Consumers have a lot of choices these days when it comes to moviegoing. So how do you stand out from the competition and convince people that they should spend their dollars at your theater?

The Answer is Guest Experience

The experience that you provide customers is what makes your theater unique. When consistently done well, guest experience is what attracts new business, keeps loyal guests coming back, and turns regulars into brand champions.

As the face of your business and brand, your frontline staff is your secret weapon to elevate guest experience. This isn’t just about efficiency (although that’s certainly important!) A well-trained staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and goes the extra mile to ensure your guests’ moviegoing experiences are beyond memorable.

The Impact of Guest Experience on Your Bottom Line: The Good and The Bad

General customer experience research consistently shows the significant impact of staff on customer satisfaction:

  • A 2021 study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that prioritize and elevate guest experience increase sales revenues 2-7% and increase profitability 1-2%. [1]

  • A 2020 study by PwC found that 73% of customers say experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Additionally, 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. [2]

  • According to Bain & Company, brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors with poor customer experience​. [3]

Positive guest experience impacts your theater and your bottom line in many ways, including:

  • Customer loyalty: Guests who have a positive experience are more likely to return to your theater over and over.
  • Research by Deloitte indicates that increasing guest satisfaction raises the likelihood of return visits by 30%. [4]
  • Increased Spending: Guests who have a positive experience are more likely to spend more money.
  • Positive word-of-mouth: Guests who have a positive experience are more likely to spread the word and recommend your theater to their friends and family. They may even leave positive online reviews for your business, widening your reach and targeting new audiences for you.
  • Higher lifetime customer value: Taking all of the above points into consideration, a positive guest experience at your theater can lead to a higher lifetime customer value.
  • According to Bain & Company superior guest experience turns customers into promoters with a lifetime value 6 to 14 times that of detractors. [5]

On the other hand, a negative customer experience at your theater can lead to:

  • Customer churn: Guests who have a negative experience are more likely to take their business elsewhere.
  • Decreased Spending: Guests who have a negative experience are likely to spend less money at your theater.
  • Negative word of mouth: The old adage has been that a satisfied customer will tell 4 people about their experience, while unsatisfied customers will tell 16 people. However, with today’s social media influence, a bad guest experience might be shared with hundreds or even thousands of people very quickly (plus the internet is forever!)
  • Lower lifetime customer value: Taking all of the above points into consideration, a negative customer experience can lead to a considerably lower lifetime customer value.

How to Elevate Guest Experience at Your Theater

We all know the feeling of going to the movie theater and being excited for a night out, only to be met with long lines, inattentive staff, and a concession stand that moves at a snail’s pace. Or maybe the staff was helpful and the lines weren’t long but the popcorn wasn’t very fresh, the theater wasn’t clean, or the restroom was out of soap. While we might enjoy the movie itself, our negative experience overall probably has us thinking about trying the theater down the street next time.

So what if there was a way to guarantee a positive guest experience every time – even across multiple locations?

Enter the power of consistent, effective training that’s specific to your theater operations, and which engages your employees and gets them invested in and excited about your business’ success by elevating the guest experience.

Here are some additional ways that investing in employee training impacts your bottom line:

  • Reduced Employee Turnover: Effective, standardized training has been proven to ensure new hires are well-equipped to succeed from day one, leading to increased job satisfaction and a significant reduction in turnover.

  • Increases Employee Retention: Employees who feel valued and invested in their impact on a positive guest experience are more likely to stay in their jobs.
  • Reduces Operating Costs: Well-trained employees are less likely to make mistakes, which in addition to helping to consistently deliver exceptional guest experiences, can save your theater money in the long run.

How CineTRAIN Can Help

CineTRAIN provides movie theaters with the employee onboarding, training, and continued development they need to provide exceptional customer service. Through a combination of engaging training methods, including cinematic videos and interactive eLearning modules, your employees will learn how to best elevate guest experience through topics such as:

  • Customer Service: How to greet guests warmly, answer questions knowledgeably, and resolve problems efficiently.

  • Concession Stand Operations: How to make popcorn perfectly, pour the right amount of soda, and operate all the concession stand equipment safely and efficiently.
  • Safety Standards: How to maintain a clean and safe environment for guests and staff.

Turn Costs Into Savings

Investing in a comprehensive training program like CineTRAIN, which is specifically designed for the movie theater industry, can significantly reduce both real and hidden costs associated with hiring and onboarding by helping you:

  • Reduce Turnover
  • Onboard Faster
  • Increase Retention & Employee Development
  • Reduce Reliance on Managers

The Bottom Line

In today’s competitive movie theater market, doing what it takes to elevate guest experience is essential. By investing in a well-trained staff, you can set your theater apart from the competition and ensure that guests keep coming back for more.

Invest in staff training today and start elevating guest experience at your theater!


[1] McKinsey & Company – “Prediction: The Future of CX”

[2] PwC – “Experience is everything. Get it right.”

[3] Tripleseat – “How to Make a Positive Impact on the Guest Experience in 2022”

[4] Deloitte – “Stay with me: Five keys to elevating guests experiences”

[5] Bain & Company – “Are You Experienced?”

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