Movie Theaters Are Increasing The Experience They Provide

Image result for movie theaterThe Social Age has changed the way people are able to access movies, music, television shows, and other sources of media. People used to have to head to a movie theater if they wanted to see the newest feature film. However, today many people wait for movies to be released digitally. No longer are movie theaters the go to for a movie experience.

This can be difficult for an industry, because many times theaters are not filled to capacity and they are losing sales each and every day. Millennials and the dominance of smart phones, make it difficult for many to sit through an entire movie without checking their phone for an update. This has obviously become a problem over the last decade or so, because every time you go to see a movie there is a screen telling everyone to turn off or silence their phones before the movie begins.

Image result for movie theater popcornMany people also are reluctant to pay the excessively high prices for food and beverages, which is one of the biggest sources of profit for many theaters. Most of the profit from the ticket sales, go back to the movie studios. These companies are relying on people to buy the concessions to keep the business running.

In order to combat the pressure of the ever changing expectations from the customer, many movie theater companies have been increasing the experience they provide in order to entice consumers to come back for more. Expanding concession options have gone from the typical popcorn and soda, to offering ice cream, numerous brands of candy, and even offering alcoholic beverages like beer and wine.

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Fandago has started changing out the interior of their theaters, and have turned some of their larger theaters in Luxury+. These theaters have extra wide aisles, leather seats, and the option to recline the seat as well. This allows the customer to enjoy the movie as if they were at home. No longer do customers have to sit side by side, cramped into a theater, which is never filled to capacity anyways.

This is an extremely smart idea, because instead of quantity the focus has turned to quality. Providing a memorable and comfortable experience for the customer. Many even allow the customer to choose their seats ahead of time, also eliminating the pressure of finding the right seat. Creating a stress free and fun experience.

What other ways do you think movie theaters can improve the customer experience? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Seating, Popcorn, Fandango


Bank of America Created a Stress Free Experience

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When it comes to people’s finances, safety and security protection are huge deciding factors on where consumers will do their business. Banks across the world have the intense pressure of maintaining customers’ confidentiality and protecting their assets for them. This is all part of the customer experience and service they provide. A customer needs to be reassured that the bank they keep their money in will keep them protected, otherwise why would anyone use their services at all. This is part of the financial industries customer service practice.

Image result for debit card fraudI decided to recognize Bank of America in this blog post, because I recently dealt with fraud to my account with them. This is not something that has ever happened to me before, so I was shocked when I realized that somehow, someone got the information to my debit card. Thankfully, it was only used for a small transaction amount, but just knowing that someone had access to my card was enough to cause stress and anxiety.

Thankfully, Bank of America has securities protocols in place to alert when activity on my account is made. I elected to have email notifications when any of my accounts with them are used to purchase something online, over the phone, or wherever a merchant would need to key in my card numbers. This was how I was instantly alerted that someone had used my card number electronically to make a purchase. I logged into my account and was easily able to find a help number, to contact since I didn’t recognize the transaction.

Once I called the number I answered a few questions and was alerted that the hold time was about fifteen minutes, but in this situation I was willing to wait because it involved my financial security. However, Bank of America provided a great option to leave my phone number and they will have someone call you back once you are next in line; instead of having to wait on the phone. Another great customer experience option.

Image result for fraud protection bank of americaI received a call back in a timely manner, and the employee was extremely educated and knew how to handle the situation quickly and efficiently. We went through a series of questions to help identify the situation, and I was notified that my account would be monitored for the following ten days, as well as instant closure of that card. She filed my claim, and said a new card would be shipped to me in a week, which I received.

I felt the stress melt away instantly, because this situation was handled so efficiently by Bank of America. I thank them for protecting my accounts, and ensuring my financial security with them. Bank of America provided an amazing customer experience and I am happy to continue by business with them.

Have you ever had to deal with fraud to your bank accounts? How did the company you do business with handle the situation? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Bank of America, Debit Card, Secure

Walmart: Do They Value Customer Service

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Walmart is an extremely successful company, known for its low prices and breadth of products they offer. I guarantee almost everyone has made a trip in there for one reason or another, whether you wanted to or not. Their low prices keep the customer coming back for more, which is a good thing, because if it was solely on their service they provide many people may opt for a different option. Companies can’t be great at everything, and Walmart does many things right. However, when it comes to their customer service and experience they provide the consumer they are less than stellar.

Walmart for the most part doesn’t offer a horrible experience, but usually their stores seem to be understaffed with employees who aren’t necessarily going out of their way to help. As a previous retail guest experience manager I know the ups and downs the customer service industry has to provide, and one of the keys to success is making sure the customer is heard when they have a problem. Timely feedback is essential. Even if the feedback isn’t timely it is crucial. No feedback in the Social Age is unacceptable.

Image result for long lines at walmartNormally I have a fine experience at Walmart; I find what I need for a great price. However, this past holiday season my mom and I made a trip to Walmart that was less than thrilling. There were only a handful of registers open, and the lines were extremely long, reaching back into the clothing. Many people around us were complaining, one man looking for a manager. I understand the pressure of holiday crowds. However, what was the worst part was there were two employees standing and watching for over ten minutes before finally deciding to jump on a register to help out with the lines.

