Customer Disappointment

We went to the cinema last weekend. This was a big thing for us, as since Arthur was born 15 months ago we haven’t had much chance to get out alone. But we have Camille’s parents over, so they looked after the kiddo while we took the night off.

So we check the cinema’s website and decided to watch Hot Fuzz, which had already been recommended to us by some friends. We got to the cinema and, guess what? They were no longer showing that film, but had switched to a new set of films a couple of days earlier. No one had bothered to update the website, or even update the recorded message they have that informs customers of what’s showing. The staff there was very apologetic, but could do nothing about the problem, they had no access to the website, or even to change the recorded message. And this was not the first time this had happened!

So we had a choice. We could either go back home, or change our plans and watch a different film. But the point is that the cinema has left a lasting impression in our minds, and if we ever have a choice of how to spend the evening, visiting that venue again will be somewhere at the bottom of our list of choices, just below having out teeth pulled. There is one thing worse than having a dissatisfied customer, and that’s having a disappointed customer.

It would have been better to have had no website and no recorded message, than to set the client’s expectations, then destroy them in one fell swoop. Ill be writing a letter of complaint to them, but seeing how they treat their customer, I’m not even expecting a reply!

There are 2 major mistakes the company was making in my opinion.

  • They are not managing the messages they are sending to their customers. The experience above would have upset most customers, and some people could even end up holding a grudge against them
  • They are not empowering their employees to deal with this sort of problem. A more mature organisation would enable it’s staff to correct the issue (rather than leave a message for someone to pick it up on the next business day), and possibly even empower them to compensate upset customers. Instead they could only apologise, and squirm uncomfortably at any client’s onslaught.

Am I expecting them to improve in the future. Not really, they are pretty much the only cinema in the Isle of Man (there’s also a government-run one that shows films infrequently), so they only competition they have is across a huge body of water. On the bright side, at least I learnt first-hand how bad some companies can be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.