QUALITY – How a Business Responds to a Bad Customer Experience Determines Excellence
My son, Blake and I went to see “12 Strong”, the new movie about the first American soldiers in Afghanistan after 9/11, at the local movie theater. The price was right - $5 Tuesday night bargain and the seats were amazing. The seats were like recliners and were even heated! We were all settled in, through the previews, and the movie began. Something was wrong. The music, the helicopters, bombs and guns were loud and clear, but the voices were all muffled. We couldn’t understand a thing! Mumbling was heard throughout the theater as people wondered if it was going to get better. The movie went on for about 45 minutes and finally an attendant came in and announced that they were experiencing technical difficulties and that they’ll know if they can solve the issue soon. Five minutes later they announced that they could not fix the speakers.
Each person was given a ticket on the way out for another movie and directed towards the box office to get a refund for the night’s show. There was a long line and it was taking a long time to process the refunds for a movie theater full of customers. Finally, a manager came along and offered another ticket to each customer vs. obtaining a refund. We ended up getting 4 tickets for $10 that can be used on any day. We thought this was pretty good deal. But as a Business Coach I must ask: Did the theatre handle this unfortunate situation in the best way for the customers?
First – why did it take almost 45 minutes before someone came in and acknowledged that there was a problem? Isn’t someone ensuring the quality of every movie right from the start for focus, volume, temperature and overall environmental comfort?
Second – why not just hand out two tickets to each customer as they walk out the theater and apologize and eliminate the need to go back to the box office for a refund?
Third – is there a procedure documented for this type of thing? I’m sure this isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Has Management talked to customers to see how they would feel about different compensation for something like this happening?
Is your business prepared to handle these situations to ensure you not only compensate your Customer adequately but that your Customer becomes your biggest advocate?
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