Disney is one of my favorite Customer Experiences. They use the phrase, “the Magic of Disney” to help describe the experience that they create for their guests and I would say they achieve “magic” with all the things they have thought of, trained for, and delivered time and again for their guests. But Disney are not complacent, always trying to push the experience boundaries to the next level and what they are currently working on will undoubtedly continue to take their magic to the next level.
We have many of our clients say that price is the key issue in the Customer Experience. We spend a great deal of time saying it’s important but not the key issue. The Disney parks are a great example of this. Going to Disney is not cheap and yet Disney parks are more popular than they have ever been. Despite hikes in prices, attendance is at an all-time high. In the California parks, cast members and their families were blocked from using their “complimentary” passes during the busy summer months for the first time two-years ago. The result of all this popularity can be long lines and lots of hassle for those that are there to soak up a little Disney Magic. And for anyone who has waited 45 minutes to get hustled through a hug and photo with Mickey himself, the experience can feel anything but magical.
Technology is a part of the magic wand that Disney is wielding on their experience for the future. With a little pixie dust and a whole lot of Bibbity-Bobbity-Boo, they are going to transform the experience for its guests to remove some of the frustrations (long lines, no seats at the show, etc) that can mar the park experience for guests. The new experience will work like this. Guests will buy their tickets online. Then they will have the option to plan their day, meaning which shows they will attend, what rides they want to ride, when they want to eat lunch at the Blue Bayou, etc. Then Disney will deliver a “MagicBand”; or wristband in the mail that will have your personalized itinerary contained in its snug little confines.
With the MagicBand on your wrist, you have the whole experience of Disney World with a wave of your hand, or in other words, like magic. You can arrive at the show with just 30 seconds to spare and still have a seat. You can bypass the lines at your favorite rides because you have a pre-selected time to ride it. You can also buy food, drinks, souvenirs and merchandise with a wave of your hand, as the band will be linked to your credit card.
So this new MagicBand is an example of why I admire Disney as it pertains to their Customer Experience. Their brand is Disney Magic. They see that the popularity of their parks is starting to hurt the experience, so they respond by coming up with a new, hassle-free way to experience the park.
There are other examples of how they keep up their brand of magic. They recently did this in their stores, too. In a post called, “Imitating Apple,” I describe how Disney just redesigned their retail experience to be the best 30 minutes of a child’s day. From interacting with favorite characters to a movie theatre screening one of their hundreds of films or shows, they stores are now much more than a place to grab a few action figures or the latest princess outfit.
But Disney also does a great job with their Customer Experience culture and Employee Engagement. Having your employees buy in to your brand promise and living up to it everyday is integral to having a great customer experience. Disney thinks of this and has from the beginning. They have four keys that they use as a foundation for everything they do, and they train their employees in these concepts. For Disney, the four keys are:
- Safety: They are committed to maintaining their safety and the safety of others in all they do.
- Courtesy: They are committed to maintaining a positive attitude and being courteous and respectful to guests of all ages, going above and beyond to exceed their expectations.
- Show: They will maintain their character at all times and be show-ready at all times.
- Efficiency: They will use their time and resources wisely so that guests can get the most out of their visit.
As you can see, these are all customer-focused ideas that are designed to help Disney keep its brand of magic up to a standard that makes their parks, “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
What I admire about Disney is their longevity as Customer Experience leaders. It’s no surprise that Businessinsider.com named Disney #14 on the list of “20 Most Valuable Brands in the World.” Reported to be worth, $28.1 Billion, the House of Mouse is up 3% from the previous year. Interbrand, who composes this list every year praises Disney’s for their Imagineering, which is they own term for coming up with an original idea and inventing it. Interbrand says their value is derived from an ability to create a TV show or movie that they then can profit from using merchandising, toys, theme parks and video games.
At Beyond Philosophy, we believe that a constant focus on seeing the experience through your customer’s eyes can be the difference between an excellent customer experience and one that feels less magical. Disney is an excellent example of using that focus from the outside in to create an experience that keeps their customers coming back. And soon with the MagicBand, you can wave your hand so you won’t have to wait behind all those loyal customers for almost an hour to meet the Mouse that started it all.
How can you take your Customer Magic to the next level?
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin has been recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers in the world. He is an international author of four best-selling books on Customer Experience. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX