I’m writing this with a Disney hangover after spending six days in the kingdom of magic and make believe with a zillion people from New York and New Jersey on school vacation - totally worth it to spend time with my niece and nephews experiencing the magic with them. Disney has long been recognized for their stellar attention to customer service and the overall customer experience. One thing stood out to me on this trip as we ventured from one experience to the next. Disney does an amazing job at managing expectations – lessons we can apply to our businesses.
My nephews are 7 and 9, so we went on a lot of rides – a lot! At each ride there is a sign that displays the wait time. This is critical information for families with little ones who are trying to survive their adventure. When the sign said five minutes we got right in line! If it said sixty minutes, we considered if the wait was worth it. Two hours or more – we moved on to something else! My sister-in-law even used an app on her iPhone to check wait times at rides throughout the park. This way we weren’t schlepping the whole herd of kiddos across the park only to find a line that was too long for our patience level.
Disney provided us with information that allowed us to make informed decisions about the activities we chose. This put us in control and we knew what to expect when we got in line - a much better approach than NOT telling people how long the wait would be, which can only lead guests to become frustrated. Let’s apply this to a business. Customers appreciate knowing how long the wait will be – whether it be for a table at a restaurant, a service call to install cable or service on our vehicles. If you own a business - especially a service business – you will score major points when you let customers know how long they will wait for service. Disney also scored points by moving the lines along faster than the wait times indicated. Under promising and over delivering is a much smarter strategy rather than saying the wait time will be 60 minutes and it becomes 90!
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