Isn’t Paris Wonderful?
I just got back from Paris. City of the fabulous cathedrals, beautiful street art and mouth-watering pastries. It’s also the city of Disneyland Paris. It has to be said that what Disney does, they do well. Their story and film-based rides are entertaining and fun, their characters are delightful, their light show is astonishing (and their prices are eye-watering!). What they also do well is something that we could do well to learn from. They are the masters at customer service.
One of the incredible strokes of genius that they’ve used is in regard to queuing. There are a limited number of rides and a seemingly unlimited number of riders and so Disney have developed this clever technique for not only getting customers to queue, but to be grateful for it!
The Masters Of Customer Service
How does this work? Well, the queues snake round (and round and round and round in some cases). To keep morale high and expectations managed, Disney provides entertainment and information. The entertainment ranges from actual cartoons to watch on a big screen, to atmospheric settings with props and authentic sights to observe. However, the information provision is where the magic happens.
Every now and again, there is a little sign that sys something like “75 minutes wait time from this point”. Some distance later, there’s another than says “60 minutes wait time from this point”. These little signs are comfortingly frequent and serve to provide the would-be rider with an expectation of how long they are going to queue for. The genius is this; those times are deliberately wrong! Where the sign says 75 minutes, the wait is really only (approx) 60 minutes. At the 60 minute sign, the wait is (approx) 45 minutes. By the time the queuer reaches the ride, they are thrilled to discover that they have waited significantly less than expected. In fact, they can quite often be heard to say how ‘that wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be’.
Isn’t that brilliant? The person waiting in the queue has their expectations managed to such an extent that they are delighted with the outcome, even though they’ve potentially waited an hour for a ride that lasts less than 5 minutes!
Under Promise and Over Deliver
So how can we use this genius in our businesses? Well, what Disney is doing is managing expectations, and under promising and over delivering. They say ‘expect this’ and then they deliver something superior. How can we under promise and over deliver on a daily basis?
Here are some suggestions:
Delivery times – if you promise next-day delivery and it doesn’t happen, you end up with brassed off customers. If you promise 2-3 day deliver and then deliver in a day, you have delighted customers.
Promises – if you know that your client will have a 60% increase in **insert your choice of outcome**, why not say 50%? That way, your clients will be delighted at the extra 10% (and if for some reason they get 59%, they’ll still be pleased!).
Turnaround times – if you deliver a time-based service (website creation springs to mind), then if you know the work will take you 5 days, tell your client you need a minimum of 6 days to deliver. Again, the outcome is a managed expectation and under promise/over delivery and a happy customer.
How long something will last – if your product lasts for 6 weeks, could you say ‘more than 4 weeks’?
Have a think how you could use this great Disney strategy to give your customers a fabulous customer service experience in your business.
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