Pixie Dust & Profits | Small Business Podcast for Disney Lovers

Episode 69: How To Avoid Business Meltdowns (Transcript)

Oct 4, 2022

How do you manage your expectations as a business owner?

One of the hardest parts of owning your own business is managing expectations of, well, everything. Clients, team members, employees, contractors, our family, even ourselves! 

What does this have to do with Disney? At the end of the day, each trip to Disney should be planned like a project in your business. You need to go into it with a strategy and goals! 

Kids and Clients Can Be Similar

How does a Disney trip with the kids relate to working with adults in the business world? Well, sometimes clients are just like children. They have unrealistic expectations about what’s possible. 

That doesn’t mean we don’t love our clients! But it does mean that we have to approach client work the same way we approach a trip to Disney to ensure everything goes smoothly: plan, plan, plan, PLAN. 

Manage Expectations

Once you’ve got a great plan in place, you need to set expectations with your clients. Setting those expectations up front, just like you would with your kids, means everyone’s clear on the possibilities and what’s supposed to happen. 

Have Realistic Goals

For every new project, you need to set goals for both yourself and the client. Make sure they have realistic expectations before they even begin working with you, as that will save you a ton of headaches down the line. 

Know the End Goal

One of the things that Disney does incredibly well is approaching every new project with the end goal in mind — and knowing their audience.

They have different campaigns for different audiences. Some of their audience (like us) are die-hard fans who will buy anything. But there are others who are going to need more warming up. They need to be sold on the benefits of joining the Vacation Club. 

The campaigns Disney is going to run to us versus the colder audience are going to look vastly different. Community and connection is the basis of everything Disney does, and that marketing tactic has made them billions. 

We love breaking down topics like this for you guys! If you’d like to keep up the magic everyday of the week, follow us on Instagram at @pixiedustandprofits

Transcript

Intro (00:01):
Pixie dust and profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:25):
Welcome to another episode of pixie, dust and profits. I’m Yasine

Nicole (00:30):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
And today we’re gonna talk all about managing your expectations. Now I’m gonna bring up a topic that might be a little controversial, but if you’re a parent with little ones or have been to Disney and have seen parents and little ones, you’ve probably witnessed a scenario where the child is having a meltdown for one reason or another might be too hot. They might not wanna wait in line. They wanna see Mickey and Mickey’s not available. And the parent is like insistent that they carry on with their day to make the most of their magical experience. And Hey, you can’t blame them. Can you, I mean, we’ve talked about this Disney is not cheap, but it is, you know, a bit of a premium experience, especially with prices increasing more and more every day. And if you are going there for that once in a lifetime trip, or like once every like several years, you’re gonna wanna make the most of it, right?

Yasmine (01:32):
You’re not gonna wanna have to spend half your day at the hotel room, which is what I did recently. When I went to Disney world with my daughter, I shared this experience on a previous episode, we took her to Disney for her very first time. It was in may, it was hot. And we honestly spent maybe two to four hours at the parks each day, despite paying for tickets for myself, my husband and my mom who came to help us out. And, you know, after a certain point, like we had to head back to the hotel room to cool things down. And the reason why I feel like I still got a lot of enjoyment out of the trip was because I went in there setting the expectation that she is the one running the show that my daughter is gonna be the one who dictates where we go when we go and we’re gonna have to play by her rules, because if I dragged her along and made her wait in every single line so we can get all those character photos, it would’ve been a nightmare for everyone. And I have to add that. I’m very lucky that we were able to make that decision because we go back to Disney like almost every year. So I knew that there’d be future years for those experiences.

Nicole (02:41):
I saw a post recently that said, I’m back for my child’s vacation. And so now I need my vacation. because you know, you sit around and take care of them all day vacation. Yep. And you know, even if you only have one Disney trip and that’s your one and only I think going in knowing the expectations of your family, your children, yourselves, and having some goals in mind is always a good thing. So it’s, it’s funny to think about planning a vacation as if you’re planning a project in your business, but you can actually go to pixiedustprofits.com. And we have a page that’s like, if you’re planning a trip, keep these things in mind. And we’re like, strateg, you need strategy. you need to think about what your goals are. And so, even though my child is older, we go into our Disney trips saying, what’s the one thing each of us wants to make sure we do.

Nicole (03:36):
We each get to make sure that we have one thing. And, um, in that way we know we will get to toy story mania. That’s your one thing. Mom really wants to try the new, making a mini runaway train. Can we try that one? And so when we’re in line for that, it’s not an argument between anyone or not a meltdown because it’s, I, you waited for the thing I wanted. I’m waiting for the thing you wanted. And that helps us a bit. We also, you know, leave the parks early and go back to our room and relax because none of us wanna be stressed out on vacation. Mm-hmm , um, I fully respect other people have different ways of, of traveling and ways of handling the situation with their kids. But you know what, the reason we’re talking about this is cuz sometimes your kids can be like your clients, right?

Nicole (04:19):
They have temper tantrums, they have meltdowns, they have unrealistic expectations. They seemingly wine or have some sort of red flag risk come up at the worst moments. So, um, that’s really where we’re going with with this. So if you wanna have, you know, quote unquote successful Disney vacation, thinking about, okay, what are the most important parks? We actually just went through this process in planning for pixie dust live. We started thinking about, okay, well the last pixie dust live, what did we do? Where did we go? How did that go over? Where should we go this time? You know, what are the highlights we should hit? Because we know, we know we can’t absolutely hit everything, especially when we’re gonna be leaving to do masterminding in the rooms and things like that. So, um, we sat down and thought about what are the expectations we should set for people.

Nicole (05:10):
And it’s, you know, this day we’re going to run around and eat in this particular park. And the expectation is that you have fun versus another day where we’re like, oh, we’re going to actually look at this particular ride so we can understand the elements of it and go from there about how we apply these things to our business. So there’s thought that goes into every single type of trip that we take. And again, setting those expectations is really important because when you don’t, you don’t have them to fall back on or to look to when things start getting squirrly. I think we can all relate to that in the middle of a launch or a new product, or even accidentally posting something on social media that went in the wrong direction and you have to like go through the muddy waters and figure it out. Right. So if we know what our expectations are, we can always look at what’s happening and say, okay, what were the goals again? Let let’s, let’s try and course correct and get back toward those.

Yasmine (06:08):
And sometimes the goal setting in itself needs a little bit of expectation management, right? Nicole, like think about a Disney trip. All you see are the highlights on Instagram, on Disney’s, um, marketing, it’s all magic, it’s all fun. So when you go and you know, things are a little hard, it’s like, where’s the magic, this wasn’t the trip that we were supposed to have. You’re not supposed to be crying. You’re supposed to be like at this restaurant right now and with clients and businesses and even customers, sometimes a lot of the time they go into any project or purchase with certain expectations in mind. And um, they cuz they see, you know, another competitor or another type of business doing X, Y, and Z or you know, there’s someone telling them that this is the type of business that they should have. Yeah. You can make six figures easily with barely having to work.

Yasmine (06:58):
And as people behind the scenes, we know that is not the case. There’s a lot that goes into hitting six figures a year at minimum, right? So there are difficult conversations we have to have with clients sometimes about the goals that they can expect to hit based on their individual circumstances. Right? You can expect to have a million dollar launch if you don’t have, you know, the appropriate list size or the ad spend to sort of invest in getting there. And even then a million dollar launch can be expensive. Again. For some people, it might be easier. There’s so many variables that go into place and every business is nuanced and unique. And you have to take that into consideration before you set goals. I’m not trying to sound like do and glue. You can hit like great goals in your business, but you can’t hit goals based on what someone else who has not looked at your business says you can do.

Nicole (07:49):
Yeah. And I’ll say that right now, I’ve had this conversation with so many people where they’re looking at the results they’re getting from, whether it’s like an evergreen campaign or some launch that they’re trying to run. And they’re like, why isn’t this doing as well as it used to, or I hear people who are getting these results and I’m not getting those results. And again, we talk about this all the time about looking at your unique business and the industry that you’re in and resetting people because most of the time my clients are actually doing really well, but they’ve anchored themselves. Their education is completely out of, I don’t wanna say completely out of reality, but kinda it is kind of in the land of pixie dust. And so when I go to them and I say, Hey, okay, let me say, you see what you’re saying, but then I’m gonna go back and I’m gonna do some math and I’m gonna come back and say, oh, your conversion, rate’s actually 2.4%, which sounds like a really low number. But when the average is 2%, you’re doing well and it’s only day one, we still have six more days to go. So don’t worry yet. Don’t get so concerned about what the results will be. If you know that you have done it strategically, intentionally absolutely pivot. There are absolutely times where in the middle of something, you need to think, okay, you know what? Something’s not resonating here. Let me find the thing that is and throw that into the mix. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not successful.

