In Focus: Cameron Mitchell, CEO, VOX Cinemas
4 years ago by Sonia Rafi
Cameron Mitchell, CEO of the VOX Cinema Network highlights how VOX is taking cinematic experience to a new level with various innovative firsts such as 4DX technology, the famed VOX Gold experience and exclusive kids’ cinema. He talks about the importance of focusing on customer feedback, describing the various customer support mechanisms in place as VOX ‘strives to deliver the best possible experience to their customers.
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“WE ARE CONTINUOUSLY INVESTING IN R&D, ENABLING US TO LOOK FOR NEW WAYS TO INNOVATE”
Q: How do you distinguish yourself from other cinemas in the region?
Cameron Mitchell: As one of the industry leaders, we pride ourselves on delivering the Middle East’s most innovative and customer-focused cinema experience tailored to customers’ needs across the region.
Over the years, we have introduced a wide range of VOX cinema concepts to the Middle East making it possible for movie fans to watch Hollywood blockbusters the way they choose to experience them. We are continuously investing in R&D, enabling us to look for new ways to innovate and provide our guests with exciting entertainment offerings.
Q: What facilities and services do you have in addition to the film itself that enhance the customer experience?
Cameron Mitchell: All VOX Cinemas, outlets boast a wide range of facilities and services to ensure customers can enjoy premium and comfortable surroundings as part of the first-class entertainment experiences we promise. This includes a variety of food and beverage options as well as the latest technology that complement our world-class cinema experiences.
From intimate and private surroundings, butler services and a restaurant-style menu at VOX GOLD to fine dining and a movie courtesy of Michelin starred celebrity Chef Gary Rhodes at the VOX THEATRE by Rhodes concept, our luxury offers present cinema goers with what we believe to be world firsts.
We pride ourselves on being able to cater to all of our customers’ needs, from the youngest ones with VOX KIDS, the Middle East’s first dedicated kid’s cinema complete with colourful interiors, to our thrill-seekers at VOX 4DX, our complete sensory experience which captivates audiences and immerses them in the movie through dynamic movement motion chairs and special effects.
Q: What customer feedback mechanisms do you have in place to measure visitor experience?
Cameron Mitchell: We are currently trialing an NPS feature at one of our VOX locations with the intention of rolling this out across the entire VOX Circuit.
The NPS Survey asks customers to rate their visit to VOX so that results can be aggregated and improvements made. In addition to this, VOX uses mystery shoppers to measure visitor experiences to continuously identify areas of improvement in our business.
Q: What are your customer complaint processes and in what order of priority are they resolved?
Cameron Mitchell: Customer complaints are the highest priority for VOX, we have a dedicated call centre available to receive customer feedback and improvement suggestions on an ongoing basis. Customers are able to provide feedback through the following channels:
- Dedicated call centre available to respond to customer issues and improvements
- Dedicated form on the website which can be filled in with the details of the complaint
- Social media pages allowing customers to provide feedback
- Staff within the cinema are available to handle customer complaints in real-time on the ground
Once a complaint is registered through one of the above channels, it is then directed to the appropriate staff member at VOX with a response promised within 24 hours.
Q: With a mix of Hollywood, Bollywood and Arabic movies, how do you find a balance in catering to all three audiences?
Cameron Mitchell: In order to cater to the varying customers that come through our cinema doors, we dedicate our efforts to tailoring each of our VOX Cinema outlets to their surroundings.
Since opening, over 60 million VOX customers have watched movies with us. And we will continue catering to all movie-lovers and creating unique concepts, ensuring our offering enhances their experience.
Q: Please tell us about the 4DX cinema experience and its popularity with the UAE audience?
Cameron Mitchell: Customers in the UAE continue to demand more from their entertainment experiences and with this in mind concepts like our VOX 4DX experience provide customers with a fully immersive cinema ride. We continue to see movie fans come back time and time again to experience this exciting concept while watching their favourite Hollywood blockbusters.
4DX features dynamic movement of 4DX motion chairs as well as special effects such as rain, fog, wind, lightning, bubbles and even scent allowing guests to enjoy movies on a whole new level.
We currently hold the exclusive rights from the Korean company who developed the 4DX technology, making us the only 4DX cinema provider in the Middle East.
Q: Tell us how VOX GOLD has taken cinema viewership to a different level and in what ways?
Cameron Mitchell: VOX GOLD offers a more exclusive, luxurious experience for movie-goers, with a private lounge and ticket kiosks to amplify the VIP experience. Set in intimate and private surroundings, VOX GOLD offers a butler service which will deliver restaurant style food and beverages directly to your partially reclining armchair.
VOX Cinemas was the first cinema chain in the region to launch the concept of a luxury cinema concept called Gold Class back in 2005 which was then rolled out across our circuit under the brand name of VOX GOLD.
Q: Do you offer rewards and promotions for your regular VOX cinema customers and do these promotions apply to all VOX cinema outlets?
Cameron Mitchell: VOX Cinemas currently offers a rewards program which provides customers with a free cinema ticket when a certain amount of tickets has been purchased.
VOX is in the process of rolling out a highly sophisticated loyalty program called VOX Rewards which will be a completely personalized platform which provides customers with the opportunity to accumulate points to then exchange at VOX Cinemas both online and at the Box Office.
VOX Cinemas will be using the best in class Movio platform to record customer purchasing behavior and reward guests based on this. VOX is currently the only cinema exhibitor in the Middle East to be using the Movio platform and they join the hundreds of other world class cinema chains that are using this technology globally.
VOX Rewards will also be integrated to the new VOX Cinemas app.
Q: What are your future plans for further amplifying the VOX cinema experience for customers?
Cameron Mitchell: Innovation is at the core of all of our concepts as we strive to deliver the best possible experience for our customers. We have recently extended our partnership with Dolby Atmos® to install Dolby Atmos® in 22 new VOX Cinema screens across the Middle East and Africa. This will ensure the cinema’s high quality audio processing technologies are combined with leading digital cinema video playback platforms, providing great experiences for our movie lovers.
Customer feedback is a vital barometer of our success and we regularly reach out to our visitors to understand what new and exciting facilities they require from their cinema experience. We recently launched OUTDOOR, the first open air VOX Cinema concept for the cooler months in response to customer demands.
Moving forward, we will continue to invest in ground breaking innovations based on customer preference to our cinemas.
About Cameron Mitchell
Cameron Mitchell has worked in the cinema industry for 20 years, initially in various operational roles across Australia, specializing in the setup and opening of new complexes and cinema concepts across the country. Cameron later progressed into a Regional Management role overseeing various territories across Australia.
Cameron joined Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas in January 2007, and in his role of CEO of VOX Cinemas, oversees the existing business, coupled with the company’s aggressive expansion across the MENA region. The company operates 225 cinema screens across the UAE, Lebanon and Oman, and will open an additional 180 screens in 2017, adding locations to the circuit in Egypt, Qatar, Kenya, Kuwait and Bahrain, doubling the company’s screen count in less than two years.
About Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas
VOX Cinemas is the Middle East’s most innovative and customer-focused cinema experience. Owned and operated by Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, VOX Cinemas is the cinema arm of Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East and North Africa. With 17 cinema complexes totaling 203 screens across the region, VOX Cinemas is now the Middle East’s largest and most rapidly growing cinema exhibitor.