Pixie Dust & Profits | Small Business Podcast for Disney Lovers

Episode 71: How to Create Elevated Inclusion in Your Business (Transcript)

Nov 1, 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):
Welcome to this week’s episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:30):
And I’m Yasmine.

Nicole (00:32):
And today we’re talking about how Disney makes things feel really exclusive, like you’re part of some club, even though you’re there with thousands of other people, it feels like a special experience because of all these little additional things that they have and they do

Yasmine (00:48):
Kind of like going to Club 33 except not paying the $33,000 initiation fee if it even is still that

Nicole (00:56):
. Yeah, I don’t know. I, that is out of my budget so I haven’t looked at it, but I hear that it’s a really cool perk. You could have them find reservations for you that are really hard to get. So you don’t have to call every day at 6:00 AM or whatever time it is. I am actually terrible about planning for restaurants, so I don’t know any of those timelines. Yasmine does all of that for pixie dust live events. So anyway, what I wanted to talk a little bit about today is some of the things that Disney does to make you feel like really, like you’re in this amazing bubble, right? So, um, when you get Genie Plus, which is their new Fast Pass E system, you’re basically paying to skip the line a little bit. You know, you go through a different line, there’s still gonna be a little bit of a weight, but it’s shorter than others.

Nicole (01:47):
Um, but mostly you’re paying to not be in the sun waiting for things. Um, Universal also has this kind of like fast pass approach to things, but there’s this very dnce. So when you look at Genie Plus for Disney, it’s you know, a couple bucks added to your regular ticket price to do the regular Genie Plus where you can kind of choose one up to one ride on each ride as many as you can fit into your day, but you can only have one at a time. Or they have Genie plus individual Lightning Lane tickets. So these are for the high ticket rides you can buy just for that ride. You don’t need to buy the whole entire Genie Plus system. So for example, we use that to go on Rise with the resistance so we don’t have to wait in line and we also don’t have to buy the huge like Genie Plus for every single ride in the, in the park.

Nicole (02:38):
We’re just getting that one. And so they have these kind of like little options and it almost feels like micro transactions in a way because it’s, oh it’s just, you know, it’s just $8 to go on Mickey’s runway train and um, let’s just add that onto her order so you can get the things you want to get. You know, piecemealed in Universal is like the complete opposite. Universal is like you can go on whatever ride you want as many times as you want in the fast pass line. You don’t have to wait at all. And um, you can go on the same ride back to back to back to back if you want to, but you can’t buy it like a micro transaction. You have to buy the full experience all at once. And um,

Yasmine (03:19):
And it’s expensive, right?

Nicole (03:21):
It’s very expensive and it, it depends on the day, the time of year, how busy they forecast the park to be is basically how it comes down. And so, um, I think when I was there in June it was approximately like 300 and something dollars each on top of your park tickets. So it was a Yeah, yeah. Per day.

Yasmine (03:42):
Wow.

Nicole (03:43):
So it was pretty pricey. Um, you can stay at a universal resort, um, one of their luxury resorts and you get it added automatically to your tickets. So sometimes that might be more cost effective for people. Um, in our situation it was just me and my husband and we were there for a few hours and we were like, that would be a cool thing to add to our ticket. And then when we asked and got the $300, we were like, No, that’s okay. We’re good. Um, if it was maybe $75 each, we probably would’ve entertained that, but $300 each was just inputted into no, that’s not, not, that’s not happening. So when you look at this like we were willing to pay something right? And Universal was like didn’t have a product to fit what we would’ve paid cuz we like to do things a little luxury but we’re also fr like we’re also just kind of frugal at the same time and so

Yasmine (04:37):
Smart with your money, right? Like yeah you wanna get a little bit more out of the experience but you don’t necessarily wanna like, you know, lead your wallet dry,

Nicole (04:45):
Right? Especially when you know the kids back at the room with grandma and it’s, you know, we didn’t have to hire a babysitter per se, but we had a limited amount of time and we were willing to, you know, make the most use of that time. But $600 when you price it out for both of us was just too much. So Disney on the other hand, if we had been there, it’s like, oh do you wanna do Ride Atuie? We haven’t done that yet. It’s only $8 in the app and we could very much still spend $300 each walking around the world eating all the foods and getting these lightning lane fast passes. But um, it’s a very different experience cause it feels like it’s right in your hands and you have control of your vacation. And so, you know, not that one is better than the other, they definitely are different trips and different vacations, but it’s just interesting to see how you can feel really included or part of a secret club or something with Disney where like, Hey I can get this little add on here. .