Yasmine (09:10):
Like for example, it’s really important to set the type of goal and the related outcome that you wanna achieve. Sometimes you’ll do specific initiatives just to grow your list. Other times it’ll be conversion based and the way that you go about it really differs. So if you’re going into a project looking to increase your audience size, focusing on the potential like revenue, maybe generating the back end of the offer that you’ve created can be detrimental because that’s not what you originally set it up. That’s not what you originally set your project up for. And switching goals. Midway can sometimes be a really hard and difficult pivot to make because so much forethought goes into how you set up your launch, your initiatives and your planning.

Nicole (09:59):
Yeah. I would say that for that, you know, there are times where your launches quote, I say quote launches, cuz I think of a launch as anything new. That’s like getting out into the world, not necessarily like a sales campaign. And so there are times where you’re just trying to, like you said, build your audience. Um, if you have followed us for a while, you know that the happy ever crafter is one of our clients. And so she does something every about eight months. It’s show me your drills. You can go to show me your drills.com and find it. She teaches people calligraphy. And so while we’re doing gearing up for a new session of the free show me your drills, we need to bring in new people to the audience who haven’t heard about it before. So a month or two, before we start launching things, to get people interested, get people knowing about modern calligraphy and that anyone can do it and you don’t need pretty handwriting.

Nicole (10:49):
So those are things that happen well before the actual like sales launch. These, this is like marketing launch where we’re just trying to bring in new, new people to the mix. And so if we went into things, thinking that they were traffic generating launches, new audience generating launches, and we are trying to find people like colder people who have never heard of us before, or maybe follow someone who follows us, that’s a completely different approach in how you talk to that person, how long you nurture that person, how much you need to tell them about who you are and what you do versus a launch where someone already knows who you are. And they already feel like they, they know the types of products you sell. And you’re like saying, okay, you’ve been here. You know, you know who I am, you know what I do come on, let’s work together.

Nicole (11:38):
And you’re like sell, sell, sell. Those are two completely different approaches. And so when you go into something thinking it’s a like value based relationship generator, building trust, building relationship, everything you make is gonna be completely different than something that’s meant for selling. And so if you try to change mid-course to be both, you’re gonna end up not doing great on either side mm-hmm . And so it’s really important to set those expectations early on, remind yourself of the expectations you had and measure your results against the expectations and goals that you set. Those other results you got are just icing on the cake mm-hmm . So if you went into it saying, I wanna bring in a hundred new people to our email list and you brought in 105 new people to your email list. Guess what? You hit your goal. If you made some sales, that’s just icing on the cake.

Yasmine (12:31):
Yeah. You’re not in the sales phase of that launch. So now you have those a hundred people on your list. You can get into the nurturing phase where you will generate like additional revenue by selling your products, but not from that initial like list building or audience growing initiative.

Nicole (12:46):
So Disney does this obviously where they have different campaigns for different audiences. They have the like more warm up stuff, clearly Yasmin and I are on the list of just sell them the sell email because they know that they don’t need to nurture us anymore. But for example, if you are a Disney vacation club member, and I’m not sure if you’re a member in Canada, if you get this, but if you’re a member in the United States, you get Disney files. And it’s a magazine that we get every month and it just has different articles and things that are going on new restaurants to try things that are getting reimagined. Um, some news on the vacation club, resort front, and always advertisements to buy into the next hotel that they have. But this is like a value generator, right? It’s keeping them top of mind, keeping them available for you.

Nicole (13:33):
The goal of Disney files is not to sell maybe indirectly to sell more vacation club points at the newest building. It’s mostly to be a value builder, remind people that they’re there and show them all the cool new things and why they should continue being a member and tell friends about it. If someone goes and buys another contract, that’s icing on the cake, this is a value nurture makes you feel like you got your money’s worth by joining this exclusive community. Those are the goals of that campaign. And if they started measuring how Disney files is doing, but in basis of did the person purchase a vacation club, addition to their membership, it’s not gonna look successful. I would bet it’s not gonna look as successful as you know, the fact that I’m even talking about this magazine I get every month. And sometimes they give us little, you know, artworks that we can pull out and put on our wall and just little things to keep the magic alive. These are like the pixie dust things. So

Yasmine (14:30):
Yeah. It’s connection. Right. And right. Yeah. What, what they also do, like you sort of talked about was by sharing different Disney experiences or things that are coming up, it gets you going back and Disney still profits off of that. Because even if you’re using your Disney vacation club, um, hotel room that you’ve already prepaid for, chances are you’re spending money at restaurants. You’re going into the parks, you’re getting merch. They have DBC exclusive merch that they advertise in that all the time. So, you know, like Nicole said, it might not directly result in conversions to adding onto your membership. There’s still some other benefits that they get from that. But most importantly, it’s that community and connection that they’re able to build.

Nicole (15:11):
Right? And I mean, they do like feature articles about things like the rhino or the elephant backstage experiences at animal kingdom. And you might not even know that exists, but now you do. And you might add that onto your stay. So there’s definitely experiences like this. And you know, how do we tie this back to our customer experience? Cuz we’re, we’ve been talking a lot about customer experience this season and just knowing what your goals are ahead of time working toward those goals, staying on the path, your customers will have a least chaotic experience. Mm-hmm because if you start switching back and forth between like, oh, I’m gonna give people free things. So that way they can come in and then I’m selling them something really hard. And then you go back to the free things and you’re going back and forth and back and forth.

Nicole (15:56):
And you don’t think about the relationship with them as a relationship that grows and gets deeper and more impactful. It’s gonna start feeling jarring to that person. And so always keep in mind what you’re doing and how that looks to someone who might be new to you and your biggest fans. So if you look at everything from those two lenses, before you do it, you might actually wanna start segmenting your email list, which is a more advanced marketing topic that we’ve talked about a little bit here and there. But when you, if you have a message that needs to go to two different people who follow you very similar, but you need to make some tweaks. That’s where you might wanna segment, okay. People who just joined me in the last four or five months, I don’t wanna talk to them that way. It’s really important to think about the goals and what you, what you want to achieve with anything you do, but especially with anything involving your customers and your audience, cuz you don’t want them throwing a temper tantrum. And that being their core memory of Disney

Yasmine (16:56):
No, you do not.

Nicole (16:58):
So thanks for joining us today. We got into a bunch of different topics here, but if there’s nothing else that you remember from it, set your goals, revisit your goals and stay on the path. Trust yourself, trust your past self to know what you needed back then. Uh, thanks for joining us today. If you don’t already follow us @pixiedustandprofits, go ahead and do that on Instagram and on TikTok though, we don’t publish there. As often as I know we want to we’ll see you next week

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 69: How To Avoid Business Meltdowns

Oct 4, 2022

Managing your client’s expectations can be a day job in and of itself.  In this episode of Pixie Dust and Profits, we’re talking about how Disney does this so well and how we can do the same in our own businesses! 

Download Episode 69 transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 68: Cast Members Going Above and Beyond (Transcript)

Sep 20, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie dust and profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yasmine Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Nicole (00:26):
Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode of pixie dust and profits. I’m Nicole

Yasmine (00:32):
And I’m Yasmin,

Nicole (00:33):
And we are here talking about the above and beyond magical engagements that you have with cast members at Disney world. So we’re going to share a couple of our favorite stories of memorable moments with different cast members in different roles. And then we’re gonna give you a couple of business lessons on how you can better interact with your customers. So that way they can feel magical too. So, um, what inspired this episode is a recent trip I was on. If you’ve listened to the last episode, you know, that I got COVID on that trip. So things went a little by the wayside, but before that happened, um, some of you may know that my mother is disabled. She has very low impaired vision. She has a condition called usher syndrome. I share that in case anyone out there has it and wants to know they’re not alone.

Nicole (01:23):
It’s a very rare condition, but essentially it makes it really difficult for her to see and dim lighting. And, um, just, she doesn’t always see objects that are in front of her, especially things that are low to the ground. So she does use a walking cane. She is very independent. So sometimes she tries not to use the walking cane and I have to remind her of mom. You have that for a reason. Um, but one day my husband, my kid and I, we went to Hollywood studio. She stayed behind at the hotel and I guess she decided to go for a walk and go to the lobby at the hotel, just to check it out, see the different paintings and sculptures and all of the things that every Disney resort has to make it unique and fun. And she’s went to the store to just see what kind of merchandise they had, and you could also get snacks and lunch and things like that.

