Some say cinema is dying in the light of new options for consumers to watch a movie. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video and the likes are all new competitors in the market – and many movie theaters didn’t see it coming. Consumers find value in streaming services because they are cheap, easy, and convenient. So how do traditional movie theaters compete?
Companies like Emagine Entertainment win business by focusing on exceeding customers’ expectations on site, and ensuring their guests have an “exemplary experience,” according to Melissa Boudreau, VP of Sales and Marketing for Emagine Entertainment. And she’s right – creating an experience that guests can’t replicate by streaming movies in their living room is key to differentiating and bringing customers back. But consistently delivering on that brand promise is a challenge, so Emagine partners with 360 Intel to create a comprehensive program by combining feedback surveys and mystery shop data to monitor and measure their success at executing on their mission.
Managing 18 locations, leadership just didn’t have enough bandwidth to see what was going on for themselves on-site often enough. Initially, Emagine started as many businesses do, by sending out surveys to customers and asking them to provide direct feedback. But the frequency of the data being captured wasn’t enough, and they wanted more data, more often. “For every one complaint we receive, we assume 10 guests have suffered in silence,” said Boudreau. To address this, they expanded to include mystery shopping programs in addition to their survey program to increase the amount of data they receive and augment their direct customer feedback with objective third party data.
Mystery shoppers are prepared with specific questionnaires and areas in which they are to focus so management teams can monitor areas for which customers may not ever provide direct feedback. It also allows Emagine to monitor specific days and times to ensure they are collecting data at both busy times, as well as slow periods to ensure staff is maintaining consistent standards.
Poor scores are shared with leadership in each building, and issues are addressed quickly. “We’re going to make mistakes,” states Boudreau. “These programs help us learn from them and prevent them in the future.”
Possibly more importantly, lost revenue opportunities are surfaced. For example, Emagine’s loyalty program is supposed to be offered to guests by the staff. Enrollments in the loyalty program drive repeat business and higher sales. However, mystery shop data told leadership that almost no one was pitching the loyalty program to guests. As a result, new training was put into place, which has driven an increase in pitching, resulting in higher enrollments.
“If you are concerned customers are not getting the service you expect and what your goal is to attain, these tools help you understand in depth,” stated Boudreau about the 360 Intel services Emagine utilizes. “You can get data in a short amount of time to make quick, real business decisions that impact the bottom line.”
While cinemas can’t expect competition to go away, companies who adapt and differentiate, like Emagine Entertainment, will continue to see growth by consistently exceeding customer expectations.