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):

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.



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