Nicole (02:13):
So we came back and she was telling me the story about how nice they were in the lobby and how one of the cast members like helped her walk around the store and took her arm to make sure she wouldn’t bump into anything. And just really was very kind and supportive and didn’t make her feel like they were going out of their way to help her, which, um, if you can imagine having a condition like this, you know, when you’re putting someone out or when you’re inconveniencing someone and she very much doesn’t ever want to ask anyone for help, she wants to do it on their, on her own. And so, um, it really meant a lot that my mom was gushing about how she felt like she was valued and just got the support that she needed in that moment without asking for it and without being condescended to. So, um, that’s one magical moment about, um, I think in general, how disability friendly Disney world is and how patient their workers are with a lot of situations, because as you know, there all walks of life come through Disney world. And so they have probably seen everything under the sun that you can imagine, and they’re just really patient, no matter what your situation may be. So I, I just give them kudos for being able to maintain the level of calm they can, especially in the last two years where I’m sure it’s been rough.

Yasmine (03:38):
I’ve also had some magical experiences at Disney. Um, two, in fact, it happened recently. Um, the first one being when I took my daughter to Disney world for the very first time, you know, this has been a trip that I have been planning since she was like pretty young. She’s still pretty young, but, um, basically as soon as I was able to like take her Disney, I had planned the trip. And of course, you know, with COVID, we’ve constantly had to cancel and reschedule. So finally on a whim, I was actually supposed to go Disney with Nicole back in may, but she was unable to go and I decided to turn to a little family trip. So I took my daughter, my husband and my mom, and all my daughter could talk about she’s about two and a half. At this point was meeting goofy.

Yasmine (04:19):
She was so excited to meet goofy. So we did some of the character dinings because it was really hot we’re Canadian and you know, us and like, you know, may heat in Florida don’t go well together. So I knew she wouldn’t really deal well with staying in line too much to meet character. So I went the character dining route, and when she met goofy and melted into him that sweet cast member, let my daughter hug him for, I would say about a minute, minute and a half. He, he just waited for her to be done, which, you know, when they have to go around and meet a bunch of different like tables and stuff, like I knew that they were going that little bit of an extra mile to let her have that moment. And it, I think it was a core memory for us, a core memory for her, but the way my little one just melted into goofy.

Yasmine (05:08):
And I said to goofy, she has been waiting all trip to meet you. And he sort of signaled to me that like he was waiting all trip to meet her as well, which, you know, listed another awe for us and from the two tables around us. Like everyone just loved that moment. And, you know, for a little one, like meeting these characters, that’s such a big deal. And I’m just so grateful that like the Disney, um, characters, not, not the cast members behind them, cuz of course they’re real really take that moment to make those, um, experiences extra special. So that was such a sweet memory that I will never, ever forget. And I myself have been, um, engaged with quite pleasantly, um, at Disney. In fact, when we went to Bubash for the first Pix and profits live for the party, Nicole and I dressed up as the fairy godmother from Cinderella because we were, of course everyone’s fairy business godmother.

Yasmine (06:05):
And I unfortunately had to bail on that, um, event halfway through because my feet were not happy the first day when we went to Disney, I think my shoes got a little wet. And um, essentially like I got like the worst blisters on the very first day. And this was like the second last day of the trip and my dogs were barking. Um, so I ended up leaving early and as I was leaving, one of the cast members, um, turned to me and said, oh, has the clock struck 12 for you as well, fairy godmother. And it’s such a simple thing for them to acknowledge the fact that I was dressed up as fairy godmother and to make that little like joke, but it made me so happy. And so giddy as you know, like a 35 year old woman at the time. Um, and it just like left such a lasting impression and they really do keep the magic alive, whether you’re little or, you know, in your mid thirties as I was. Um, so that made the trip a little, um, special for me too, to just have that moment. And it was just, you know, a cast member commenting on my costume and doing so in a really funny way.

Nicole (07:09):
It it’s just one of those things that I think they get to have fun with too. Mm-hmm and you know, they probably stay fairy godmother costumes, and they know, they know that if you’re wearing that, you want the reaction, you want to be acknowledged, you wanna have fun. And they do it in such a kind and respectful way. And I honestly cannot think of a single moment where I’ve had a bad cast member interaction. Um, obviously there are neutral ones where, you know, you’re checking out, but even then they’re still very friendly, but I can tell you off the top of my head, the bad, um, I don’t call, they don’t call them cast members at universal, but the bad interaction I had with someone there, cuz it stuck out because it’s just not common. And I think that it just goes to those core values that they teach their employees and what the brand is all about and that you live and breed the brand while you have that cast member tag on.

Nicole (08:05):
And probably while you have it off too. So I’ve shared this story before, but it is a core memory for us as well. It was in the pre COVID days. You know, it was actually on the flight home was when they were talking about a mysterious illness overseas. And um, it was my dad’s birthday. My dad does not usually come on these trips. So it was a big deal that he came like the whole family was there. My brother, my mom and dad. And so it was his birthday and we ordered his favorite character, Donald duck. We ordered a Donald’s duck cake from the boardwalk bakery. So me and my son went to go pick it up at the lobby and it was January, it was extremely cold for Florida. It was maybe 40. I remember one of the days of that trip rise of the resistance had just opened.

Nicole (08:57):
And me and my husband were there at like five in the morning, six in the morning to, you know, try and get our spot. And it was about 45 degrees. It was so cold. It might have even been lower than that. I can’t even remember. I just remember freezing and I’m from Maine . So, um, anyway, we went to go pick up his cake, very cold outside. We went to the lobby to get ice cream because you can’t have cake without ice cream. And the cast member was like, wow, ice cream. This is the first time I’ve seen this bot today. And we said, yeah, you know, it’s grandpa’s birthday and we have a cake, so we need ice cream and you have candles anywhere. And she was like, oh my goodness, happy birthday. She pulled out some candles from somewhere. I don’t even know I was like in their drawer.

Nicole (09:43):
And then she walked me over to the lobby or told me about in the lobby, you can go ask someone and maybe you can get a balloon. And so I walked over to the lobby. I told them what was going on and they told me, oh, just wait a minute. We’ll see what we can do. I’ll look in the back. They come out like five, 10 minutes later and they have a set of balloons and they have a card signed by Mickey. It was just like a picture of Mickey in front of the castle. And Mickey had signed it and said happy birthday. And it was just, you know, I ordered a cake and I came out with a party and it was amazing. It was awesome. Walked back to the room with this balloon and cake and ice cream. And we had a blast.

Nicole (10:19):
It just sticks out to me as like, you know, if I hadn’t had that interaction with the cast member being friendly about asking why I’m buying ice cream, which is, you know, just chit chat, the whole story wouldn’t have come out and we wouldn’t have gotten to the balloons and the cake and all of that stuff. So I just think it’s something so sweet that I didn’t have to have happened. And it is a core memory and it was just a little bit of, it was just a balloon and, and a cart. Right. so I think they do a great job with just understanding the situation or reading the room. And mm-hmm, this kind of goes back to what Yasmin was talking about with the characters at the character dining. I’ve done many character dinings. Um, we have one in particular that we like to do every trip and the characters are very smart about knowing which tables they really need to spend a couple extra minutes at and which ones they can kind of like wave and walk along.

Nicole (11:13):
Um, even during C when character dining was a little bit different where they basically removed tables and they had this like squared off section that the character could stand in the middle of, they did a great job of making sure they were like doing poses at every table. So you could get a picture of them. Um, and not, they weren’t just like standing there and you couldn’t do anything. So I think they’re really observant of the situation and how to interact with everyone. So what does that mean for your business? Like how can you be more aware of the situation that your customers or potential customers or followers are in and how can you interact more with them? Well, one of the things

Yasmine (11:53):
That we experienced was the fact that every single of these interactions left us feeling acknowledged and left us feeling, uh, you know, noticed. So if you have a business, especially if you have one where you have, like, whether you have like a hundred followers or like, you know, a million, um, often you’re engaging with your customers on social media. So are you taking the time to actually go back through those comments and respond back to people? I mean, one example I was telling Nicole, as we were playing this episode is there’s this, um, embroider who I’m absolutely like obsessed with her work. Um, she’s at needle or thread on Instagram and she just makes the most beautiful fabric collages. And every time I comment on her post, she will like respond back and acknowledge me. And it just like makes me feel special and more engaged and involved with her work and her success because she’s taking that time. So one takeaway there is when people are commenting, you know, try to respond within one business day. I know if you have a ton of comments, it might not be possible to respond to every single person, but taking some time to respond back to your fans and customers goes a long way in building brand loyalty.

Nicole (13:04):
Yeah. And I’ll add to that, that responding in a timely manner. And I am not a proponent of, you know, instantly reply to anything that comes your way. I think there should be boundaries mm-hmm , but one business day I think is reasonable. And even if you don’t have the answer to their question, if they asked a question or whatever it may be, you can still reply and say, you know what? I hear you, this is a great question. I need to do a little bit more research. And that goes a really long way cuz they were acknowledged, they were listened to. And you said exactly what you would do next.

