Keeping The Magic Alive for Repeat Customers & Long-Term Clients
Let’s talk about what happens when a magical experience becomes a lackluster one – whether at Disney OR in your business.
Let’s set a scene for you: it’s 2021. It was our first time back at Disney World since the pandemic began. We were there for Pixie Dust & Profits LIVE and Yasmine had been dying to get on Rise of the Resistance. The moment it was over, I (Yasmine) was absolutely blown away.
However, Nicole had already been on the ride multiple times before. And unfortunately, she wasn’t as excited.
There were a few things that had been part of the ride the first time she rode it that simply weren’t included that time because the technology had broken down. Unfortunately, that sort of repeat experience takes away from the magic of the promise of Disney, leaving customers more dissatisfied the more times they go on.
In recent years, likely due to Covid, Disney has made some changes to the guest experience. Certain things have been made more expensive, there are other elements that are no longer free and complimentary, they’ve changed their ticket options, etc.
The thing is… to anyone who’s never been to Disney World, they’ll likely have no idea about the magic and perks that have been lost or discontinued. However, anyone who has been to Disney World before, and especially die-hard fans like us who go extremely often, can’t help but feel like some of the magic is missing now.
The Big Takeaway
Okay, so what can we learn from this and how it relates to your business?
There are two sides to this. One side is the business’s perspective — these changes are often a sign of growth and lend to increased revenue. But as consumers, we can end up feeling like we aren’t being provided the full experience anymore.
So when you do have to make these sorts of structural changes, it’s important to also take into consideration what changes you’ll make to increase client retention and brand loyalty.
As you’re growing, making sure that you’re still creating that community feeling and having an impact on an individual level is going to be very important.
When you work with clients for multiple years, you can sometimes become complacent in your work, which might lead to mistakes. So when you have a repeat or long-term customer, make sure you continuously check in with them and be aware of their goals and how they feel working with you!
Lastly, sometimes a quick check-in can be all that’s needed to make sure your clients feel seen and heard! Even if it’s a launch you’ve done before or something simple, these check-ins can be the difference between your client having an okay experience and an amazing one.
We hope this blog has given you some food for thought! We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please DM us on Instagram @pixiedustandprofits or send us an email with your burning business and Disney questions, and we’ll get into them on future podcast episodes and blogs!
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.
Hello and welcome back to Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Yasmine. And
And today we’re gonna be talking about when, you know, your experience, your magical experience just isn’t the same. So let me set a scene for you. It’s 2021. It’s my first time back at Disney World since the pandemic. I’m there with Nicole and we’re there for Pixie Dust and Profits live, which is the first time we were actually able to host it at Disney. Despite having planned this event for like basically two or three years, the pandemic, uh, was not our friend in making Pixie Dust live happen, but it finally did. And in fact, we’re actually going back in a couple of weeks for the next pixie dust and profits live. We’re so excited. But we finally get to Hollywood Studios and I have been dying, like dying to go on rides of the Resistance. We get our, um, Genie Plus had just, you know, made itself available. We paid the $15 per person to guarantee that we would get a spot and we go on the ride. And it is incredible. It is everything I imagined and more, I was just blown away. And when it was done, I turned to Nicole and I’m like, That was amazing. And Nicole, I I’m paraphrasing here, so apologize Nicole if I’m not calling you. Exactly. She agree. She was like, Yeah, that was great, but, and Nicole, why don’t you tell us what the butt was?
Yeah, so I’ve been on Rise of the Resistance probably five times since it opened and um, now when I go on it, my experience is just to look for the people who clearly haven’t been on it before and live through their experience on the Ride . Um, the, it’s an amazing ride. I, I love so many features about it. My husband’s a big Star Wars fan. I have watched the Star Wars movies and I enjoy them. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan by any means, but I love the creation of worlds and that you’re kind of transported into a different place and while you’re in Queue for the Line, you’re actually part of an experience. It’s more like a 12 minute experience than a ride. And I also love the behind the stage of how they’ve created this ride using technology that they’ve created for different rides.
