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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, October 14, 2013

What If. . .?

What if the rest of the world had customer service that rivaled Disney’s? 

This is a question I have been asking myself lately as I have bumped into less than stellar customer service in more than one location and, I am missing my happy place. 

But really, what if?  If Disney can provide customer service that meets guests’ needs and sometimes WOWS them, then why can’t other organizations, businesses, etc.?  I know and recognize great customer service when I see it and experience it.  Are others able to do the same? 

The husband tells me that comparing other experiences to Disney may not be fair; that my expectations may be too high.  Hmmm. . .

In a day and age when service and experience are a commodity, I would think investing time and money into customer service would be profitable for a business.

Let’s take a recent example with our internet provider.  Upon waking Saturday morning, the internet was out.  A text message from a neighbor indicated that it wasn’t just us.  A phone call to the company, which announced that I was a “prestige customer” upon receiving my information indicated a cable had been cut about 90 miles away and a significant portion of our state was without internet.  I asked for a credit on my account, which was completed in the amount of time to click a button, and an estimated time of repair.  No information was available.   I phoned 11 hours later, again to inquire about repair time, and still none was available.  What would make this experience even better would be not having to say “customer service” seven times to the voice prompts on the automated answering system or having to verify the same personal information if the call gets transferred to another person.  Oh, how I wish I could help the designers of those systems. . .

Another example is a recent visit to a pumpkin farm; a trip our family takes annually.  The farm changed hands last year, so the jury is still out about whether or not we will continue to make the trip.  A highlight is the pumpkin catapult, which was in pieces when we went by this fall.  I asked and was told that it broke during the summer and they just now ordered the piece to repair it.  They were expecting the part to arrive the day prior, but alas, no luck.  The tractor that pulled the wagon to take us to the field broke down—belt came off—but another tractor and wagon came to get us.  Items had been added to the farm but they either required additional fees or were for younger children—our boy of 10 was too old.  Upon arrival I asked questions about times for their “show” and the lady in the ticket booth couldn’t tell us and we were told to go ask someone else who also couldn’t tell us.  We were told to listen for an announcement.  Really?  This same farm used to publish a “newspaper” of sorts that would be distributed to guests which had lots of information.  Not anymore.  So, the admission price increased, but the service and experience have declined. 

Then there was a visit to a local medical clinic.  While I won’t go into details, my visit prompted a letter detailing how customer service was botched all around in the 30 minutes I was there, including entering our insurance co-pay incorrectly into the computer.  I received an apology and appreciation for giving them the feedback so that they could fix all of the things mentioned in the letter.  I am still shaking my head about that one.

I could go on. . . the cell phone company botching our bill two months in a row that required three phone calls and two visits to the cell phone store, one of which took two hours.

People complain when Disney’s dining reservation system is down or about glitches in the My Disney Experience app or web-site.  I get it; guests at Walt Disney World expect stellar customer service and they get it almost all of the time.  So instead of being complacent when something at Disney isn’t working and comparing it to the rest of the world—which makes Disney look darn good, let’s start comparing the rest of the world with Disney.

My message to the rest of the world:  You better step up your game!  Some 32 million of us appreciate Disney’s customer service so much that we visit annually.  We are now comparing all the rest of our customer service experiences with our Disney experiences.  And, where our heart goes, so goes our money. 

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