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.