Like te there’s some technology from Tower of Terror built into this, you know, And so from that aspect, I tend to start watching the people who have never been on it just to like live through their experience of this magic. But the first time I went on this was probably within two months of it opening. And so I was able to experience the ride before the primary concern was Q capacity and how many people can they get on the ride every hour? And before some of the things some of the advanced technology started breaking down or just became difficult to fix. And so if you have not been on the rides of the resistance and you do not want spoilers, please stop listening to this episode and go listen to the last one or the next one. I will be getting into a couple of details.
So I just wanna give that disclaimer. But I went on it the first time and got the full experience. I went on it at Pixie Dust Live, got almost the full experience. There were one or two little things that didn’t happen during the ride that I knew were part of it that, you know, changed things. And so I went to Disney this past summer and was able to go on Rise of the Resistance again. And so many features were not included on my part of the ride because of technology that broken down. So there’s one iconic moment where you’re kind of, you know, being chased by Kyle Ren and you’re sitting there and all of a sudden his light saber comes into the ceiling above you and it just rips across the ceiling like he’s breaking a hole and he is about to get into you on my ride.
That light saber never came down. There was no light indicating that it was there, you didn’t see it. It really took away from the suspense of that moment. So that was one moment. Another moment is there’s a part where there’s like some cannons shooting and you’re kind of ducking and diving and trying to avoid getting hit by these cannons. And one of the cannons takes too much power apparently. And so they have it turned off now so it doesn’t move forward. So your cart is still going up back up back, but you’re not actually ducking anything. And so there’s a lot of little parts like that. And then there’s one big part at the end where Kyle Ren comes out and he’s kind of about to attack you and then, um, the ship is blasted and the air gets sucked out and you start flying away and Kylo like gets pulled in a different direction.
That animatronic fails pretty often at resetting itself. And so when there’s a huge line for this ride, instead of going in turning the ride off for a half hour hour, they just kind of block that off. So that part has a different, um, video that you watch and then you move on to the next part of the ride. And so that one’s really significantly changes the ride because you’re being chased by Kyle Ren, but you never get this resolution that Kyle Ren didn’t get you. Um, and so the repeat experience has actually taken away from the magic for me personally on this ride. It’s still amazing. I recommend you go on it. If you don’t know about these little details, you’ll still enjoy the ride for sure. I enjoy it every time, but it just, it breaks a little bit of the magic for me when I’m like, Oh no, that that should be there.
Oh no, that should be there. And then you get to the end of the ride and you’re like, Man, this will never feel like it did the first time. Oh, that’s a really sad, sad reality when you’re at Disney World. I’ve been to Disney World so many times that I still find joy and it’s a small world and it, it’s very, I’d say it’s very abnormal for me to go on something a second time and enjoy it less than the last time. Cuz you’re usually with Disney, there’s always like Easter eggs and like things to fall
More to cover.
Yeah, like even like it’s a small world as like everyone likes to knock on it, but as an adult when you go on it you can see all these little nods to different cultures and you can see like where this came from and why it was made the way it was. And I really love the art on the outside and um, those are things that you can notice. And I can’t say when I go on Rise with the resistance again, I feel like I found more magic. I feel like I’m just seeing, oh this is how they prioritize queuing and getting as many people through their ride as possible over the magic and it’s just not very fun as a repeat visitor .
Yeah, I think about like flight of passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Nicole, we, we together have been on that ride at least like I think four or five times because we go on it literally every time we go to Disney World.
Yeah, I actually went to an event where they rented out that ride and I was able to go on it four times back to back and its
Good every time. Everything’s incredible. Yeah, yeah. It never like stops being magical. Then again that ride has less like mechanical components. So it’s gonna be really interesting to see is Disney starts creating these more immersive rides and experiences. What’s the upkeep gonna look like?
