A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would post something about a business that did her wrong. And I politely declined as I don't really love to use my blog for such things, and to be frank, it wasn't really my problem so I hated to set a precedent.
But how about this teachable moment?
On Thursday, I went to a screening of X-Men Days of Future Past at The Arclight in Hollywood. I love The Arclight. It's a nicer theater, far fewer kids, much nicer seats, higher quality concessions, a bar, coffee stand, etc. It's really nice and it's basically ruined me for any other movie-going experience.
Clearly, I'm a fan. In fact, I'm ever a member. I pay an annual fee to belong to their club and accumulate points for perks. Like the screening I attended Thursday night.
And then disaster.
After the movie, for reasons unexplained, it took me almost 30 minutes to get out of the parking garage.
Which was horrible, but whatever. I mean, what can you do about it, right? You can bitch and moan, you can bang your head against the steering wheel, but nothing was changing and I doubt it will prevent me from being a customer down the road (although it may not be my first choice from now on).
But I did tweet about it.
If I die here in my car in the @ArcLightCinemas parking structure, at least I got to see the new XMen movie.— AJ (@AmandaJoy) May 23, 2014
They responded. I was not the only unhappy driver trapped in the structure.
I responded to them in kind. Because I thought they took a shitty position.
Here's the thing - they failed. They had an opportunity to look up the people who's complained and they would have found between us we have almost 6000 followers. They would have found we're fairly influential users. They could have said how sorry they were and explained in some way that they do not own the garage but would investigate. I mean, lie to me, guys. Say something.
But throwing your hands in t he air and essentially saying "Tough shit, not my problem! But thanks for giving us your money!" was a horrible response.
Happy customers are returning customers. And if they think that parking garage is not their problem because they don't own it, they need a lesson in best business practices. While not owning that garage may prevent them from being legally responsible for what happens inside of it, it does not prevent them from ensuring their customers have the best experience possible while patronizing their business.
Social media aside, they failed in general. As Rocky mentions in the above tweet, most businesses in LA will just raise the parking garage barrier and let people go without ceremony, just to get everyone out of the building in a timely fashion and keep the masses happy. The Arclight in Sherman Oaks doesn't own the parking garage they use but that garage does that all the time. I guarantee it's because they know a lot of movies are letting out and they don't want angry visitors.
It's called "customer service," guys. Look it up. Then run a search for "user experience."
So like I said, I can't claim I'll never go there again, but it certainly just lost a spot at the top of my list.
Sorry, Arclight. Social media FAIL.