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A movie theatre experience ruined by bad customer service

Customer service is everyone’s job…even when it isn’t

Really good customer service is a beautiful thing to behold. Really bad customer service creates a negative impression because it can so easily be avoided. My husband and I recently went to our local multiplex on a rainy afternoon to see a movie. We arrived in plenty of time – under normal circumstances. I had lost sight of the fact that it was spring break so the parking garage was pretty full. So up we went. And we ended up going into a section that should have been fenced off because it’s where the local Ford dealership stores their trucks (on the way back down, we saw the gate). So there we were, following other hopeful parkers. Followed them right into a dead end. So everyone ahead of us had to turn around in what amounted to a ten-point road turn. One after the other. After we finally got turned around to head back down, there were probably another dozen drivers who would have to do the same thing. We now were going to be late for the movie. I told the theatre employee who scanned our tickets that they might want to get someone to the parking deck to close the gate which would have kept people from entering the dead end because it was going to cause people to miss their movie. His response? “The theatre has nothing to do with the parking garage.” Their theatre has EVERYTHING to do with any circumstance that has a negative impact on their customer’s experience. He should have said: “Thanks for telling me. I’ll let management know.” His response was dismissive and, sadly, a typical “not my job” response. And it made me cringe.

Having worked with my speaker Linda Larsen, CSP, CPAE for nineteen years, she has made customer service a part of my DNA. She is often the first one to speak with potential clients when they call to book her and she is lightning-fast! It doesn’t matter what she is doing or how busy she might be, if she is physically able to respond immediately, then respond she does. I have had so many meeting planners state how surprised they were that Linda responded herself. She then sends them my way so that I can handle the logistics, etc. That’s why she is often booked to deliver her keynote “The Art of Creating a Stellar Customer Experience.”  It’s easy to speak about the behavior when you actually live that behavior by providing a stellar customer experience. And I always aim to emulate what she has taught me.

Remember that every person you have on your staff is a customer service representative even if that’s not in their official title.

Article Written By

Kate Holgate

…is the Founder and President of Alliance for Success Speaker Management and happily spends her days taking care of her family of speakers and the meeting planners that book them for their corporate and association conferences, conventions, events, and training programs.

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