And this is where my brain is at war because I, like, I go to Disney cuz I like to be removed from my day job of being like a process manager, project manager. Like when I go to Disney, I don’t have to think about the schedule. The schedule’s already been made months in advance and I’m just, I’m there to immerse in magic and escape. But rise of the resistance in particular brings me back to that brain of, well that was really interesting when they designed the ride, they knew that this thing might break down. So they had a backup method of how they would do this. They had a backup video to show in case this didn’t work. And so then my brain is starting to look at the reality in less of the magic, which is enjoyable in some ways for me, but I really do prefer to go to Disney to suspend, suspend reality for a little while.
. That’s fair. That’s fair. So one of the things we want to talk about is what are other things that have happened at Disney and you know, the recent past that have changed the experience? And I mean we can think of a couple of things as DVC members. Um, one experience that I’ve actually never got to try and now I’m like not sure if I will, is like the top of the world lounge. So if you are staying at Bay Lake, and I think in the past, like if, if you were a DBC member, uh, there is this lounge on top of Bay Lake Tower, which is right next to disease, contemporary hotel that you can go in and watch the fireworks without actually going to Magic Kingdom Park. And like if you ever stayed at um, the contemporary Bay Lake, like you were very close to theme park, you can see the fireworks from like your, your window. If you have like a theme park view, it’s, it’s pretty incredible. So to be able to go to the top of the world lounge, have a little drink and see the fireworks, and I believe they play the music too, right, Nicole?
They do, they pipe in the music. We went up there to see the Christmas fireworks when we didn’t have Christmas party tickets, um, with my family. And it’s, it’s so awesome to be able to be up there and hear the music along with the show. It is like a side view of the castle. You’re, you’re basically looking over a space mountain, but a really cool experience and it really is just like a concrete slab that you’re standing on with the concrete wall. It’s, you know, it’s not pretty, it’s it’s just the top of a building and they do have a little lounge in there, but if you’re just watching fireworks, you don’t have to get a drink or anything like that. Um, but it’s one of these mysterious things, right? There’s a elevator that goes there, um, specifically only only goes to that floor and so you have to line up on the first floor and give your name and show your car to be able to get up there. It’s a whole thing. But they’ve changed it recently.
Yeah. So we could be wrong. So if you have information that contradicts this, please like message us and let us know. But from what I understand, cause we were looking into it for a recent trip that you can only go to the top of the world lounge if you partake in um, like a dessert party that Disney’s offering that’s like villain’s theme. So it’s now the villain’s layer at the top of the world lounge and in order to go you have to pay like the dessert fee price, which like ain’t cheap. It’s I think 70 or $80 at least per person, which can definitely add up and it just reopened like this past July. So if you want to go and to take part of that experience, you can go as a DVC member only, but it’s also gonna cost you.
Yeah, and I mean I, I appreciate that Disney’s experimenting as things reopen after Covid, but it never feels good to be losing perks. And so these are DBC things, but there’s also been a lot of changes during Covid even before it. So, um, magic bands that come with your room are no longer free. So previously if you booked a trip, all of your tickets and things would be on your magic band that opens the door to your room, it lets you into the parks. They don’t give out complimentary ones anymore. And before it was just like one solid color and you could choose to buy more elaborate designs. Now whether that’s because more people are choosing to spend money on a design or more people are returning so they’re not bringing their old magic bands and it’s creating waste, there’s probably a lot of elements to why they’ve changed this.
But it also means that the magic I used to see on people’s faces, especially kids when they had a mickey on their arm and they could open the door to their room or they could check out for snacks, is now transferred to you have to have a smartphone that has mm-hmm a wallet app and you know, kids don’t have that and not all adults have that either. And um, just a little bit different over to experience. It’s, it’s not a free complimentary thing anymore. And um, those have been around for 15 years or so. So that’s a recent change. There’s also been changes along the years of different types of ticket options. So, um, we talked a little bit about dvc, but DVC often follows the Florida Resident Annual Pass program and um, they really increased the price of that and took away perks like memory maker, which is where your pictures are all included if you buy, you know, the resident pass, which arguably residents probably care about the memory maker just as much because they were there often enough to like want to have all of their pictures.
