Birmingham, UK – December 11, 2012 – ODEON – the largest cinema chain across the UK and Ireland – has today introduced a new customer insight strategy set to drive its business forward, spearheaded by the appointment of new Commercial Director Andy Edge.
Edge has implemented the ‘My ODEON’ programme, developed in partnership with customer experience management (CEM) experts Empathica, to provide the business with robust data on real customer experiences at ODEON cinemas. The move follows Edge’s appointment to the management board to deliver its vision of redefining cinema, and comes as part of a raft of measures to position ODEON as the market leader in customer service.
Following a successful trial carried out in cinemas, predominantly in the Republic of Ireland, the programme is currently being rolled out across ODEON’s 123 cinemas in the UK and Ireland.
“At ODEON, our customers are as fanatical about film as we are. We want to give every guest a premier service in a fantastic and inspiring environment. Therefore, feedback on what they really think and feel about their in-cinema experience is at the heart of taking our business forward,” says Andy Edge. “The ‘My ODEON’ programme we developed with Empathica allows us to listen more closely to our actual customers, to gauge how they feel about our brand and, most importantly, to tailor our operations going forward to enhance their experience and build customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”
Replacing ODEON’s long-standing mystery shopping programme, the new CEM initiative has been designed to assess the customer experience more deeply, providing the business with feedback from thousands of its customers each month across the full UK and Ireland ODEON estate.
“Our previous mystery shopping programme didn’t give us the breadth and frequency of data that we need to ensure we are meeting our customers’ needs,” says Edge. “Although different films attract different audience demographics, our customers are predominantly young and affluent. We’re competing for share of wallet amongst a very marketing and technology savvy audience. It’s vital that we continue to push the boundaries to maintain our competitive edge and ensure we’re able to give our guests a cinema experience that will be memorable for all the right reasons.
“Thanks to Empathica, already in the trial period we’ve heard from upwards of 200 customers per cinema per month. The early feedback from the programme has already given us valuable insight that has helped us to change our operations in order to reflect our customers’ needs such as more effective staff levels on particular days of the week and times of the day.”
‘My ODEON’ enables guests to provide honest feedback via a short online survey, which can also be accessed via mobile devices such as smart phones. The survey is promoted in cinemas through QR codes on posters and on cards handed out by staff. Customers who complete the survey are entered into a monthly prize draw to win £1,000.
Customer feedback is sent to cinema managers in near real time, with data collated into easy to understand, actionable reports, enabling the business to implement operational changes with cinema employees that have an immediate impact on customer satisfaction levels.
Andy Edge continues: “The new programme has been embraced by our entire workforce as they can readily see how real customer feedback is driving our business decisions. It’s an evolving programme and we’re already looking at further improvements. Next year we plan to introduce a post-visit email to prompt people to complete our online survey as well as offering a new prize draw incentive that will appeal to our audience of film fanatics and that is more closely aligned to our brand. We’re also considering implementing GoRecommendTM , a social media advocacy solution that amplifies the reach of real customer recommendations using platforms like Facebook and Twitter.”
Gary Topiol, EMEA managing director for Empathica, commented: “We’re delighted that ODEON has already gained valuable customer insight since introducing our CEM programme. We’re looking forward to working with them to ensure ‘My ODEON’ continues to help drive further improvements across a business which truly puts its customers in the spotlight.
With over 75 years of cinema experience, ODEON is the largest cinema chain in the UK and Ireland. It operates 936 screens at 123 sites across the UK & Ireland and the Group operates 2153 screens at 232 sites across Europe as a whole, making it the largest cinema Group in Europe.
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