Obstructed customer experiences

Wrigley field front

Last Saturday I went to my first game of the year at Wrigley Field. I took Megan and her mom, and spent a couple of hours wheeling and dealing on Craig’s List in order to find three good lower deck tickets together. After I got the tickets I noticed that they featured a warning that the seats might be obstructed by one of the metal beams that support the upper deck.

Thankfully, when we got there we were far enough back that we could see perfectly well, although the beam in front of us blocked out first and second base from where I was sitting (I could lean to see around it ). However, I noticed that several rows down a gentleman was sitting in a seat directly behind the beam, not a foot from it.

I’ve often wondered why venues bother doing things like that. Sure you want to make a little more money, but why would you put a seat there? How angry is that person when he or she arrives at a seat he or she might have paid $60-$70 for and sees that it is up close and personal with the architecture? I think the same thing in movie theaters. I would ask for my money back if I entered a theater and the only seats left were in that useless front row.

It’s a cautionary tale for any business trying to provide a great, consistent experience for its customers. Every time you modify your customer service approach ask yourself if there is a chance that the change might put a particular type of customer behind an obstruction. If there is any doubt, just don’t do it.


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