So that’s a perk that was kind of lost. I jokingly said the last time I was there, like, is parking still included? And the parking attendant laughed and said, Yes it is. You can still get free parking. So hopefully they don’t take that one away cuz that’s a nice one. . But years ago there used to be no expiration tickets and basically what this meant was that you could pay an additional premium on the tickets that you bought and let’s say you bought a seven day ticket and you only used four days, you paid that additional premium, you still had three days left that you could use another time at a future trip and you didn’t have to pay the difference of what admission was when you first paid for it versus, um, whatever it was when you travel later. And that was a really cool tool, especially when things happened.
Like you get c on vacation and you didn’t get to use three days of your tickets. Today that’s not the case. Um, you buy a seven day ticket, you have like 14 days to use all seven of those days. You can’t extend it, you can’t use it later as once you, once you redeem that first day, if you bought seven day tickets and you haven’t redeemed them yet, you can apply them for a future trip, you know, if your trip got rescheduled or something. But if you went in the park for one day like we did, the other three days are just lost and you can’t get them comped. And um, these tickets aren’t very cheap, especially when you’re planning a vacation like this. So the no expiration option is definitely something I missed because I, I probably only used it once or twice before they had taken away, but I have friends who, you know, pulled out there one day ticket from a couple years ago that, you know, they bought and somehow like a kid didn’t end up wanting to go that day and um, you used to be able to actually like just transfer the ticket to another adult, you know, now everything’s tied to the person and mm-hmm , you can’t do that that as easily.
So there’s little things that I understand from a technology perspective why they’re moving the direction they are, but from a consumer protect perspective, it definitely is harder to have a flexible vacation.
All right, so let’s get into the takeaways for your small business. Well, we’re gonna look at it from both a shop perspective. If you sell physical products as well as a service provider, um, if you sell courses for example or memberships, often what, um, some sellers do is if someone has purchased like your live experience of your course before, um, you have access to that forever so you can partake in the next sort of cohort or live experience to really, you know, benefit from going through the material. And also, you know, increasing brand loyalty. If someone goes through your course a couple times, that’s probably a good sign that they trust you and they need that refresh. However, what are you doing to maintain that experience and actually like retain their loyalty? Often as our programs grow and things get more successful, sometimes you know, we put a little bit less of ourselves into it because there are other things that we can automate and um, streamline. And that one to one connection that you can often have with your customers sort of falls by the wayside, even if it’s a one to many connection, still a connection because we’re automating so many things. So as you’re growing your courses or your memberships, making sure that you’re still present and you’re still having that impact, I think is really important to get people to continue through your product life cycle and grow and learn with you, Nicole, what you share about it from a service provider’s perspective.
So I think we’ve talked about this a lot where most of my clients, if I had to average out how long I’ve worked with them, it’s been around three years and that’s when we tend to either continue working together or, you know, they’re changing their business up in a way that I, I am no longer the consultant fit for them. And so it’s really, I don’t wanna say easy, but it can, especially as the seasons change or you do the same things again and again for clients as a service provider, you can find yourself in a position of becoming complacent with, okay, I have done this before, I know what’s going on. Um, there might be new team, team members who haven’t done it before. And so when you’re kind of doing things at the last minute or you know, duplicating from before, it’s easy to make mistakes because you’re a little bit complacent or because the team doesn’t have the knowledge that you have in your head.
And so just kind of warning about repeat customers not getting the full experience mm-hmm. that also applies to service providers too. Make sure you’re checking in with your clients like, hey, I know that, you know, things are kind of on autopilot here and we know what we’re doing and we’ve talked about these things, but just making sure there aren’t any goals that you, you know, have floating around in your head that we haven’t talked about or that we, you know, that keep you up at night. So making sure you have those feedback loops is so important. And, um, I tend to like to meet with my clients every quarter just to make sure we have a plan for the quarter ahead, but go outside of your typical process too. Just, you know, shoot them a message and be like, Hey, how are you doing personally if you’re, you know, a service provider like we are where we know our clients pretty well, we know when they’re moving and when they have, you know, stuff going on with their kids and all of that. So we have kind of a friendship with them that we can go in and just say like, Hey, how are you really doing? What’s going on? What’s keeping you up at night? What goals do you have? So just make sure you’re talking, that’s it. Like make sure you’re talking to your clients regularly.