Yasmine (13:34):
Or like, you know, if it’s something that you want to respond to, but you can’t in that moment, this happens a lot like on TikTok, like I’ll get comments on posts and it’s something that I wanna create a video on, but I can’t, I’ll just pop in and say, Ooh, that’s great. I’m gonna create a video on that soon. Which again, doesn’t, you know, hold me to a specific timeline, but allows me, you know, within a week or so to get back to them with a more detailed response of their question plus it’s content ideas.

Nicole (13:59):
Now, when you’re thinking about things like from the inbox perspective, or this could even happen on social, but the comments on social will tend to be a little more higher level. But I always think like sometimes people will send in a question, if you can anticipate the question that would happen before or after that you can add so much more into your reply to that person. So for example, if someone emails in asking a question and we sometimes have a blog post that answers that question, we can say, here we go, here we go. This is what you would do. We have more information about this here and this blog, but I also think that you might li like this related content and obviously we make that more punchy and fun and more conversational depending on what it is. But if you can give a couple more resources or anticipate what their other questions or hesitations might be, it’s just another way for them to feel like, oh, you heard me, you saw me and you supported me.

Nicole (14:53):
And those are all things that make you feel that you are valued and respected. Um, you know, I was just thinking about one time my husband collects pins from Disney and he wanted this Christmas pin from the Christmas party. We had gone to the Christmas party, but they were sold out. And so he asked a cast member like, is there any chance, like we went to this, I, they just didn’t have the pin. I really want that pin. And they went down into the storage areas, which are actually underneath the stores and magic kingdom to try and find that and did not. But then later on in the week we did find one, but those little interactions like that, like you don’t have to go down into the store, dare to find anything she could have said, you know, all we have is what’s behind the, the desk here and left it at that.

Nicole (15:40):
But she didn’t. And so think about that when you are replying to someone’s email or their DM and say, you know what? I actually have something that you might be interested in. Let me send it to you. Whether it’s your own content and resources or somewhere else mm-hmm because even if you’re sending them to somewhere else, as long as it’s like not a direct competitor, it’s still, oh, like they’re a helpful person. They’re gonna come back to the helpful person. And so I just think it’s important to, um, not just answer the question being asked.

Yasmine (16:08):
So we’re wondering what are ways that you try to help your customers and fans be seen? Um, you know, how do you sprinkle some of that magic in your business? Be sure to follow us on Instagram and tell us in the comments or send us a DM. We’d love to hear from you. We’re at @pixiedustandprofits on Instagram. And if you want more great business ideas from us, be sure to get your free business bundle. It’s at magic.pixiedustandprofits.com. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll see you real soon. Bye bye.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 68: Cast Members Going Above and Beyond

Sep 20, 2022

You know how going to any Disney property is absolutely magical? It’s all thanks to the amazing cast members! 

So today, we thought we’d extend the lessons of that podcast and talk about some times that cast members went above and beyond their duties for us… and how you can apply that to your own business! 

Making my mom feel seen

As many of you know, Nicole’s mom is disabled. 

She can’t see very far and uses a cane to get around. So, one day on our vacation, my husband, child, and I went to Universal Studios. Mom couldn’t come as it was too much walking for her. She stayed behind and took a little stroll around the resort. By the time we got back, she was absolutely glowing with how kind the cast members had been to her. They walked her around, were supportive, and made sure to go out of their way to let her know that they NEVER felt inconvenienced. 

That experience alone meant so much. They showed my mom how valued she was as a person, customer, and disabled person. 

Goofy meets sweetheart! 

Recently, I (Yasmine) took my daughter to Disney World for the first time. I’d scheduled it right before COVID, and then of course the next two years were spent running through cancellation after rescheduling after cancellation. 

When we were finally able to go, I took my husband, daughter, and mom. All my daughter could talk about was how excited she was to meet Goofy. When she finally met Goofy, she absolutely melted into him. And that sweet cast member let her hug him for as long as she wanted. 

That was an absolute core memory for all of us. I said to Goofy that she had been waiting the whole trip to meet him, and he signaled that he had been, too! 

How you can use this philosophy

The good interactions make the bad ones stick out.

When you run a business as magical as Disney and create experiences that your customers will remember for the rest of their lives, there’s more than one benefit. The first is, of course, that you create loyalty in your customers. 

But the second is that when your customers have bad interactions elsewhere, those interactions stick out. So, how can you apply these lessons to your business and make sure you have good interactions with customers?

Read the room: This is one of the things Disney does so well. The characters and cast are extremely smart about paying attention to customers’ spoken and unspoken needs. When they do character dining, they intuitively know which tables they need to spend a few extra minutes at. 

Even during COVID, when character dining was completely off, they still made sure to do poses and give you great opportunities to take photos.

Acknowledge them: Every single positive interaction that we remember had one thing in common: we left that interaction feeling acknowledged. The most important thing you can do for your customers is to make them feel acknowledged and seen.

When people comment on your post, try to respond to as many as you can, as quickly as you can. And definitely try to respond in a timely manner!

Try to anticipate needs: When you can preemptively anticipate your customers’ needs and direct them to more resources, you’re giving them that additional level of service that makes them feel seen, heard, and supported. 

—-

These are all things that make your customers feel valued and respected. Go the extra mile and do above and beyond service. Yes, you don’t HAVE to do it. But I promise you, when you go further for your clients and customers, they will remember it and, more importantly, come back to you! 

We’d love to know… how do you sprinkle the Disney magic in your business? We’d love to hear from you! 

If you want more great ideas from us, we’d love to gift you our free business bundle! See you next week!

Download Episode 68 transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 67: That Time I Got COVID at Disney World (Transcript)

Sep 6, 2022

Intro (00:01):
Pixie dust and profits is a podcast for small business owners who love Disney and want to sprinkle some of that magic onto their own businesses. Join your host, Nicole Boucher, and Yaman Spencer. As they explore the mouse’s $12.6 billion operation and break down exactly how you can apply these big scale concepts to your own business.

Yasmine (00:26):
Hello and welcome to season six of pixie dust and profits. I’m Yasin

Nicole (00:32):
And I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:33):
And I can’t believe that this is our sixth season of getting together and talking about Disney magic and business canal.

Nicole (00:41):
I know, right. It feels like we were just in a hotel room, even thinking about this idea and we’re six seasons in now, and it’s so exciting and honestly is the most fun part of my week to get to do some pixie dust stuff.

Yasmine (00:54):
I mean, we get to get together and basically nerd out about Disney. I can’t imagine anything more fun than that. so we have so many interesting things to talk about this season. Um, I’m not gonna spoil too much about what’s coming up, but I will say that this summer was packed with a lot of changes at Disney, from a business level. And you know, there’s some things we just like, couldn’t wait to talk to you about, we brushed upon them in our summer series, which if you haven’t listened to, we revisited some of our most popular episodes and updated them with new perspectives on how Disney was approaching a topic. Um, so make sure you go back and download those if you haven’t heard those, but for today’s episode, I think we’re gonna talk about, um, a very memorable experience. One of us had at Disney world recently, and that person is Nicole. You know, I, I remember it clear as day. So Nicole was at Disney world with her family and it’s not uncommon for her to send me messages. Like we do that. Like we go Disney world. We share like the experiences notes, things that we observed, this all inspires episode ideas for the show. But this message, this one, this one surprised me, Nicole, why don’t you tell us what happened?

Nicole (02:07):
Yeah. So to set the stage a little bit from the business perspective, if you’re anything like our clients, the customers who purchase from our clients or the women in our profitable and productive party membership this summer spent a little bit weird. I don’t know if it’s because it’s like two years after the pandemic started. People are like trying to live life, but things still aren’t right. Or it’s the first summer where we feel like we can live again, but you really still can’t. Um, so things are kind of all over the place. There’s obviously inflation and lots of things going on politically that also run into all of this. And so I guess our vacation was just along the same lines. So backstory being, we were supposed to go to Disney world in January for a couple of days. My, um, family had some medical emergencies and other things going on that we, we, we couldn’t go.

Nicole (03:00):
And so promised my child that I would reschedule. We rescheduled for after the school year ended. And we made it a big trip. Honestly, the, the longest trip I have ever had, I had a really long trip unexpectedly before when flights got canceled, but this was the longest plan trip we had. And it was gonna be 10 days. And we were actually gonna go to universal, which I haven’t done since my honeymoon, 12 years ago. And my kid had never been. And so we were gonna go to universal and then we were gonna go on to Disney world. So we went to universal, we went to discovery Cove, which is a sea world property, which was amazing. We had so much fun. Um, and then you can see where this is going. I’m sure I got like, I lost my voice Friday morning. So probably like fourth day into the trip.

Nicole (03:48):
I was like, you know what? I was going on some roller coasters. I was screaming all last night, not a big deal. Um, we wore masks everywhere. We wore masks on the plane. We wore masks in line. It was a hundred degrees in Florida. We did all of the things to, um, avoid getting COVID. We haven’t had it up to that point. We hadn’t had it at all since the pandemic started that we knew of. So we were really knocking on wood. Um, and then a couple days later I got a little cough, but it was, you know, a cough every few hours, like nothing alarming. So then I started masking even around my family and the hotel room. I was like, let’s just be safe about this test is negative. Test is negative. Um, by the time Wednesday hit. So about a week into our trip, we got to Disney world.

