Fueled by social media and networking, the focus on the customer has shifted for many organizations.
United Airlines' "we're here for your safety"--(not your comfort), has given way to Virgin America's--we're all in this together customer-focused mentality.
That said, businesses need to draw a line when customer-focused turns to customer-entitled behavior.
Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of dine-and-screen movie theaters in Austin, Texas, has long dealt with how to deal with impolite moviegoers who disrupt the movie experience of others. The latest assault to the enjoyment of moviegoers is the use of smartphones in theaters which create noise and bright lights that move attention away from the screen. They have a rule against texting and talking in their theaters.
So when a women was booted from the theater for texting, and left an aggressive, profantity-laced message on the theater's voicemail, they decided to make an example of her by showing how a feeling of "entitlement" crosses the line. The Drafthouse took audio of the woman's voicemail, transcribed it, and turned it into an in-house preview that warns theatergoers against cell phone use during movies.
She may be free to text in Texas, but not in a private theater.
According to Tim League, the Drafthouse's founder, the woman in question was warned twice about texting during a screening, and then, in accordance with company policy, was escorted out without a refund. "I don't think people realize that it is distracting," League told The Lookout. "It seems like nothing, but if you spend as much time as I do at the movies, you realize the entire theater sees it and it pulls you out of the movie experience. It's every bit as intrusvie as talking."
This woman is now the star of a PSA released by the company, and spread virally around the country: