In many ways, as members of management, we find we must conform to rules typically referred to as policies, procedures, and/or simple acts of kindness (courtesies). We assume this responsibility as the governing body for the hundreds of guests that we welcome through our doors every day of the year. Our intentions as Management are to completely satisfy all customers by providing them with a safe and enjoyable time while seeking to avoid offending anyone.
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This democratic gesture is most often successful when we follow common policies, procedures, and/or simple acts of kindness that can be found within the predominant social environment in which our storefronts can be found. While it is important that we always remember our first rule, the large ‘Welcome’ printed largely for all to see as they enter, it must be acknowledged that of the thousands of people that we greet into our facilities, a very small portion of those individuals enter with the willingness to challenge the rules we have embraced.
These challenges often go well beyond the concept of common courtesies and often adversely affect the majority of visitors to a much greater degree than it actually complements the individual. As management, we must confront these challenges with corrective measures that will discourage such acts. Thus the question, how do we discourage inappropriate activity in our auditoriums, i.e. cell phone usage, talking, kicking of seats, etc.
Auditorium disturbances represent a great deal of concern in the Film exhibition environment. There are several different methods that we currently use to minimize this issue. The following are practices currently in place that reduce auditorium disturbances:
- Announcements at the beginning of the show that kindly request customers to be considerate to others and to refrain from disruptive behavior.
- Auditorium checks (spot checks throughout the show for disruptive behavior).
- Marketing assistance through such devices as ads and signage.
Auditorium announcements and auditorium checks have been determined to be as effective as we want them to be.
In every challenge, some of the most important keys to success are consistency and emphasis on proper training and an ongoing evaluation of that training. When procedures are adopted, they must be done as a routine. By doing this, we are constantly delivering optimal service while increasing awareness among our employees of the importance of this matter. The personnel that copes with challenging situations must be ready to confront them and deal with them in the most professional manner keeping in mind the primary goal of ensuring total and complete customer satisfaction. While confronting this challenge might be difficult at times, our employees need to fully understand that they always have the power to please our guests.
The frequency of auditorium disturbances varies from location to location. Implementing a universal code of conduct might not be a viable option at this time, but it is something to think about implementing for challenging locations. At first, something like this would not be welcomed as it tends to single out a particular location as having ‘issues’ and presents itself as a putative measure, but a careful introduction and effective implementation will help both visitors and staff to eventually adapt and accept the changes.
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