still didn't win anything with this endless supply.

;) hahaha <3333 jenn

Prin said...

The staff: courteous and polite.
The prices: Obscene and ridiculous. I'm sorry but it's a bleddy miracle they can charge $20 for popcorn and a drink and get away with it. Especially with home theatre stealing customers away. You'd think the people pricing the candies were oil company execs. Tsk.

We go to one movie a year, maybe. It has to be a super awesome movie for us to bother. Otherwise, we just rent. Way cheaper and we can bring outside food and beverages. :D