‘What Time Is the 3 O’Clock Parade’: Onsite Coverage
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — One of the most common questions asked by visitors to Disney’s theme parks is “what time is the 3 o’clock parade?”
Cast members, which is what employees at Disney are called, can easily roll their eyes, sigh with impatience or give a curt answer. But Kendal Jolly said there’s a much better response.
“What they really want to know is, ‘Where is the best seat to view the parade?’” said Jolly, facilitator with the Disney Institute, the external training division for Disney’s theme parks.
Jolly went on to give responses to the 3 o’clock parade question with suggestions such as arriving a bit early and where to stand so the Disney guest can take the best photos or standing near a shop that has air conditioning or even the closest spot to the train station after the parade is over.
“You’re answering the question but you’re giving them more than they ask for,” said Jolly during a Wednesday morning NACUSO conference session on delivering exceptional service. “What is the single thing that members come to you asking for again and again? How are your employees trained to respond?”
Each year, Disney’s cast of more than 60,000 see more than 50 million guests at its theme parks, according to Jolly.
Disney uses what it describes as a compass approach – needs, wants, stereotypes and emotions, Jolly explained. While customers have needs, it’s more important to address their wants.
“You have to address their wants before they become a need. For your members, what do they need or want from you? Members have needs that they come to you with but their wants are much greater.”
When it comes to stereotypes, how do credit unions drive a member’s emotional experience, Jolly asked attendees. At the beginning of each day at Disney, cast members are extra excited, greeting visitors with statements such as, “Good morning, welcome to the happiest place on earth.”
However, at the end of a long day of Disney rides, lines, and hopping from park to park, visitors are likely exhausted. It’s then that Disney will dim the lights, cast members will lower their voices and the music is slowed down to accommodate those tired guests.
Why make the effort?
“The emotional experience can drive whether folks come back to Disney. We’re making an emotional connection,” said Jolly. “How are you connecting to your members so that there is an emotional connection there?”
Jolly said it’s doing a bit more than what people expect. Rather than going the extra mile, which is something Disney doesn’t do because it takes a lot of time and resources, he pointed out, the company goes that extra inch.
“We give our guests a little more than what they expect."
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