Nicole (04:29):
It was the transition day of our trip and I was feeling fine. Um, warm mask, absolutely everywhere, indoors rides, everything. And then, um, the next morning I woke up and had like a 99.8 fever, you know, not, it wasn’t even anything alarming, took another test, instant positive. Yay. What do you do now? Um, we were supposed to go to animal kingdom. That is my kids’ favorite park. We had reservations to go to Tusker house, which is one of our traditions. We always go to the character breakfast at Tusker house. When we go to animal kingdom, it’s just something we’ve done since our kid has been little and we have a lot of fun. And so it was really heartbreaking that my kid could not go on his favorite ride or to his favorite park. And, um, you know, we did the right thing. We had a positive test.

Nicole (05:19):
Everyone else was negative. Everyone else wasn’t displaying any symptoms. So we separated me from everybody and we, we called the front desk at Disney and we said, Hey, um, what do we do now? , you know, essentially what, what can we do? We need to either stay longer until we’re, you know, cleared to be able to fly. What, what do we do? And they sent us, um, they said they would call the manager and someone would contact us. So what does that mean? so we waited a little bit and, um, the, the manager, I don’t know their particular title there, but basically they called us and, you know, kind of ran down what the protocol is. They asked us to stay in a room, so we don’t expose any of their staff. Um, essentially I guess the roles were because I was positive. I shouldn’t come into contact with anyone, but those who aren’t displaying symptoms and have negative tests, they were free to go around the Disney resort if they wanted to.

Nicole (06:16):
Um, and so he gave me his direct cell phone. I’m assuming it was a work phone, but I had a direct number to be able to text message. And so we ended up making the decision because we were traveling with someone who had, has very special needs that we were, we got the rest of the family home. We were able to change flights. They all went home, they, and then I had to stay behind. So I was alone staying behind and I was told not to leave my room at all. So I had to text message this number. It felt very strange. It felt very strange for someone who’s used to doing everything themselves for a millennial to, to contact someone and ask for help. So you don’t know it is very uncomfortable, but Disney was so wonderful about it. This gentleman was like, no, I’m more than happy to do this for you.

Nicole (07:02):
You’re keeping our staff safe. And basically what I would do is do a mobile order at the quick service restaurant at my resort. And they would send someone to grab my order and just drop it off, outside my door at my room. And I felt so bad asking just for that, but they were more than happy to do it. They were so kind. Um, I talked to them, um, our tickets because we used one day of our park tickets, technically they would expire. And so we had these park tickets that were going to expire and we couldn’t use the other two or three days on them. So they put new park tickets in our account. It was just a one day park copper for everyone. But it’s something that they absolutely didn’t have to do. And it was just really appreciated. So it was a very crazy set of circumstances.

Nicole (07:55):
And I am glad I did the right thing and let them know. Um, I was obviously bummed to cut our vacation short, uh, especially because, you know, universal was fun. But once we got to Disney, everyone’s moods kind of lifted up. We had a nice big room and at one point my kid, we were walking around. He’s like, it’s just so soothing here. Like Disney feels like home for us. And so, um, all I can say is that it was amazing to have a text message number that I could just, you know, send a message. I didn’t have to call. I didn’t have to do, like, if you’re familiar with Disney, even if you’re calling the front desk, there’s usually like hold times or having to wait for someone to recontact you, they made it so smooth and so seamless for me to like stay in place.

Nicole (08:41):
And, you know, I called them and said, you know, my new flight home is this date. My doctor’s clearing that for me. And they kind of cleared the room for me to be able to stay in that room. I don’t know what their practices are right now. I don’t know if it’s on a case by case basis or how full the resorts are, but they were able to hold my room for a couple extra days. So that way I could, you know, not fly well contagious. And then, you know, I needed some laundry detergent to be able to switch out my laundry. I was fortunately in a room that had laundry in place. And so, you know, they dispatch, um, housekeeping, like not at that right away, but like when they’re on their rounds, they like left a basket outside the door. So I could get like new linens and things like that, so that there was no person to person contact.

Nicole (09:28):
And, um, I just really appreciated that they met made something that was a very difficult situation, so much easier for, for us and for me. And, um, you know, there, isn’t like a crazy business lesson in all of this. And I know this is a really personal story, but I mean, I was messaging Yasin during this. And at one point the most stressful part for me was I had a rental car and I needed to bring the rental car back to the airport on the day I was supposed to have originally left. And, um, my new flight home was like the next day or something like that. And so I’m on the phone with the rental agency for, for ages. I finally get through to someone and they’re like, oh, it’s gonna be like $300 or $380 crazy for the, for the one night. Yeah.

Nicole (10:17):
I remember telling Yasin about it. Mind you, I had only paid like $450 for this 10 day rental. So, um, I was, it was, it was a lot of money to have to pay for just one more night. And, you know, I kind of told them the circumstances and everything, and they were like, oh, well, we’ll send you to the manager. I don’t think that they sent me to the manager. I think that they just put me back in the call queue, cuz the next person I talked to quoted me the exact same amount and didn’t seem to know like the notes from the earlier conversation. And I was just like, well honestly though it would, I could drive this car back to the airport and rent another car from you for $110 and drive back to my hotel and expose a bunch of people to COVID along the way.

Nicole (11:06):
And you like, it would be cheaper for me to do that cuz I mean, I don’t have anything else going on. I can’t go anywhere so, um, it was just a really like, I did not expect to get a dealer or anything, but it was really surprising to me for like a one night extension of the car I already had in my possession was going to be $300 and there was like no wiggle room at all. It was just like, well who, who cares? It’s COVID like you got it, whatever. Um, it was, it, it was very different to get that perspective from the car rental company than Disney, who was like, no, please don’t leave your room. I can’t expose my staff. I mean, that was, you know, they said cast members, but you know, I can’t expose my cast members. We need to keep them safe.

Nicole (11:51):
You know, at one point my kid had painted some pottery, you know, the little things you can do around the resorts and that that pottery has to fire. So you need to go pick it up so I couldn’t pick it up. So I, I texted and I was, or I called him and I was like, I’m so sorry to make you guys do this. But you know, my kid has a train that he painted and he wants to gift to his grandpas there any way that you can like get it sent over from the community center to my room. And they were like, oh my God, I’m so glad you, you guys took park in the community room. It’s so much fun. And they brought it over for us. It was there, like it was on my door like an hour later. Um, so just the juxtaposition of that experience with Disney and the car rental company who kept me on hold for a long time, said they were transferring me to someone who could make an exception who then like didn’t even address any of the situation and quoted me the same amount and didn’t seem to care at all that I was, I couldn’t fly.

Nicole (12:46):
Um, you know, it was just one of those, like I didn’t expect concessions to be made, but it was very nice to have Disney really take care of their cast members and inadvertently like I felt, I felt cared for at a time when I might not have otherwise.

Yasmine (13:04):
Well, what’s really interesting about that is by taking care of you and giving you the resources to actually quarantine, it discourages you from wanting to, you know, take any additional risk because you have to similar to what you talked about with the car rental, right? Like Disney had everything taken care of. So by doing that, they were maintaining a safer space for everybody.

Nicole (13:27):
Yeah. And I mean, the interesting thing too is, I mean, if you’re looking at the business perspective of this, right, they, they treated me well, I feel like I missed out. I didn’t do a lot of Disney guess where I wanna go so badly right now mm-hmm because I did not get to have my animal kingdom day. I did not get to have my galaxy of the guardians attempt. Um, I, I really wanted my family to see harmonious together. Like I really wanna go back mm-hmm and um, I had just taken a trip. I shouldn’t want to have to go back this soon, but because I didn’t get to experience it. And they were so nice to me. Had it been a situation where they were just awful, would I feel like wanting to go back right now and they gave us one day part copper tickets for, um, everyone in our party.

Nicole (14:11):
And you know, that’s also gives you incentive to use the tickets. They’re not gonna expire soon or anything, but they give you that incentive to, to use them and come back. So business wise, I still paid for the room I was in, you know, they still got money that way I already had, um, I have an annual pass. My, my family does not. So, but we had already bought their three day passes or whatever it may have been. Um, but I’ll be back to use the ticket they gave me and because they had a good experience. So I, we talk about this a lot where the customer experience is just, um, I don’t wanna say next level, but it’s a very intentional part of the Disney brand. And J just think about that in your own business, right? When the moments are hard for your customers, like what can you do to alleviate that?

