All businesses - but particularly service oriented ones, and certainly cinemas - must be constantly attentive with regards to practices that are what I term - "mildly hostile" - towards their customers. These are the small annoyances that by themselves may not garner sufficient weight to motivate a customer to cease dealing with your business but tend, over time, to compel customers to look elsewhere to satisfy their needs.
WHY CUSTOMERS LEAVE
5% Buy From Friends
9% Prefer Competition
14% Judge All Like Businesses The Same
68% Indifference, Rudeness, Lack of Service By Employees
Examples of mildly hostile customer practices are fairly widespread particularly in the retail/consumer products and services areas and I'm sure each of you reading this are fully aware of what I mean and can recite horror stories from your own experiences in the retail jungle.
As cinema owners/operators, being aware of mildly hostile practices requires constant vigilance for, like wrinkles and graying, their precise beginnings are hard to determine until the day when their grim evidence is impossible to refute.
There are a myriad of mildy hostile customer practices, and include such things as:
- Employing under-qualified staff
- Poor & unfriendly service
- Thoughtless policies, such as inconvenient show times
- Slow response in resolving customer queries and problems
- Inconsistent service standards
- Messy, semi-clean facilities
- Untrained staff
Many of these practices are derived from weak, ineffective management which usually emanates from a tolerance for poor staff performance. Others may come from a company's fuzzy notion of customer satisfaction or from inconsistent service fortified by a lack of corporate support and funding for proper staff training.
Remember; it's not only blatant mismanagement and major mistakes that cause customer dissatisfaction and defection, but also those practices that are mildly hostile but which over time cause customer departure.
Before ending I would like to mention a trend that has developed over the last several years in corporate America and is worth mentioning. That is the creation and staffing by large organizations of a position called Chief Customer Experience Officer or CXO. A CXO is a senior level executive charged with evaluating, directing, and overseeing the customer experience effort and its implementation throughout the entire organization. The CXO position started to appear in 2005, and now, almost 25% of the largest 100 U.S. corporations have a CXO.
Reporting to the CEO, the CXO's responsibilities cut-across all product, service, and distribution channels and they have significant input into the corporation's marketing, promotion, and advertising activities. The CXO position will quickly become relevant for both large and mid-sized companies, in both the services or manufacturing sectors, and you'll be hearing more about this new and critical position as time goes on.Reprinted from Spring 2008 Screentrade Magazine