Alfred Hitchcock, the subversive master of customer experience

27 Nov

This is a great piece from Wired magazine, about the Hitchcockian dark art of audience management, (what, in this case, we would call customer experience management) as practised by the master, Alfred Hitchcock, the subject of a new film about the making of Psycho, soon to hit the screens.

Hitchcock, the auteur-director was as obsessive about stage-managing the film’s exhibition and reception, as he was about pre-planning every detail of production (he was 

Psycho (film)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

famous for story-boarding almost every shot in advance so that he had already ‘seen’ the film before it was filmed).

 This article gives some great insights into how he crafted the audience’s viewing experience of Psycho, to create the ultimate ‘customer experience’, a terrified audience (and, hopefully, wet seats, an early ‘success measure’ he used in the theatres!)

  So, without ‘spoiling’ the story – click here to read  – the first point “Spoiler Paranoia” is a great example of just how far he was prepared to go to ensure that the audience was (literally) in the dark about what they were about to see.

As well as recognising the marketing and sales potential of word of mouth, he was also a master in the art of managing expectations, and the well-timed publicity stunt. As the article says, he produced  a “Manual for Theatre Goers” warning about the dangers of heart attacks that might occur while watching his film” and hired nurses to be on hand at some cinemas.

 I’ve read some of this guidance material before. He also asks that no one be admitted after the film had started, and also that people watch the entire film, through to the end.  

 All good examples of holistic customer experience: here is a director managing every single detail, right down to how to watch the film, in order to maximise audience enjoyment. And proof too that ‘the devil is in the detail’ when it comes to the art of customer experience management. Probably a phrase Hitchcock would personally have approved of too.



One Response to “Alfred Hitchcock, the subversive master of customer experience”

  1. filmcamera999 December 7, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Reblogged this on filmcamera999.

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