June 8, 2011

Tip of the day—Disney, not everything is going to be magical

oms I’ve been posting tips about Disney for a few days now, and I’ve often spoken about how magical and wonderful the trip as a whole was.  At the same time, I want to remind you that not everything is going to be magical.  A couple of examples are below:

  • We had some problems with housekeeping at our resort hotel.  One night we came home while they were still cleaning and decided to change clothes quickly and head for the pool so that they could finish.  When we returned, we found that our hotel had been left open—the little latch that you use to lock the top of the door was turned out so that the door remained cracked.  Many of our belongings were in the room, and frankly, the whole thing freaked us out a bit.  We promptly called the front desk and explained our alarm.  They were fantastic about it and gave us a free hopper pass to the parks for a future stay that doesn’t expire for many years from now.  They did their best to apologize and keep our business. 
  • We staked out a spot in the Magic Kingdom in front of Casey’s to watch the fireworks.  We were right in front of the taped line and directly behind us was only a light pole and a trashcan.  We sat and waited, and then as the crowds swelled and it became more difficult to see, we stood up.  A woman who must have been behind us started yelling at us for standing up—kind of going a little crazy about the whole thing.  I explained that we had to stand up to see and that we had been waiting there for a long time.  This only seemed to enrage her more.  She said that her son couldn’t see.  I explained that he was welcomed to come and stand in front of me for a better view.  Again, this wasn’t good enough for her, and she continued to berate me loudly and seemed to almost try and get others to join in.  I grabbed one of the cast members and explained how hostile she was being.  He tried to get her to calm down and again reinforced that her son was able to stand in front of me if he wanted.  Once he left, the lady continued, and I was not in the mood to cower and leave.  I tried to ignore her so as to not feed into her behavior.  Later in the show, her mother came and stood right in front of me with the child.  The interesting thing was that was the exact same spot which I had offered to them before!  Moral of the story, sometimes people are going to argue and be ugly just for the sake of doing so.  You aren’t going to make everyone happy and arguing or trying to explain yourself will only make it worse.  What could have been a really fantastic part of the trip turned out to be something that left me feeling angry and frustrated.

Disney does its best to make your experience there a wonderful one, and when something goes wrong, they do what they can to fix it.  They try to anticipate problems and fix them before they become an issue.  Even still, not every part of your trip is going to be 100% magical.  Part of the trick is what you do when faced with a situation that is less than desirable.  Do you let it become your sole focus?  Do you dwell on it and make everyone else miserable talking about it?  Or, do you make a choice to take it in stride and move on?

I’m reading a book called One Minute Service, written by Bruce Loeffler who worked with Disney for years.  My husband recently had the opportunity to meet him and found Mr. Loeffler to be a wealth of information about customer service.  I highly recommend this book, and I suggest that you read it either soon before or soon after your Disney trip.  You’ll find yourself having all sorts of “ah-ha” moments and saying, “I remember them doing that!”   It is a short read and well worth your time.  I started to read the book thinking that it would be helpful to further hone my skills of customer service in the workplace, and I found myself learning and the book reinforcing the importance of using those same tools and techniques with family and friends.  To learn a little more about the book and Mr. Loeffler’s approach to customer service, read more at his website.

You’ll learn from the book that Disney really does try to make your trip the best it can be.  Somehow just that knowledge makes me feel even happier that we chose to go to Disney!

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