In an inter­est­ing con­flu­ence of cir­cum­stances, I responded to a bat­tle cry for change in busi­ness and an expe­ri­ence of fail­ure to change and the result­ing poor cus­tomer experience.

Ear­lier, busi­ness thinker, Tom Peters posted this tweet:

To which I responded:

Today, many organ­i­sa­tions need to dra­mat­i­cally change the way they func­tion in order to pro­vide a truly bet­ter cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, in the sense out­lined by another of the busi­ness thinkers I respect, Umair Haque, in his book Bet­ter­ness (and its pre­de­ces­sor, The New Cap­i­tal­ist Man­i­festo).

Later in the day, to avoid the 35-​​degree heat, I went to the cin­ema with my wife, Alli. While the film we saw isn’t impor­tant, the expe­ri­ence we had was. To say the least, it showed thin value and some sig­nif­i­cant dis­re­spect for the pay­ing cus­tomers in the 3/​4-​​full cin­ema. I’m guess­ing that Hoyts’ man­age­ment aren’t Clue­train fans.

I was so irri­tated by this expe­ri­ence, I posted on Hoyts Australia’s Face­book page about it. A pub­lic name and shame seemed in order. My post there is shown below:

Hey, Hoyts! As a pay­ing cus­tomer, I don’t need to have 30 min­utes of ads shoved at me prior to the film. You’re already mak­ing good profit, so insult­ing me and your other cus­tomers this way is noth­ing more than hugely dis­re­spect­ful.

In the 21st Cen­tury, the only way good busi­nesses can dis­rupt the usual and remain prof­itable, is to do some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent. This isn’t it.

I won’t be com­ing back to your cin­ema, and I won’t be rec­om­mend­ing it to our friends. As a good cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, you’ve utterly failed. The locally owned cin­ema, Lime­light, that’s closer to me (and that coin­ci­den­tally, used to be a Hoyts until you dumped it) gives me a bet­ter expe­ri­ence — bet­ter prices (espe­cially since you dou­ble your prices after 5:00PM), friend­lier staff and they don’t insult me with a long series of ads before the film.

Today, you’ve lost a cus­tomer, because you failed to pro­vide an excep­tional cus­tomer experience.

With a cap­tive audi­ence, it should be easy for some­where like a cin­ema to give a great cus­tomer expe­ri­ence — a good film, pre­ceded by a few trail­ers and per­haps a cou­ple of ads at most. Hoyts chooses to show mas­sive dis­re­spect to their audi­ence by tak­ing our money and then sub­ject­ing us to ads we can’t escape from unless we walk out. They cer­tainly don’t seem inter­ested in being dis­rup­tive to an expe­ri­ence — cinema-​​going — that’s ripe for improve­ment. There’s not a lot of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence design hap­pen­ing here.

30 min­utes of ads is beyond the pale.