Today’s post comes from Bridgz Director of Insight and Analytics Tim Altier.
I took my family on a Disney vacation over the summer. If you’ve never been before, you’ve probably heard that it is a ridiculously expensive family getaway, but the value that we experienced was well worth it. I’d spend the money again without hesitation.
Why? What made the experience so great?
Our very first contact with Disney was the cheerful parking lot attendant who asked, “Is this your first visit?” He ended our interaction with, “Have a magical day!”
“What did he mean ‘Have a magical day?’ ” my daughter asked. Not only was I picking up on all this, but so were the kids. Every interaction with every Disney employee — Cast Members, they are called — was like this. When we purchased our park passes we were again asked if this was our first visit. Those who were first-timers were given a “First Visit” button, returning customers were given a different button thereby enabling every Cast Member to identify us by our customer life stage. Every Cast Member we interacted with was an engaged employee.
The customer is at the core of the business model and we felt it everywhere. They knew our needs before we did. At Disney’s movie-themed park, Hollywood Studios, we were scrambling to get to the parade route in time for the afternoon parade. We arrived in the square that the parade passes through only to find it completely lined with other, more timely families, with the parade just a hundred yards away.
As we looked for a spot, a Cast Member approached us. She didn’t say, “I’m sorry, you have to clear the parade route,” or even, “How can I help you?” Her first words were, “How many?” With the parade bearing down on us, I replied, “Seven.” “Right this way.” She parked us on some steps – front row seats! Not only did she know our needs without asking, she had an instant solution.
Disney can execute! Parades always on time. Perfect costumes and performances. The balloon sellers always had a full stock of offerings. The bathrooms were always clean (and air conditioned!) – we found one paper towel dispenser that had run out of paper towels, in one bathroom, in five full days of park visits. The Fastpass system allows park guests to reserve a time slot on a ride while they do something else, like enjoy more rides — an operational efficiency that they invested in to improve the customer experience.
What drives the value for the customer? Disney’s customer-centric approach and operational excellence on the delivery.
But what really struck me in retrospect was this: Why weren’t my previous Disney visits as magical as this one? After all, I had been to Disney parks on several occasions in the past.
The answer is that the Disney experience is focused on the family. The quintessential family vacation defines their high-value, core customer. This time I was the core customer in the center of their customer-centric business model, which was executed flawlessly. And boy, could I feel the magic!
Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment