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Is It Time To Send Your Moviegoers A Survey?

When executed correctly, surveys are a great tool to collect important feedback from your members and can be an invaluable resource when it comes to improving and shaping your cinema’s offerings. 

Writing a survey and making sure that it’s not only useful but that a significant portion of members complete it can be complex. Besides the survey itself, the setup and announcement are both very important elements in the process, and done well, will strengthen trust with your members. Keeping in mind, that trust is not a result of conducting surveys but a prerequisite. The trust and relationship that moviegoers have with your brand will make them more willing to offer feedback. We’ll walk you through the best practices we’ve found for survey content, formats, use cases, and associated promotions. 

Best practices for survey content

First, you need to identify what you’re trying to achieve by sending your survey. Are you looking to get feedback on a specific event or do you want general thoughts and feelings from your members? This answer will determine the timing, content, and audience of your survey.

Next, refine your list of questions. All of the questions should help you achieve your specific end goal. Ideally, questions should always be neutral and never nudge members to a particular answer. For example, asking “How would you rate your experience?” versus “How good was your experience?” can gather very different answers. Questions should also be very specific and clear. For example, “How would you rate the concession offerings and customer service?” is asking members to address two issues at once. 

Increase the number of responses by making the survey-taking experience seamless and straightforward for your members. Using simple, accessible wording without technical jargon is key. Additionally, in the introduction email or main page of the survey, let your moviegoers know:

  • How many questions the survey has
  • How long it will take them to complete
  • What you are doing with the results and why they matter
  • If there is an incentive to complete the survey and what are time conditions
  • How they can contact you about questions

A completion time less than 5 minutes is a good starting point. When in doubt, fewer questions are always better. Some platforms even allow for advanced rule-setting to further customize your survey. For instance, you can use a branched format, which guides certain members to specific questions based on their answers. For instance, a moviegoer who responds “Yes” to attending in the past 3 months gets a different set of questions than one who responded “No.”

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A few other important survey content notes to address:

  • The ratio of mandatory to voluntary questions: do you want all members to answer all questions? Are there some that don’t apply to all moviegoers? 
  • The ratio of open to closed questions: closed questions (i.e multiple choice or rating scale) are faster, but open questions could result in more nuanced feedback, albeit more difficult to analyze.
  • If you’re using multiple-choice questions, consider adding a text field for an individual answer for members whose desired answer isn’t one of the choices.
  • Make sure that rating scales are consistent. If you use a 1-5 scale at the beginning of the survey, you should keep using that same scale throughout the survey.
  • Make sure to allow for ‘neutral answers’ such as ‘Not sure’, ‘I don’t know’ or 3 on a scale 1-5.

Fine-tuning your format

When considering who to send the survey to, keep in mind that you’ll want a significant sample size of moviegoer feedback. There’s no hard number, as it fluctuates based on the size of your member base, but this helpful chart can help estimate what’s right for your cinema. 

Once the content and audience are done, it’s time to work on the format. When it comes to choosing a send date it’s best to allow members 5-7 days to respond. It’s also good practice to send a follow-up reminder to contacts that haven’t taken the survey yet, along with a campaign to members who have completed it to say ‘Thank you’ and acknowledge their contribution. 

Movio has all the right tools to help you optimize timing and audience. In Movio Cinema, exhibitors can send surveys as either a post-session campaign or in a one-off email: 

  • We recommend a post-session campaign if you want feedback about a moviegoers’ session experience right after they attended. For example, if you’re seeking thoughts on the cleaning procedures following a member’s showtime, then sending a post-session campaign is the best option. Post-session campaigns are based on a trigger after a member’s session time. 
  • We recommend sending the survey as a one-off campaign, if you want to hear about a member's general sentiments. For example, if you are looking to invest in a dine-in theater, you may survey members to find out their desire for that type of moviegoing experience. 

Incorporating promotions

Rewards or incentives can be a great motivator for moviegoers to participate. However, it is about finding the right balance between a reward great enough to trigger an action, and a reward that is small enough to not be the only reason why members participate. The latter is especially important as it can lead to a shift in responses.

Here are some types of promotions that could be used:

  • Bonus point rewards
  • Recognition for free or reduced concession items
  • Entrance into sweepstakes/giveaway 

To reward members, you’ll need to collect their Member IDs so you can later identify them and apply the promotion to their account. If you’re using the third-party platform many will have an instructional page that will walk you through the process. 

As you can see, member surveys have the potential to be an excellent way to connect directly with your moviegoers and learn from their experiences. The goal, content, format, and promotions associated with your survey all contribute to the end result. By applying a simple and straightforward strategy, you can maximize both the quantity and quality of your members’ feedback. 

For more information on our cinema product or for more about surveys don’t hesitate to contact us here.


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