Today AMC announced – to the relief of many – that it would NOT change it’s policy and allow texting in theaters, as it threatened to earlier this month.
In a recent interview with Variety, Adam Aron, AMC Theatres’ new CEO, discussed possible plans to allow texting in theaters in order to appeal to a younger demographic.
Did he have good intentions with this idea? I think so. As a new CEO, Aron has already shown that he's not afraid to make adjustments or experiement with new concepts. He considered making a change that he believed would appeal to a large section of his demographics. He wanted to make the movie-going experience as enjoyable as possible, and knows that these days many people can’t go 10 minutes without checking their phones.
However, his audience spoke. Loud and clear. They were adamantly opposed to this proposed change.
What AMC failed to realize was that its customers actually LIKE the 'forced' escape that in-theater movies provide. That’s part of the enjoyment. Even if they grumble or find it hard to put that phone away, most people admit that they’re glad they did. And nobody wants to sit next to someone whose phone keeps lighting up though out the film. It’s distracting and annoying. Part of going to the theater is being absorbed in the movie, void of the distractions you find at home.
Yep, customers made their views heard loudly and guess what? AMC listened.
AMC's tweet this morning, with an accompanying letter from Aron:
This whole saga was yet another reminder for businesses to do their research, solicit feedback and LISTEN to that customer feedback.
Change is necessary and often a good thing. But it can also be a disaster if you guess what your customers want and guess wrong. Just ask the team behind New Coke.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show.