Image via Wikipedia
As the headline says, this is not a review of a Broadway show. Rather, it is a critique of a Broadway theater. The specific theater does not matter, they all do business the same way.
Which brings me to customer service, or rather the lack of it. I recently got an offer for a show that sounded very worthwhile. Sufficient to say that Woody Allen wrote one of the acts. Now remember, even with a discount I am still paying almost eighty dollars per orchestra seat. I am taking a chance and supporting a show that has not yet opened, let alone been reviewed. So you would think I am the kind of theatergoer that theaters would really go out of their way to accommodate.
But here’s what actually happens. You wait in line in the lobby. If it is during a heat wave, as my experience was, there are no fans, let alone air conditioning. There is no place to sit, or even lean while you stand in line. And, two of the patrons in front of me, after receiving their tickets had to go back to the booth, since the tickets each had been given were for different dates than they had requested. And since the only one who actually knows which seats are available is the person inside the booth with the computer, you have to play whatever version of the “Cajoling game” you are most comfortable with.
Now, I realize that most theater tickets are sold through ticket services, or group sales. But I get the feeling that nothing has changed in the retail ticket buying process since Emile De Becque proposed to Nellie Forbush. Nothing is done to make the procedure easier, or allow the customer to feel that anyone actually cares if he purchases a ticket or not. Because no one is actually thinking about the transaction from the customer’s point of view.
I realize this is turning into more of a rant than a blog. But the point is that it would be a good idea for you to think about whether you are taking your customers for granted, or treating them as you always have, because you always have.
Or you are giving them an experience that makes them feel that they are actually valued, as this example from Phil’s toy forum blog talks about.