Nicole (15:03):
Um, right now I think we talked about it in our last summer series episode, inflation is crazy. Do you raise your prices? Do you not raise your prices? Like having an understanding and empathy for what your customers are going through, uh, really goes a long way for the long term brand value for how much they spend with you for how much they recommend you. If I had a terrible experience, when I’m out here talking to all my friends or talking to my podcast, they don’t know I have a podcast. If I’m out here talking about my podcast on my podcast about, you know, what this company treated me like crap, when I had COVID do you think that my friends are gonna wanna like partake to go there to, you know, you know what, maybe I’ll just wait for COVID to be done before I go to Disney.

Nicole (15:45):
Right? So there it’s very intentional. My, my in-laws, um, just took a trip and they were there about a week and a half, two weeks ago. And if I had had a really terrible experience, they were a month out from their trip. They still could have canceled without penalty. Those are the repercussions of, um, just one bad experience. And mm-hmm , I, I know that there are people who can say they’ve had a bad experience out of something that really isn’t a big deal. Like we say, with my kid all the time, is this a small problem or a big problem? but, um, you know, legitimately I did not have to call and let them know that I had COVID I did not have to do any of that. I could, I could’ve, I was not sick. I very fortunately knock on wood did not get very sick. I, um, you know, my fam my, um, my husband got a little bit more sick than I did when he ended up getting it, um, you know, a week later, but it was knock good wood. We were good. Um, I could have gone to the parks and not had any clue was I, I wouldn’t say I was asymptomatic. There was like a cough and a lost voice, but it wasn’t, I wasn’t feeling bad in any way. And, um, if I wasn’t, you know, hypervigilant packing six COVID tests, I might not have ever known

Yasmine (16:59):
. I mean, we’re all glad that you did that, right? Because it kept you safe. It kept your family safe and it kept everyone else safe too. So pack COVID tests when you go to Disney, I mean, we all know that they’ve lifted all of the past restrictions or not required, um, to maintain them anymore. And frankly, um, we’re three years into the pandemic. No one really has any restrictions in place, but they

Nicole (17:22):
Were very few masks worn. Yeah. Um, we were the only people wearing masks and I, and the flight I wore and 95, but in the parks, like in line, on the rides, all that, I just had the regular medical grade mask. Yeah.

Yasmine (17:37):
Yeah. But like, uh, it’s so important to like, keep yourself safe. So we talked about, you know, the extra mile, you can go for your customer during a difficult situation. I mean, we deal with that quite a bit in our line of business, Nicole, like, you know, occasionally with a program that one of our clients is offering. Something happens to someone in the middle of that program. And you know, how you react can really impact their loyalty to the brand and the business as a whole, you know, we’ve had instances where halfway through a course, someone lost a family member or had to stop, um, you know, focusing on the course, cuz they have to take care of a really sick family member. And you know, there’s many ways you can go about that. You can give them a refund, but what we’ve often done is if it’s a course that we’re gonna be running again, live in the future, we’ll just ask ’em if they want us to hold their seat and they can go through the entire experience again, free of charge, including joining all of the live coaching calls and things like that.

Yasmine (18:34):
People are really grateful for because you’re giving them that extension. Um, and you’re making space for something that is really important in their lives.

Nicole (18:42):
Then I know we’ve talked about this before, but the contract shop who is, um, one of our clients, they have a no questions asked 14 day refund policy because you’re not a lawyer when you’re buying a contract. You’re like, I think this is what I need, but I’m not sure you buy it. And then you read through it and you’re like, oh, this is a little bit more, this is different than I thought. I think I needed that other one. I was trying to decide on there’s so many people who are graphic designers and social media managers and they don’t know which one to take. And so, um, that refund policy, you know, no questions ask you have 14 days to let us know that you wanna refund is very, um, it strengthens the brand. And I think that people get scared about allowing for refunds, because if you allow for refunds, then clearly you’re losing money. But I think that the opportunity of people feeling safe and secure and that they can trust that they’ll get their money back. If it’s not the right thing has also led to more purchases in this case. So anyway, if you’re looking for a contract template or you need anything like that, if you’re a service provider, if you have a website and you need terms and conditions, you can go to pixiedustandprofits.com/contracts, and it’ll send you right over there with a 20% off code.

Yasmine (19:57):
You know, I’ll share another example of a time where like I personally tried to go the extra mile to maintain, um, you know, customer loyalty and satisfaction. And this is from a mistake that I made. So recently in my, uh, crystal shop lit drift Topo, Carrie, we released our Halloween advent calendars, which I’m super excited about cause who doesn’t like opening up a surprise every day is you count down to Halloween. And after I released them, one of the advent calendars, I realized I didn’t change the price cause I was duplicating the listing. It was supposed to be at a higher amount. I had the price on listing, but not on the actual like product itself. It had the price point of one of the smaller asset calendars that I was offering and someone bought it. And that’s when I realized, oh crap, they got this, but it only cost us much.

Yasmine (20:45):
So I immediately changed it and I had a few options at that point. One was, I could just tell a customer, Hey, um, this was missed price, which I do have in my terms and conditions that, you know, I can cancel in order for any reason and, um, canceled it, giving them the option to either like get a refund or to like repurchase the prompt at the correct price. Or I could have just let it slide and, you know, acknowledged it was my mistake, which it was and the financial impact though it was there. It wasn’t massive because it was one order that went awry. Now this was like, you know, a hundred of them being ordered at the wrong price point before I caught it, I might have to do something a bit differently, cuz that would be a huge loss. Um, but in this one case, you know, I made the choice to email the customer, let them know that, Hey, I made a mistake, but because is my error, I’m gonna honor it. And I got that, the soonest email back from her telling her that she was so appreciative of the customer service and like, you know, she’d come back and shop again. Um, and people appreciate things like that. So I know it’s not always like a situation where you can honor a price error, but in places where you, you know, can these little moves along the customer, know what you’ve done for them can really help loyalty.

Nicole (21:58):
I think the biggest lesson is that honesty is always valued and yes, there will be, there will be difficult customers or interactions. And um, I think if you’re honest and, and true to that, then you know, you can do the best that you can do that. There’s definitely, you know, I can’t honor that discount for you. I’m really sorry. This was my mistake. I, I think that’s powerful even if the person still is upset or mad about it, you know, mm-hmm , you can, you can respectfully say, this is, this is what happened and this is the truth and I’m sorry that it is this way. And um, you know, at the end of the day, you can at least feel peace that there was, there was truth in how you handled the situation.

Yasmine (22:39):
Absolutely.

Nicole (22:40):
But fortunately for you, it was just one purchase that that’s not an uncommon scenario, especially when you’re a product shop and you are duplicating listings mm-hmm and Shopify. Um, I, you know, recently ran into a situation where it, it wasn’t like the price was wrong, but it was something where we were doing a promotion and then the promotion ended, but the regular price in the shop was showing on sale for compared to, and the compared to CRA was lower than the, the regular price. So it was showing the right price, but it was showing like compared to a lower price so, you know, things happen and you know, it was a customer who pointed that out. It wasn’t, uh, one of us finding it. So just being honest with, oh, thank you so much for finding that for us. Um, we like to do this for people who like send in typos, they find in places where it’s just like, oh wow, thanks for finding that here’s a 10% off code, 10% off code is, you know, not, uh, a huge thing or a free shipping code or whatever it may be. But at least like, even if they’re not going to use it, it shows that like you appreciate that. They took the time to reach out for something. So, and let

Yasmine (23:48):
You know.

Nicole (23:49):
Yeah. Well thank you for joining us for the first episode of season six and for listening to the story of how I got COVID. I, like I said, I am doing well. I did not get a very bad case and I’m very fortunate and thankful for that. I hope you all are staying self safe and happy and healthy this fall and that you join us for our next episode of pixie dust and profits. If you don’t already follow us head over to Instagram, that’s where we post most of our content. We’re trying to get on TikTok. All right. Maybe if a couple of you email us or DMS on Instagram and say, come on, you guys need to get on TikTok. It might, it might get us on there more. I have a folder of drafts. So, you know, I just need some messages letting us know that you’d love to see that. Well, thank you so much. And we’ll see you real soon.

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 67: That Time I Got COVID at Disney World

Sep 6, 2022

Hi everyone! 

Wow! We’re back with another season of Pixie Dust & Profits, and we’re so excited for all of the things we’ll be chatting with you about this season. 

And in true Disney fashion, we thought we’d kick this season off by recounting a recent magical adventure to Disney World that ended… well, not so magically! 

The Trip Delay

Originally, me (Nicole) and my family were supposed to go to Disney World back in January. But due to some unforeseen circumstances, that trip didn’t end up happening. So we delayed it until this summer when we decided we’d go out to Florida for a total of 10 days, and hopefully be able to explore Universal Studios in addition to Disney World. 

For the first part of our trip, we had an absolute blast! But by day 4, I noticed I had lost my voice. 

