Glamorous outfits, a star-studded red carpet, flowing champagne… No, we aren’t looking through the snaps from the Rant & Rave Christmas party. It’s awards season, and we’re excited – but can you blame us? We’re all about celebrating excellence, after all. Though admittedly, we’re usually focused on what makes a CX winner, not the best original screenplay…
The thing is, we know from first-hand experience that crafting award-winning CX is no mean feat. Over the years, we’ve helped many of our clients transform into CX superstars. But how do you actually deliver CX that’s more feel-good than the ending of Slumdog Millionaire? For inspiration, let’s look at the very company that screens your favourite movies.
And the award for great CX goes to … Cineworld!
Cineworld has transformed its CX in recent years, as Head of Customer Service, Susie Higgs, discussed at this year’s Raveolution. In times gone by, Cineworld’s success was all about its real estate. Provided it had screens in great locations, it could expect packed cinemas - but times are changing. Now, with more customers enjoying 4K screens and surround sound in the comfort of their own home (plus the rise of video streaming services), Cineworld has a very different landscape to deal with.
These days, it needs to deliver an experience so amazing that customers can’t resist a day out at the pictures - in short, customer engagement is king. As part of this, Cineworld has invested heavily in real estate, turning downtrodden screens into deluxe experiences, but it has also revolutionised its approach to CX.
We all love old movies… but not outdated techniques
Historically, Cineworld approached CX feedback gathering in two ways. The first was mystery shopping, but the trouble was, this rarely provided feedback that reflected the big picture. Cineworld wanted its mystery shoppers to tick boxes: are the toilets stocked with soap? Are the floors in the theatre clean? Naturally, this approach only captured very specific moments in time – so it was hard to gain actionable insight that could be rolled out across the business.
Plus, from a practical standpoint, mystery shopping just wasn’t efficient. It was a cost-intensive way of getting one fairly limited piece of feedback, especially when you consider how many real customers are gazing up at the big screen, day in, day out.
To capture genuine customer feedback, Cineworld also relied heavily on customer surveys, which were only sent out to customers who had booked online… and yep, you guessed it, it was a tick-box, clunky customer survey. The sort that took longer to finish than the last Lord of the Rings (well, it felt like it, anyway). Not only was this frustrating for customers, but it also meant that only the most dedicated Ranters would bother to reach the comments section at the end. This meant, in some respects, the data itself was skewed.
While this generated a reasonable amount of data, it wasn’t effective for truly transforming CX in the business. It also didn’t delve into the subtleties and challenges faced by individual branches. A luxuriously decorated cinema might score highly on environment and operational factors, but could under deliver on the warm customer service that’s so crucial to the magic of the cinema. Whereas an older branch might struggle on the ‘Hollywood glamour’ front, but provide A-List customer service.
Worst of all, very little was done with this data once Cineworld had it - customer feedback wasn’t being used to drive improvements in the business.
A CX Star is Born...
Cineworld knew it could do a lot better. But to transform its CX, it needed to transform the customer feedback gathering processes. This began with taking its call centre in-house, showing a commitment to CX – but it also needed to reassess its feedback gathering tool, which is where Rant & Rave came in.
With Upland Rant & Rave’s help, Cineworld has introduced new measures to gather customer feedback in a regular, wide-ranging way. Now, Cineworld is benchmarking using Net Promoter Score and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). With the comments box front and centre of feedback requests, customers are empowered to say what they want to say, not just answer questions they’ve been asked. Rant & Rave’s sentiment engine can interpret and analyse verbatim feedback, sifting through to establish exactly how customers are feeling - meanwhile, the platform’s dashboard lets staff know how they’re doing. It helps Cineworld close the loop, making sure feedback is acknowledged and, most importantly, acted upon.
How to make sure your CX is 'The Favourite'
So, if you’re looking to follow in Cineworld’s footsteps and impress both the future customer and your existing fans, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
- Consider the requirements of your changing business landscape and think about what you can deliver that customers can’t get elsewhere.
- Challenge old techniques for gathering feedback – even if they were effective once, they may no longer provide the most useful data or outcomes.
- Empower customers to feed back in their own language, instead of asking them the questions you want answers to.
- Make sure feedback is viewable by staff.
- Act on feedback and close the loop.
It’s not an easy journey and a lot of work goes in to building a culture of great CX. But by bearing all this in mind, you can take your CX from Razzie- to Oscar-worthy. Just remember to thank your Mum in your acceptance speech…