While on a mini-vacation to the "happiest place on earth," I began looking at every aspect of Disneyland as a learning opportunity to improve my business. Why is it that Disneyland is "the happiest place on earth," and how can you translate that experience into your startup?
From an employee standpoint to customer perspective, Disneyland is a win-win engagement empire. Here are six helpful hints to get your business to a whole new world, too.
Create an experience worth waiting for. If you're on a visit to Disneyland, you're committed to waiting up to an hour and a half for a single five-minute ride. This is primarily because both the expectation of the experience and the experience itself are unique, engaging and above expectations. Aim for a customer experience that covers those three bases, and you're well on your way.
Manage expectations. At the start of every ride, you're notified how long you can expect to wait. In some cases, wait times are longer than ideal. Have processes in place to help manage how you notify your clients of wait times.
Incorporate happiness. From ride attendants to cashiers, every employee at Disneyland seems to truly believe they are in "the happiest place in the world." On this most recent trip, I noticed that the employees seemed genuinely interested in my happiness, and they were very attentive. This struck me as unusual. And when I asked how they were doing, they responded without hesitation that they love working at Disney. Are your employees showing such love for your company? Are they truly excited to be a part of your business?
Bring experience to life. Every part of Disneyland showcases attention to detail. You feel as if you are really in the magical worlds they created. Employees are dressed appropriately to themes, and there is continuity from rides to landscaping to socks. This is one thing that makes the experience so special. Do your customers have WOW experiences? What sets you apart?
Celebrate the small stuff. It's a celebration at Disneyland at all hours. Are you celebrating? Have you created a fun environment for your employees and customers?
Consistency is key! This is another aspect of managing expectations. When your customers know what to expect, and can trust that their experience will be consistent, it will add to the overall "magic" of working with you. This is paramount for stable, growing, strong business, no matter the market.Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of how fun it can be to have a great business interaction. From the infectious laugh of the barista at the corner coffee shop that makes your latte just a bit sweeter, to the friendly customer service person over the phone, little details make all the difference. Remember that if your customers can trust your word, your product is consistent, and there's a little magic in the experience, you'll transport them to new levels of happiness with you.
Nicole Smartt is the vice-president and co-owner of Star Staffing. She was awarded the Forty Under 40 award, recognizing business leaders under the age of 40. In addition, Nicole co-founded the Petaluma Young Professionals Network, an organization dedicated to helping young professionals strive in the business world.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.