At first, we didn’t think too much of it. Between the screaming rollercoasters and the fact that we were masking everywhere (including in the 100-degree heat), we figured it was nothing to worry about. 

A few days later, I had a cough that would come around every few hours. I took a test, but it came back negative. As a precaution, I started masking in the hotel room, just in case. 

Everything was fine until the morning right at the end of our trip, when I woke up with a 99.8 degree fever! That was the day we were going to go to Animal Kingdom (which is my child’s favorite), as well as have breakfast at Tusker House. 

The Positive COVID Test

Unfortunately, my COVID test came back positive that day. Immediately, we canceled our plans and informed the front desk. They asked us to stay in our room for a bit. But then, they allowed the rest of my family (who were all negative) to explore the resort while I stayed in the room. 

With young kids (one of whom is very highly special needs), that became difficult quickly. Since the rest of my family was still negative, they all went home, while I stayed behind in the hotel. 

Disney was absolutely wonderful throughout this entire situation. Despite the fact that our tickets were meant to expire, they actually put new tickets in our account. I was able to text management whenever I needed, and they would bring my mobile orders up to the room. (Yes, the millennial in me was having SUCH a hard time accepting help from complete strangers.) 

Disney’s Amazing Practices

Okay, I know this is a bit more of a personal story than we normally give you. But I cannot stress enough how accommodating and amazing Disney was! They comped our next tickets, got me my food, allowed me to extend my stay in the room. 

For comparison, when I called our car rental company to let them know, they were pretty difficult and wanted to charge me over $300 to extend my rental by ONE day! 

The Disney staff was so amazing, and there’s a bit of a lesson to be found in there: as businesses, when we take care of our customers and give them the best experience possible, those customers will want to come back again and again! 

In fact, I feel like I missed out on the Disney experience this time, and because they were so kind to me while I was going through COVID, I already want to go back! 

I still paid for the room and my food. But I will be back as soon as I can, simply because the customer experience they provided was so top tier. 

Empathize With Your Customers

The thing is… Disney has no idea I have a podcast. If I had had a really terrible experience, I could have spoken about it on my podcast. I could have talked to my friends and family members about it. 

The key takeaway here is that this is how you both win and lose business. When your customers come to you with an issue or a roadblock, it’s important that you empathize and look at it from their point of view. If you can, go the extra mile for your customers. How you act in these instances will impact the outlook on your brand and business as a whole, as well as loyalty. 

People are really grateful for these opportunities, and giving them to your customers will make you lifelong fans. 

Download Episode 67 transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 ✨

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 66: The Day to Day of Running Your Biz

Aug 16, 2022

Revisiting Disney’s Trajectory Over the Last Two Years

We’ve got a Super Summer Series Surprise for you! For those who have been following along, or those who have just arrived (welcome!!), this summer we’ve been revisiting our favorite Pixie Dust & Profits podcast episodes from seasons past. 

So far, we’ve had such an amazing time listening back to these popular episodes AND giving you updated information from our 2022 perspectives on the topics. This week, though, we’re giving you something a little extra! ✨

When we decided to revisit Episode 020: Balancing Priorities & Surviving in the Day-to-Day, we immediately knew it was going to be different from other Summer Series episodes. We recorded this episode in April 2020, right after the lockdown started. This was deep in shutdown, and we had just begun to see some of the biggest business shifts in history happen right before our eyes. 

Of course, things have changed considerably since COVID first came on the scene, and it might not make sense to look BACK at this episode… so instead, we made a new and improved version of the episode! 

So, let’s discuss what’s happened with Disney since July 2020, and what we can take away from their projects and operations to support our businesses through hard times.

Disney does “new normal” in unexpected ways

On March 15, 2020, Disney closed its magic gates (so very sad) only to reopen them four months later in July of the same year, but with some pretty strict rules in place for returning park guests. 

They began with “soft” launches, each park receiving a different day to reopen with attendance capped and a new reservation service in place for all guests. This service included all areas of the park from attractions, to restaurants, to stores, to modes of park transport. Some of the new major safety measures that were instituted included: 

✅ Temperature checks & required face coverings were mandatory for all visitors and cast members

Magic bands were used whenever possible to facilitate mobile interactions rather than face-to-face (specifically in dining locations). 

✅ An increased use of plexiglass barriers between guests and cast members

✅ Annual passes were no longer available for purchase; only existing annual pass members could renew. 

✅ And the hardest pill to swallow: No parades, fireworks, or character meet-and-greets, and yes, that included character dining. 😭

Despite it all, Disney still remained confident that they could give their guests the same magical experience they’re known for. They even created the “social distancing squad,” a group of friendly cast members trained to enforce safety rules in a fun, energetic way. In all, Disney did a great job “protecting the magic” of the parks in a post-COVID existence. And hey, some form of Disney is always better than no Disney at all! 

Now that it’s been two years since their reopening, Disney has done away with a lot of the stricter guidelines: masks are optional, and parades, fireworks, and character dining and meet-and-greets have all returned. However, there are still some things that remain changed. 

✅ Annual passes are very hard to get, and when you can, the prices have increased from previous years. 

✅ Disney’s reservation system remains in place and is looking like it’s here to stay. You still have to reserve the park you want to visit on the day you plan to. 

✅ You cannot “park hop” until after a certain time of day (2 pm most days, but it may vary). Gone are the days of spontaneity! 

Disney Genie+: Pros and cons

After over a decade, the FastPass system is a thing of the past. Move over and make room for the new kid on the block, Disney Genie+.

Genie+ works a lot like the old method. You purchase the add-on ($20 a person) and have ultimate access to the Lightning Lane on 19 different Disney attractions. But there are limits to this magic, of course. When you choose to use a Lightning Lane on an attraction, you cannot reserve another Lightning Lane spot on a different attraction until you’ve either already completed your previous ride or have waited 2 hours. On top of that, you cannot use Genie+ repeatedly for any of the rides. So, if you plan on riding Haunted Mansion 20 times in one day, be prepared to wait in line for at least 19 of those rides. 

It is interesting that Disney used the time that they were closed to innovate something like their line system. If the parks never closed, would something like Genie+ even exist? We don’t think so! While Disney does address some visitor pain points with this new method, a drawback of the Genie+ system in comparison to the FastPass system is the inability to choose a specific time to return to the attraction, which might leave you racing across the park madder than the Mad Hatter. 

The “new normal” for your small biz 

When we talk about our “new normal,” we’re seeing so many changes. We saw a ton of businesses pivot — especially ones whose services or offers were mostly held in person. We also saw that many people had to decide how to grow their business while kids were at home, family members needed care, and if spouses or partners were laid off.

It was a time of rapid change, and we’re still feeling the ripple effects today. As we navigate a post-COVID world, there are a couple of things to take from Disney’s decisions:

☝ Be aware of the current inflation situation. 

Inflation is at a record all-time high, and you need to respond accordingly! Is it time to raise your rates? Do you need to raise your team members’ pay? Remember, what you’re paying yourself right now isn’t what you were paying yourself even a few months ago. If you don’t want to increase rates, how can you decrease your expenses? 

✌ Be flexible – on a whole different level

One of the things we’ve realized is that we want to ENJOY more of what’s going on around us. Don’t miss out, be intentional in slowing things down to open yourself up. Some of this means personal expense choices, like diverting savings or not making investments you planned to make. It’s okay to do this! Life is short, make it sweet. 

We want to hear how your priorities have changed in this “new normal”//“post-COVID” world! 

Reach out to us, we love receiving and answering Instagram DM’s! 

If you’re interested: we are currently taking applications for the next Pixie Dust Live event, click here to submit yours today! 

And if you’re planning a trip to Disney soon, and want to understand more about programs like Genie+ before you get there, visit our good friend Wish Upon a Planner® for all the ins and outs you’ll need for your next magical adventure with the Mouse! 🏰🐭

Download the original transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 ✨

subscribe on

subscribe on

Revisiting Disney’s Trajectory Over the Last Two Years

Aug 16, 2022

We’ve got a Super Summer Series Surprise for you! For those who have been following along, or those who have just arrived (welcome!!), this summer we’ve been revisiting our favorite Pixie Dust & Profits podcast episodes from seasons past. 

So far, we’ve had such an amazing time listening back to these popular episodes AND giving you updated information from our 2022 perspectives on the topics. This week, though, we’re giving you something a little extra! ✨

When we decided to revisit Episode 020: Balancing Priorities & Surviving in the Day-to-Day, we immediately knew it was going to be different from other Summer Series episodes. We recorded this episode in April 2020, right after the lockdown started. This was deep in shutdown, and we had just begun to see some of the biggest business shifts in history happen right before our eyes. 

Of course, things have changed considerably since COVID first came on the scene, and it might not make sense to look BACK at this episode… so instead, we made a new and improved version of the episode! 

