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Brands, Please Stop Sabotaging Yourself (Like @InoxLeisure did)

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Today, I went to watch a movie at the INOX cinemas in Bangalore with my extended family. There were five of us and a small kiddo. 

We bought Gold Class tickets and went and took our seats. The entire experience so far was neither too good not too bad. I was fine with that. 

The movie started and 10 minutes into the movie, someone came by and asked me to show my tickets so that he could verify if we indeed had Gold Class tickets. I let this go once. Then came the interval. We ordered some snacks and came back to watch the movie. 

10 mins into the movie, someone else came asking to check my tickets again. Now this made me furious and spoilt the entire movie watching experience as I had to take out the movie tickets in the dark and I missed an important scene in the movie. 

This was total self-sabotage. 

The movieplex already knew how many Gold Class seats they had sold and the seat numbers of these seats. If they wanted to check if there was an unauthorized usage of the Gold Class seats, all they needed to do was to cross-check the people seated with the tickets that they had sold and only go to someone who is sitting on a seat that was supposed to be empty, instead of spoiling the fun for all their customers, and at that, their most valuable customers, as the Gold Class seats are the most expensive in the cinema. 

Do you or your organization do something similar and sabotage yourself ?

Instead of augmenting the experience of your most important customers, do you annoy them?

This could be by asking them to fill in additional forms when you already have the information or making them wait in long queues or asking for information that you could find out by yourself or for that matter any other such trivial act that leaves your customers with a bad experience. 

Not many customers will provide you feedback about their experience, but most will talk about it to their friends and you know what that could mean for you and your brand. 

Instead of having fond memories about the movie, here I am writing about the bad treatment I got from INOX. 

Now what could they do differently?

What they should instead is the exact opposite.

Instead of policing if their customers are buying using Gold Class tickets without buying them, they should think of finding ways to upgrade some of these customers to use Gold Class seats if there are empty Gold Class seats still available at the start of the show.

In an earlier post, I had suggested that movieplexes could have monthly passes that could then be used to identify customers who could be upgraded. If that seems to be a challenge, at least have a regular CRM system (using points based on spending) to decide who gets the upgrades whenever these seats are available.

This will ensure that movie enthusiasts will not only continue to patronize your multiplexes, but will also be constantly left guessing if they will get upgraded seats.

I am sure that some of this also means that customers who might have bought Gold Class, might buy a cheaper ticket at times, but I am sure that the increase in the number of times these very customers choose to come to your cinema over other cinema choices will compensate for this.

This is also something that organizations that sell commodities that are time bound and are of no value if not sold by a specific date/time, for example, travel industry, hotel industry, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, etc.

Share your experiences

Have you experienced something similar where a good experience was spoiled by a brand themselves by doing something stupid or innocuous.

Please share your experience so that we can all learn from that as a community. 

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