What I learned at Disney World

by Firefalls on May 31, 2011

I recently went to Disney World in Orlando Florida. This is probably my 6th or 7th time visiting the various theme parks. The thing that always gets me when I go there is that it’s pretty much unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been on the planet. (Not that I’ve been too many places, but I’ve been to enough.)

Granted the attractions are fun and exciting. The characters are great. The animations and shows are fantastic. But the one thing I always seem to takeaway from my Disney World visit is their relentless pursuit to making the patrons happy. If it’s your niece’s birthday they give her a pin with her name on it that she can wear. Then pretty much everyone who works in the park who sees that birthday pin will say “Happy Birthday Amanda!!!”

That really makes a six year-old feel special and it doesn’t really take a lot of effort on Disney’s part, probably a dollar for a pin and tiny bit of effort on its employees part really make a tremendous difference to a child and his/her parents.

This is just one small thing they do at Disney to increase customer satisfaction. Everywhere I go in those parks I’m made to feel as if I’m a special customer, people are usually exceptionally friendly, things are very organized and I think this Disney “Attitude” is contagious. People go out of their way to find a garbage pail, people are more likely to be courteous to fellow patrons and people even tend to keep their cool waiting on long lines in the hot sun.

But more important than having swarms of cool-headed, happy customers wandering the parks in Disney World, the main thing Disney gets from providing an amazing experience for its customers is brand loyalty. How many of those people do you thing will come back again for another trip with their kids? How many of those kids will take their kids to Disney in twenty something years?

My guess is a lot. Probably most people will return, with kids, grandkids or just a couple adults who need a break and want to enjoy their vacation, acting like a kid.

So what’s my point?

Well, this is one of many lessons we can learn from the great Walt Disney. If you go that extra mile for your customers, create an amazing experience for them, chances are they will return.

How can I create an amazing “Disney-like” experience? You ask.

When I say go the extra mile, sure you can answer your customer’s questions timely, refund a return promptly, offer great Tips and Advice in an amazing newsletter (like mine which you should sign up for right now if you already haven’t, see top of page).

But I think you should be planning the Disney-like experience from the get go. Before even launching your business walk through the mechanics of it. Does every process that a customer experiences run as smooth as it could? Could you make it better? Easier? More enjoyable for the customer?

Can you set-up a way to capture your customer’s birthday and then acknowledge them (with a coupon or something?) This not only makes them feel like you thought about their birthday but hopefully you can get a sale. (A win/win situation.)

I just wanted to get this idea down quickly, I’m sure there are a million ways that your business can learn a valuable lesson from Disney. Please let me know in the comments ways that you make your customers feel appreciated or any “Disney-like” things you do in your business.

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