Yeah, I’m literally in the middle of a launch with a client. This is I think the fourth time that we’ve launched this course together and we’re still having like meetings every week to talk about all the moving parts because even though it’s a course that we’ve launched before, before we changed a couple of things this time around, we um, brought on an incredible copywriter. We also completely redid our sales page and those were like big projects, um, that really made going into autopilot kind of non-existent because we were reinventing the wheel just a tiny bit. And it was enough that that regular communication had to happen to ensure that everyone was on the same page. And if it weren’t for those regular meetings, there were a couple things that could have been missed because it wasn’t until someone brought it up that we were like, Oh, right, that’s something else that we have to like look into or make sure that we’re covering off or make sure that we have it work. So communication is key
And it’s with everything from like, yeah, big ideas to the smallest thing. You know, when you have a virtual assistant who’s scheduling promotional emails and then they’re like, Oh, I need a graphic for this one or I need a timer countdown for that one. And there’s just a lot of little pieces that go into completing even just one piece of work and it, if you start becoming complacent or not thinking ahead about all those little things, those things can start coming up against hard deadlines and feeling more stressful then they would if you kept communication open with team and with client.
A hundred percent. Speaking of communication and not getting too complacent, if you are a product shop owner and you’ve achieved, you know, a certain level of success or popularity, it can be easy to sort of expect that to continue. Especially if you’ve been working really hard for a while and all of a sudden like things blow up. Very recently I had ordered from another small shop and when I got my order they included a handwritten note and it was like personalized and nice and like just a couple sentences, but I was actually touched. I was like, Oh, this is so sweet. And it made me think about my product business. For those of who don’t know, I do have a crystal shop lu drift APO carry. And back when I first started, I would take the time to literally write everyone a handwritten note. And I’ll be honest, as my business grew and got busier, I stopped the handwritten component and just sort of included a card that had a little note on it.
But it really made me think of how I felt opening that box and receiving that little note and how it made me wanna support that creator a bit more and had me rethink my decision to sort of automate things by taking that personality away. So literally since then I’ve gone back to like handwriting. You know, it’s some, yes, it takes a little bit longer, but my business in some ways is a personal one. Um, and I like to have that connection with my customer. So making sure that you’re keeping that experience the same can be really, really important because I remember I would get like emails back or like messages on TikTok or Instagram with people thanking me for my note. Um, and obviously that hasn’t happened since I went to a more standard note. So you can really learn lessons from other businesses and the importance of sort of keeping some of these brand experiences the same.
All right, so we hope we’ve given you some food for thought and thinking about how are you treating your repeat customers, your followers who have been around for a while, the clients that you’ve worked with for a long time. How are you making sure you’re keeping things fresh and keeping the experience level what they expect, what they’ve gotten in the past, keeping that level pretty active. So we hope we’ve been, use some thoughts there. We would love to ask you for some feedback and if you can just DM us on Instagram or send us an email @pixiedustandprofits. Um, email us your burning leadership and team questions. So we talked a little bit about working with clients and having teams and some of the dynamics that can be there, but we really want to get into this and some of the future episodes for this season. So if you have any questions about leading a team, working with a team, maybe hiring someone to work with you and you haven’t hired before, or just how to better utilize the people you do work with, whether they are employees or consultants or contractors or even just industry friends that you’ve created an informal mastermind with, we would love to hear the questions that you have about being a better leader and having a team. So email us, send us a DM on Instagram and you might be featured in an upcoming episode.
Thanks so much and we’ll see real soon.