Turning Bad into Good: Why Customer Complaints Aren’t Always a Bad Thing
How do you turn a bad situation into a good one? Just do what the owner of the Alamo Drafthouse did with a recent customer complaint: use it as the basis for a clever promotional campaign!
Here’s the situation:
The Alamo Drafthouse is a movie theater chain in Austin, Texas. Like a number of luxury movie chains popping up around the country, the Alamo offers a restaurant experience inside its theaters, where patrons can order food and drink items—including alcoholic beverages—from a menu. It’s normally a sweet deal; that is, until a customer takes advantage of the casual atmosphere by using a cell phone in the theater, which is exactly what happened during a recent screening at an Alamo venue.
According to the Alamo’s official blog page, a patron “persisted in texting in the theater despite two warnings to stop.” The guest was escorted from the premises without a refund, as is the theater’s policy. The guest, presumably intoxicated, called the theater’s management office right after the incident to leave a strongly worded voice message.
What did management do about the message? See for yourself:
That’s right—they used the customer’s complaint as the basis for their new PSA, but not before posting it on YouTube first.
Any moviegoer who’s ever had to tolerate the extreme discomfort of sitting behind, in front of, or in the general vicinity of Chatty Cathy dipshit teenagers in a theater knows how difficult it can be to suppress one’s homicidal urges. Well, the Alamo is apparently one of the few chains out there that (bless them) takes the matter seriously, and they’ve demonstrated here that unruly patrons are certainly NOT welcome at any of their establishments.
It’s both a gutsy and advantageous move by the theater’s management, but more than anything else, this PSA makes for some truly fantastic PR. With an ad like this, you just know that the Alamo takes its “No talking or texting” policy pretty seriously, and they deserve to be commended for it. In turning a negative situation into a promotional opportunity, the Alamo demonstrates the kind of brand marketing that similar establishments can only hope to emulate. Prospective customers in the Austin area looking to enjoy a pleasant, uninterrupted evening of dinner, drinks, and cinema will know from now on that the Alamo is second to none when it comes to luxury theaters (in the Magnited States of America, that is).
What do you think of the Alamo’s latest PSA? Is it successful in repurposing the context of the caller’s message? Does this prove that businesses can effectively use customer complaints as the basis for promotional material, or is this simply a unique situation?
Image by: Ambro