So I just got back from Disney World in Orlando Florida yesterday, and it was an amazing experience. Like all of you, I am an entrepreneur and am proud to have been able to take my family on a Disney Vacation solely from money I have made in my own business! The trip was arranged by Erica at LittleDoleWhips.com, and she made the vacation planning, well, non-existent (thanks!).
Now, because I never seem to stop working, the whole entire time I was at Disney had my wheels spinning in regards to what I can learn from Disney for my business, and YOURS! And there was a lot to learn from Disney, in every way shape and form. So here are some Business Tips I Learned From Disney World that I feel can help any business…
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First thing I love about Disney is their devotion to utilizing technology. Disney has a “My Disney Experience” app which had all of the information that pertains to my trip in one app, and I mean everything! If you’ve never experienced the “My Disney Experience” app, it blew me away. And I myself am a pretty techy guy and consider myself somewhat hard to impress in that aspect. The Disney app had all of my meal plans listed, all of the photos taken by photographers in the park, my complete itinerary and even had a gps-enabled map for each and every park! There was so many features and aspects of our vacation that I could manage, modify, cancel or add via the app, it was simply incredible. You can tweak your Disney trip on the fly constantly via your smartphone.
Also, if you get the Memory Maker package, you can get pictures taken throughout the park and within minutes you have the full HD resolution version in the app available for download and sharing with friends and family. This includes not only pictures, you also get edited pictures where they superimpose Disney characters into the pictures with you, as well as placing you in HD videos that depict you with characters, on rides and off. Simply amazing! The magic band (a bracelet) that you receive beforehand links everything to you. Your food, your photos, your fast pass rides and your location, everything! Many procedures are automated via technology, and this makes everything more efficient.
So when considering your business, the following questions may come up:
- What part of your business can you automate?
- Can you use an app of your own to improve your clients experience?
- Can you up-sell a better experience for your clients?
- Can you offer low-cost but high-appeal incentives with higher levels of membership that are technology driven?
I am sure you can, in fact I am 110% sure you can! Small and large businesses can and should utilize technology every moment they can.
Another aspect about Disney that showed me they really know their stuff, is their retail skills. As far as retail, they are super smart when it comes to selling products. Other theme parks really need to take a look at Disney, because they are super smart. When you go on rides at other parks, you go on the ride, and then get off the ride and walk to your next destination. Disney is super smart and they have their rides exiting into gift shops. So if you love the ride experience you were just on, you can immediately expect to walk into a store that is marketing all products that pertain to that particular ride. So if you were just on a ride that had the seven dwarfs in it, you can expect to exit into a gift store selling Snow White and Seven Dwarfs memorabilia, pictures, clothing, all of that stuff. It’s very smart and anyone can learn from that lesson!
So how can this idea improve your business? Once your client has experienced your service, they should immediately:
- be offered products or wearables in your location that will help them keep that great experience memory alive.
- be offered an up-sell to the great service they just received, preferably at a “post-purchase” discount offer.
- be added to an email list.
Disney is so good at making retail products, some of the products you get from the gift stores have actually grown into monthly membership services! These are for the disney junky in you!
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
Another amazing thing about Disney that any entrepreneur can utilize, is paying attention to detail. You can’t have an authentic experience with anything, if you don’t cover EVERY ASPECT of that experience. For example, when you go to Disney and are in The Little Mermaid’s “Under The Sea” ride, there are bubbles projected everywhere. All of the characters look like they are under water in their movement, you hear water swoosh sounds, and everywhere you look there are coral, fish and sea creatures which confirm in your mind that you are under water. You don’t see exposed I-beams, you don’t see screws or bolts on the wall, you don’t see a bad spackle job or paint job, it is 100% authentic! There is NO DETAIL MISSED. And that’s what gives you the full experience and makes your mind say “okay, I feel like I am under the sea right now.” Obviously we were not wet, but everywhere you look made you feel like you’re underwater with their level of attention to detail. This is what makes Disney a world-class business in my opinion. Take for example the ride “Soarin” at Epcot. While you are flying over a field of flowers, Disney puts the aroma and scent of flowers in the air, when you are flying over Africa and the deserts, you actually smelled dirt in the air, that is a level of detail that cannot be matched.
So how can you apply this to your business? What does your business do? How does your business give your clients “The Full Experience” you would like it too? If you own a brick and mortar location, what is the look and feel you would like your business to have? Once you know the feeling you want to convey, go beyond simply a decent paint job and posters on the wall!
- Think about what the full experience should be and add props to better give an authentic feel to your customers.
- Offer other small “experiences” throughout your business that support the “main experience.”
- Consider having music / aromas that lend to your services experience.
- Whatever elements in your location that are “typical,” disguise, remove or better convert them to support the experience.
The Main Experience should be your businesses world class service! Going the extra mile with the ideas above won’t be cheap, and they don’t have to be Disney or cartoony, but these small details will make your business experience that much more authentic to your customer. It will separate your business from the next business that has a decent paint job and pictures on the wall!
INVEST TIME AND TRAINING IN YOUR EMPLOYEES
Another clearly defined aspect of Disney, is its employees. There wasn’t a single Disney employee that did not greet us with a smile and they were all EXTREMELY helpful. When ever I had a question, no matter where I was, as long as I saw someone with a name tag I anticipated a very helpful and friendly response. Even when I felt my question was a dumb question, I knew I wouldn’t feel dumb asking it. That is making your customers feel truly comfortable, and that is true customer support!
How can you be sure to give the same experience to your customers?
- Always try to make my clients feel comfortable asking any question
- Try to relate to them and speak plain and simple.
- Make your customers feel comfortable asking any questions no matter how silly they feel it may be!
The old saying “there are no stupid questions” can really make someone feel comfortable completely educating themselves on and about your business.
IT WONT TAKE YOU 50 YEARS…
Many of these things I notice seem very simple. That is, the concepts are simple but applying them can take a little bit of thinking and head scratching. You would be hard pressed to not be able to learn from most of these tips, no matter what business you are in though!
The Disney money machine was not made overnight. But we can benefit from their almost 50 years of experience! Maybe making a tangible plan can help you to do so. Writing concepts down on paper make them more actionable than say, bookmarking this page and forgetting about it!
Write it down, make a plan and then start to implement. Even if it takes a year or two to get these things going, it will happen much sooner if you write it down and take that first step! And that can make for some very happy customers, in a very short amount of time! Such as myself and my family are after visiting Disney World in Orlando Florida! And it is no coincidence that within 24 hours of getting home from Disney my wife is already making plans to go back this year! They did their job well, we are hooked on good service 🙂