Turn Bad into Good

I love visiting Disney World.  Over the years the thing that has amazed me is the amount of construction and renovation that occurs.  It’s all the time.

This could be a real negative. After all, it’s an expensive visit. But, the construction is not a secret.  It’s far from it.

Disney World goes out of it’s way to let you know when a pool is closed, part of a hotel is being renovated, when a ride is unavailable.  They use every available means to do this.  It starts with their website, follow up emails, letters in the mail, signs at the construction site.

But this visit was fun.  I experienced a whole new level of notification.  

I recently stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and there was construction.  I’m not gonna lie, the view on the ground level was of a construction fence with a painted mural.  Would I rather have had a landscaped view? Absolutely!  But, it was better than a plain plywood fence.

The construction machines made noise, but… Never outside the posted hours.  It was everything that was mentioned in the previous communication, no surprises.

Here’s where they went above and beyond.  Upon arrival to the room there was a nice card on the table by the TV.  You couldn’t miss it.  It said, “Pardon Our Pixie Dust” and inside there were three pins of Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and Chip & Dale in a construction theme.  

The gift set was something that welcomed you, thanked you, and surprised you.  It is a quality set that you can’t buy in the park.  “Pin Traders” – people that buy the Disney themed pins and trade theme, wow, they’d love this gift set!  It is special.

I chose to stay at the hotel. I knew there would be construction because it was on the website.  I did get the email about the construction. There was even a follow up letter by snail mail.  But walking into the room with the surprise gift, that was a nice touch.

Try this!!!  If you’ve got something going on that affects your product/service.  It can even be before they get to your business. Is there road construction?  Make your customers aware of it before they arrive.  Then… surprise them!  

For example, let’s say someone hypothetically drove your rental pontoon boat under the bridge marked “low clearance” and tore off the canopy and there’s no time to get a new one before the next day’s rental… After you call your next day renters with the news of no canopy, surprise them with a cooler of soda and chips… It can go a long way! (Hypothetically of course… Haha – it did happen)



How Old is an Expert?

How old do you have to be to be considered an expert?

I was at Disney World earlier this year… Yes it was awesome.  I simply love walking around the stores, trying to figure out what the next big thing will be… 

While browsing, I began a quest for something  to bring home for my niece.  I stumbled  upon Duffy (the stuffed teddy bear) which has been in the parks for a while, but now there are clothes to dress the bear in. 

Here’s a little insight, I’m controlled by the overwhelming need to be the coolest aunt… I have two others to compete with (wink).  But I do like to bring things home that elevate my status from “nerdy old lady” to “I’m not embarrassed to be around you oh beautiful hip aunt”.  Let’s be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever achieve that… But while pondering my purchase two very nice girls stopped at the display.  I’m guessing they were 9ish.  So resorting to “not quite nerd” but “just clueless enough old lady in the store” so as not to evoke the need for “safe words” I ask… “I’m sorry to bother you ladies, but will this fit an American Girl Doll?”  As I held the pink princess gown in front of them.

My goodness… They took it from my hands, held it in the air, went into some girl speak about how it would fit with a slight adjustment to the waist but that it would look amazing on Julie, although it’s not her style – but Maryellen… Yes, she’s definitely wear that” — my head was spinning.  Fortunately, my niece had both of those dolls so I could agree, again, trying to maintain “cool”.

And there it was.  My experts, at that moment in time, were 9. years old.   They had the knowledge of any marketing and fashion expert. They understood branding – remember Julie wouldn’t wear it… They sized the garment… Offered suggestions on proper fit and as quickly as they entered my life.  Poof they were gone.  

This just goes to show you that you can never discount the input of your customers.  Even the small ones… They see the world in an entirely different vantage, and you know what – they get it!