Can a good customer win-back strategy atone for a bad customer experience?

by | Sep 10, 2009 | Customer Experience

9 | InteractRDT | Insights and Experience Design AgencyWhen companies deliver poor customer experiences, there are enough channels around these days to ensure that they hear about their irate customers frustrations. Whether the company in question does something to mend the relationship with their disgruntled customer, however, is a different story. But even if they do try, can their appeasements restore the customers’ faith in the company if their previous experience was really bad?

I had a particularly bad experience at a certain movie theatre. The just of it was this: The movie we wanted to see was advertised as being in 3D, but it wasn’t screened in 3D. Upon enquiring about the discrepancy at the counter, I was met with the most rude, disgruntled, poorly trained employees that I had ever come across. I was basically told that I should have realised that it wasn’t going to be in 3D, and that I could be refunded for the tickets, but then we couldn’t possibly watch the remainder of the movie (in 2D) and we would have to leave. We thus left.

I used many of these previously mentioned channels to complain about this unfortunate experience, and I was actually mildly impressed with the response I received from the movie theatre. The manager phoned me and spent at least 15 minutes apologising profusely for the poor service I received, thereafter he personally delivered two complimentary tickets to me at my office.  Nice effort, case closed for them.

So, do they have a strategy in place to placate and win back unhappy customers? Yes!! But is this strategy enough to compensate for a really bad customer experience? Hmmm… I am not convinced about that one…. This incident occurred more than a month ago, I have seen quite a few movies since then, but the two complimentary tickets for that particular movie theatre are still sitting on my desk…


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