Image result for bad customer serviceProactively deciding not to help during a rush time where customers are angry will only lead to a negative experience and likelihood of giving a poor review. I have never given a bad review, but this time I had to take the survey provided at the bottom of the receipt. I answered the questions and offered a detailed description of what happened. Months have gone by and I have never been contacted by their customer service team to address my complaint.

I wrote a couple of previous blogs about how to treat your customer, and being sincere in your response. However, giving no feedback leaves a different kind of lasting impression in the customer’s mind that the company doesn’t even care to address a concern when it is brought to their attention. With the Social Age there are so many different kinds of opportunities for companies to interact with the customer. Many of these are quick and easy and don’t take too much time out of the day, but make a huge impression on the customer.Image result for bad customer service

Like I said, Walmart does numerous things right, but in this example they failed to follow up on a negative customer experience. What have been your experiences at Walmart? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: Walmart, Long LinesSurvey, Service Matters

Wendy’s: Customer Engagement Gone Viral

Image result for wendysThe Social Age has provided companies with many new ways to provide an excellent customer experience. Not only can companies reach out or advertise in many new ways, but they can also interact and engage with customers easily. When a company really hits the mark, then most likely they will reach viral status. Companies can go viral for both negative and positive interactions, but when they do something great they will increase customer loyalty, and also get some free marketing through social media and the consumer doing the marketing for them.

Wendy’s has recently come into the spotlight for their customer engagement Tweet that has since gone viral over Twitter and the internet. This is a great example of when companies engage their customer, they not only excite consumers, but get their brand name out to the masses.

Here is the Tweet posted by Carter Wilkerson, which started it all:Image result for carter wilkerson

  • “Yo @Wendys how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?”

Surprisingly, Wendy’s decided to comment back, their Twitter is known for hilarious interactions and comments. Here is what they had to say:

  • “18 Million” to which Carter replied; “Consider it done”

Carter then pinned this conversation with the Tweet, “HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS.” This was posted on April 5, and since then he has reached over 3.6 million retweets, which is now record breaking.

Image result for ellen degeneres and carter wilkersonThe previous record holder, Ellen DeGeneres, who had the famous Oscar selfie, which currently has just over 3.4 million retweets, invited Carter to be on her show, which heightened the competition and social media frenzy around this Tweet. Other large companies jumped in and have since Tweeted at Carter, encouraging others to help him reach his goal.

#NuggsForCarter has since taken Twitter by storm. Carter now has a website where t-shirts are being sold and proceeds are going to charity.

As a Reno area local, it is great to see a local high school student from our area gain this kind of recognition and viral status. Wendy’s did it right in terms of customer engagement, and all it took was a simple reply. Companies can get a mass amount of free marketing when engaging through social media platforms.

Head to the internet and search for #NuggsForCarter and check out his website for more information!

Photo Credit: Wendy’s, Carter, Ellen

Oreo: Customer Engagement Winner with #MyOreoCreation

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Companies are always looking for the next big way to delight and excite their customers. Providing a cutting edge experience or impression is the key way to stand out against competitors in this ever changing Social Age. In order for a company to truly engage their customers taking to social media with viral videos, ads, or hashtags is the way to get the consumers attention. With the lightning fast presence that social media platforms provide, this is the way to go if you want your newest trend to spread like wild fire.

Image result for my oreo creation contestThis brings me to the newest viral engagement trend that Oreo recently came out with. They are not only engaging consumers to interact with them over social media platforms, but are willing to pay you for your contribution! The #MyOreoCreation contest is the newest thing to hit the internet in the past couple of weeks, and the amount of engagement they have received is outrageous.

Here is a quick overview of what this contest is about:

  • Create an idea for the next Oreo flavor
  • Share your flavor, creation, or inspiration
  • Submit by text, Twitter, Instagram, register online
  • Respond to Oreo social posts
  • Use the hashtags #MyOreoCreation and #Contest
  • Just like that you are entered to win $500,000 if chosenImage result for my oreo creation contest

This is truly a completely viral way to engage your customers and get them excited about interacting with your brand. I guarantee more people will be thinking about Oreo’s than they were a month ago. In the Social Age contests like this are what excite consumers and increase their loyalty to your brand. You are empowering the consumer to come up with the next great flavor, so they are now not only a consumer, but a creator as well.

Oreo is known for its seasonal or limited time only flavors like; S’mores, Strawberry Shortcake, Brownie Batter, Cotton Candy, Pumpkin Spice and Red Velvet. So it makes sense to get the customer involved in coming up with their next interesting and enticing flavor choice. Not only does this engage the customer, but will bring in profits for the company once the winning flavor is released.

With this viral customer engagement plan, of course I had to brainstorm my own flavor to submit to Oreo’s contest. With the help of my wonderful mom we came up with a beach time Oreo: coconut vanilla cookie with slightly salted turquoise crème, inspired by the sweet and salty atmosphere by the ocean.