So, let’s discuss what’s happened with Disney since July 2020, and what we can take away from their projects and operations to support our businesses through hard times.

Disney does “new normal” in unexpected ways

On March 15, 2020, Disney closed its magic gates (so very sad) only to reopen them four months later in July of the same year, but with some pretty strict rules in place for returning park guests. 

They began with “soft” launches, each park receiving a different day to reopen with attendance capped and a new reservation service in place for all guests. This service included all areas of the park from attractions, to restaurants, to stores, to modes of park transport. Some of the new major safety measures that were instituted included: 

✅ Temperature checks & required face coverings were mandatory for all visitors and cast members

Magic bands were used whenever possible to facilitate mobile interactions rather than face-to-face (specifically in dining locations). 

✅ An increased use of plexiglass barriers between guests and cast members

✅ Annual passes were no longer available for purchase; only existing annual pass members could renew. 

✅ And the hardest pill to swallow: No parades, fireworks, or character meet-and-greets, and yes, that included character dining. 😭

Despite it all, Disney still remained confident that they could give their guests the same magical experience they’re known for. They even created the “social distancing squad,” a group of friendly cast members trained to enforce safety rules in a fun, energetic way. In all, Disney did a great job “protecting the magic” of the parks in a post-COVID existence. And hey, some form of Disney is always better than no Disney at all! 

Now that it’s been two years since their reopening, Disney has done away with a lot of the stricter guidelines: masks are optional, and parades, fireworks, and character dining and meet-and-greets have all returned. However, there are still some things that remain changed. 

✅ Annual passes are very hard to get, and when you can, the prices have increased from previous years. 

✅ Disney’s reservation system remains in place and is looking like it’s here to stay. You still have to reserve the park you want to visit on the day you plan to. 

✅ You cannot “park hop” until after a certain time of day (2 pm most days, but it may vary). Gone are the days of spontaneity! 

Disney Genie+: Pros and cons

After over a decade, the FastPass system is a thing of the past. Move over and make room for the new kid on the block, Disney Genie+.

Genie+ works a lot like the old method. You purchase the add-on ($20 a person) and have ultimate access to the Lightning Lane on 19 different Disney attractions. But there are limits to this magic, of course. When you choose to use a Lightning Lane on an attraction, you cannot reserve another Lightning Lane spot on a different attraction until you’ve either already completed your previous ride or have waited 2 hours. On top of that, you cannot use Genie+ repeatedly for any of the rides. So, if you plan on riding Haunted Mansion 20 times in one day, be prepared to wait in line for at least 19 of those rides. 

It is interesting that Disney used the time that they were closed to innovate something like their line system. If the parks never closed, would something like Genie+ even exist? We don’t think so! While Disney does address some visitor pain points with this new method, a drawback of the Genie+ system in comparison to the FastPass system is the inability to choose a specific time to return to the attraction, which might leave you racing across the park madder than the Mad Hatter. 

The “new normal” for your small biz 

When we talk about our “new normal,” we’re seeing so many changes. We saw a ton of businesses pivot — especially ones whose services or offers were mostly held in person. We also saw that many people had to decide how to grow their business while kids were at home, family members needed care, and if spouses or partners were laid off.

It was a time of rapid change, and we’re still feeling the ripple effects today. As we navigate a post-COVID world, there are a couple things to take from Disney’s decisions:

☝ Be aware of the current inflation situation. 

Inflation is at a record all-time high, and you need to respond accordingly! Is it time to raise your rates? Do you need to raise your team members’ pay? Remember, what you’re paying yourself right now isn’t what you were paying yourself even a few months ago. If you don’t want to increase rates, how can you decrease your expenses? 

✌ Be flexible – on a whole different level

One of the things we’ve realized is that we want to ENJOY more of what’s going on around us. Don’t miss out, be intentional in slowing things down to open yourself up. Some of this means personal expense choices, like diverting savings or not making investments you planned to make. It’s okay to do this! Life is short, make it sweet. 

We want to hear how your priorities have changed in this “new normal”//“post-COVID” world! 

Reach out to us, we love receiving and answering Instagram DM’s! 

If you’re interested: we are currently taking applications for the next Pixie Dust Live event, click here to submit yours today! 

And if you’re planning a trip to Disney soon, and want to understand more about programs like Genie+ before you get there, visit our good friend Wish Upon a Planner® for all the ins and outs you’ll need for your next magical adventure with the Mouse! 🏰🐭

Download the original transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 ✨

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 65: Growing Your Business With Collaboration

Aug 2, 2022

Our Summer Series continues this week with another back-to-the-basics episode from Pixie Dust’s past! As you might already know, we’ve been spending the summer revisiting some of our favorite episodes and also providing some much-needed updates from a 2022 perspective! 

This week, we revisit Episode 014, where we discussed the successful collaborations that Disney has created — with some unexpected brands. We dig into Disney’s versatility and ability to leverage any and all opportunities, while also providing some insightful information about how to make brand collabs work for YOUR biz.

Because of COVID, the Minnie Vans went away for TWO years! But don’t worry, they’re back this summer and Disney’s partnership with Lyft is still going strong. Disney also has maintained their collab with Target stores and has officially shut down a large majority of their standalone Disney stores.

But things certainly have changed for the…well, we’ll let you decide!

  • We’ve noticed that Disney’s collabs have become a little more expensive than in the past. Disney has partnered with high-end brands, such as Gucci and Coach, to sell Mickey & Minnie-covered purses and apparel at super high price points. They even recently collaborated with Drake (yes, that one!) to create a collection for his OVO Fest called the “Nostalgic Capsule Collection.” It’s an interesting choice, but it’s definitely getting the Disney brand out there, and making it accessible to people from all walks of life. Disney is becoming chic, trendy, and desirable, all at very high price points.
  • Another new brand collab technique that Disney has been sporting is the renovated Disney Springs outlet. Downtown Disney has officially been reinvented into a high-end, more luxurious-styled boutique waterfront outdoor mall. What this does for Disney is that in order to have a store in Disney Springs these high-end brands (think Lilly Pulitzer) need to be onboard with Disney’s technology (think Magic Bands, Disney Gift Cards). There’s certainly value on both sides, but Disney continues to elevate their brand status! 

Now think about the potential collabs you can have: are they pretty casual? High-end? Both? Look at opportunities from all sides. Ask yourself: How can I serve both our audiences best and how will it benefit everyone involved? There may be different audiences you can reach with a higher-end collaboration, while you may be able to reach even more people with a more casual connection. It’s all about assessing opportunities to see what’s beneficial for everyone.

Download the original transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 ✨

subscribe on

subscribe on

Episode 64: Disney+ Lessons Learned for Your Next Launch

Jul 19, 2022

We’re continuing our Summer Series this week. As usual, we come to you with ideas from the Mouse on how you can better run your online business, but this Summer we’re spending some much-deserved quality time with some of our older and most popular episodes.

This week, we’re revisiting In Episode 012, where we talked all about the launch of Disney+ and one of Disney’s biggest Hot Mess Express launches. It feels weird to think about planning movie nights without the platform now, but during the launch, things got tricky, especially for Canadian streamers! But what that experience did provide was a pivotal example of what a launch might look like (read: not perfect), and the benefits of offering bundles while launching. 

There were so many great lessons to learn about launches from Disney+, and now, 3 years later, we’re definitely able to see that despite the hiccups the platform is seriously successful! 

Things that have stayed the same: 

  • Disney is still very much pushing their Disney+/Hulu/ESPN bundle. They began referring to this package as “The Disney Bundle” in order to make it more enticing for potential customers, despite the content on these platforms not being exclusive to Disney. 

Things that have changed: 

  • The obvious first change is the price, which has increased to 7.99/month, 79.99/year, and 19.99/month for the Disney Bundle. These price increases do reflect the inflation of other streaming services, and the bundle still saves you about 32% if you were to have each subscription separately.
  • Something else Disney+ changed is reducing the delay from getting something that was in theaters to the platform. It’s now only 45 days. (Remember having to wait MONTHS for this??) Reasons for this could be because viewership at cinemas is still low due to COVID, but also Disney is benefiting from building off the hype of the theatrical release, boosting engagement and subscription rates (because you’ll be locked in, not just a one-time payment for seeing a movie like at a theater). 

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want Disney+ in 2022? With all the MCU exclusive Disney+ shows, the lowest turnaround time from theaters to your living room (for Turning Red it was only 3 weeks!), and they even gave Jeff Goldblum a show for him to talk about…literally whatever he wants! If you’re not tuning in, you’re probably experiencing some definite FOMO. 

Stay tuned as we cover the rest of our Summer Series and revisit some of our best episodes!

Download the original transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 ✨

subscribe on

subscribe on

even more pixie dust!

bonus BUSINESs builders

get access

We're magically breaking down big-business strategies for your small business in this pack of 3 mini-workbooks and 2 bonus audio files!