What is your Oreo creation? Head to Twitter and let Oreo know, before time runs out!

Photo Credit: Oreo, Contest, Oreo Package

Jaclyn Dunt: Starting a Business and Gaining Customers through Word of Mouth

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Starting a business is never easy, and establishing your customer service platform can be difficult. Finding the right way to earn your customers trust and grow your business is unique to every startup and I had the opportunity to interview fellow University of Nevada, Reno graduate and one of my closest friends Jaclyn Dunt, about her business she started in November 2014, Free Flow Equine Services.

Image may contain: 1 person, riding on a horse, horse and outdoorHere is a little bit about her journey into starting her own business:

“I first learned about the business while I was competitively riding as a junior and working at a show jumping barn. Molly Wells, the pioneer of the Acuscope industry, frequently treated horses at the barn I worked at and I witnessed firsthand the amazing results. I chose to do my Senior Project in high school on Acuscope Therapy, which entailed over 200 hours of shadowing. I really enjoyed helping the horses and seeing how well the Acuscope worked to keep their bodies performing at such a high level.

After high school, I went to UNR Business School, keeping in mind that I wanted a broad degree that would allow me to continue working as a professional in the horse industry. I chose Business Management with minor in Sociology. I enjoyed attending UNR, especially in the business school where the students are all very close and frequently work together on projects.

After graduating and traveling for a few months, I contacted Molly Wells again and signed up to become a certified therapist. It is an intensive 3 week course, focusing on anatomy and bio mechanics of moment. Working with Molly and another student towards these goals was definitely intense – as was the final exam. When I passed my exam and began my own LLC, I loved the flexibility of the job and the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of every day.”

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, horse and outdoorBeginning a business is just the first step, so we discussed a little more in detail about how she finds her customers and provides a great experience for them. Here is a little about her take on gaining customers:

“Word of mouth and reputation are crucial. It is important to have customers that refer you to other clients, especially in the Reno area. Also building a company brand name that people recommend and remember has been helpful. There are a few other therapists in the area, so it is important to go above and beyond for your clients in order to promote your brand.”

In order to gain more clients she discussed the importance of referrals and word of mouth as the platform she has used to build her business. She has tried flyers and posters, but it doesn’t compare to her word of mouth reputation. She also networks at events and makes sure to meet with people face to face. Attending horse shows is another way she gains potential customers, because there are many trainers and owners in one place, who are all passionate about the industry.

Image may contain: horse, sky and outdoorFinally, we discussed a little bit about where she is at in her business currently and some of her future goals. At the moment the company is hosted through Facebook and the company website: Her client base consists of 16 customers located in the Northern Nevada and Central/Southern California areas. She recently moved to Santa Barbara, California where she is planning to continue and hopefully expand her customer base.

Check out her Facebook, website, and LinkedIn for more information!

Photo Credit: Jaclyn Dunt

United Airlines Announces 10 Customer Service Changes

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A couple of weeks ago United Airlines was bashed for the way they handled a customer incident. As most have seen or heard, the passenger was forcefully dragged off of the plane, and the video to prove it went viral. Within hours United Airlines was faced with a public relations crisis, which I discussed in detail in a previous blog. Not only does a company have to try to recover from a situation like this, but they need to ensure that they are genuine while doing so.

With United Airlines having a couple of weeks to figure out just how this would impact their business and company culture it was imperative that they addressed the massive failure in customer service. Making a change in culture is many times a top down approach for companies, and in this instance the CEO, Oscar Munoz, along with the company made an official statement of ten action items. These will change some of their customer service practices and procedures and address other issues.

Here are the ten changes to customer service United Airlines announced:

  • Limit use of law enforcement to safety and security issues only.
  • Not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless                   safety or security is at risk.
  • Increase customer compensation incentives for voluntary denied boarding up to                         $10,000.
  • Establish a customer solutions team to provide agents with creative solutions such as                 using nearby airports, other airlines or ground transportation to get customers to their           final destination.
  • Ensure crews are booked onto a flight at least 60 minutes prior to departure.
  • Provide employees with additional annual training.
  • Create an automated system for soliciting volunteers to change travel plans.
  • Reduce the amount of overbooking.
  • Empower employees to resolve customer service issues in the moment.
  • Eliminate the red tape on permanently lost bags by adopting a “no questions asked”                   policy on lost luggage.

Image result for customer serviceIt is great to hear the changes that the company is making in the aftermath of the incident. Especially changes that empower the employees to make decisions in the moment to help prevent a situation like this from happening. They are also providing higher compensatory incentives, increasing the cap to $10,000, to incentivize voluntary denied boarding. I guarantee if they would have offered that amount during this incident someone would have taken the offer.

United Airlines may not have initially handled the situation well, or made proper statements right after the incident. However, after looking through these changes they are committed to making you can tell that the company took some time to really analyze and change the culture and the level of service they provide their customers. I think this is a great starting point for the company to fix their reputation.

After seeing these ten changes to their company policies, would you feel more inclined to travel with United Airlines again? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Photo Credit: United, Customer Service