Yasmine (05:39):
That is so interesting. So like I’ve never been to Universal Studios in Orlando and I’ve never taken part of that. Um, what do they call it, A max pass or they’re just a fast pass. Got it. I’ve never really taken advantage of that, but I’ve been to Universal Studios in Hollywood or California and it was a bit different. Um, and it’s just like, it’s wild to me how expensive it is and I guess that’s really just a, a plan for them to get you to wanna stay in their luxury resorts because then it gets like locked in and it feels like an overall premium experience. That’s so interesting. You know, one really sort of exclusive and kind of like inclusive thing, I’m just gonna throw it out there that I really love about Disney World is the minivans. And we’ve talked about this like endlessly, but they’re bringing them back or they’ve been back already, they were sort of phased out during the pandemic.

Yasmine (06:30):
And the one amazing thing I like about that is through their partnership with Lyft, they have these like pickup services that you can call if you need to like, you know, head from a park back to your hotel room without wanting to take the bus. And the beauty of it is they have car seats like built in which you’re a parent with a little one needs legally be in a car seat. It’s a pain in the butt. Like I don’t know about you, but hauling a car seat through the airport was not my favorite thing to do. And just the fact that, you know, I could go Disney World, leave my car seat at home and rely on minivans if I need to use something other than bus transportation to get around is really amazing. And the way that Disney does it, it kind of does feel like a more like fancier version of like an Uber Lyft because they’re these cute vans, they’re red with little like white polkadots like Minis bo and they’re all driven by cast members. So it has that like safety element in there too. And I just think that that’s such a neat service for Disney to have exclusively for their park goers. Like just car seats aside. If you um, want to take a shared ride service and you’ve never really taken Uber or Lyft because they don’t offer it in your town, it could be a little bit scary jumping into a stranger’s car, but at least with minivans you know that it’s a Disney employee. So to have that safety element in there as well.

Nicole (07:56):
Yeah, minivans are definitely one of those things that uh, are either beloved or absolutely hated. I think of

Yasmine (08:02):
The community minivans,

Nicole (08:04):
Well I mean it’s just kind of the symbolism of Disney charging for every little thing they could possibly charge for, um, to some and people thinking it takes away from the other services that they offer to get people around. And from my point of view, I think it’s smart to have all these different modes of transportation. Especially like when you think about minivans, there’s a niche market for that, right? It’s people who wanna go from a resort to Disney Springs or from another resort to another resort. These are much more difficult to do with Disney’s regular, um, transportation network. But at the same time bus drivers are in high demand right now and it’s a very specific driving license that you need to be able to drive a bus versus minivans, which are just, you know, Chevy SUVs. So anyone can drive those so you know, it’s in their interest to kind of diversify the types of employees they need too. And if people are willing to pay for service and it offset some of the court costs, that’s great. So you know, for better or worse, some people love it because it’s so convenient and useful and um, in my opinion safer than probably an Uber or a Lyft and um, others think it just symbolizes Disney is nickel and diving ,

Yasmine (09:21):
I have to make it different. Like again, the whole thing about like exclusiveness and really serving your customer is giving them different product services where they’re at and based on their needs and I think this solves like a very real need for a lot of families that go to Disney. But we can save that for another episode. One thing that I really wanna know about Nicole is at Disney World we have like our magic band, which has our tickets on it, or you can use the My Disney Experience app. What does the experience at Universal look like?

Nicole (09:55):
It was actually really strange to use the Universal app. Um, okay, I’ll say because I think I just came in expecting that, you know, Disney has this great system, you can get to everything from their app, you can, I mean even if you don’t have a Mickey Band, uh, magic band, you can open your room with the app on your phone or on your um, watch or whatever. So I just kind of expected that Universal will have copied that by now cuz this isn’t brand new technology for Disney. They’ve been building upon it for at least a decade. Um, and so I’m sorry

Yasmine (10:29):
To sorry to jump in Nicole. Like one thing that I want to confirm is like, didn’t they have similar magic bandy type things at Great Wolf Lodge when you went there?

Nicole (10:37):
They did, actually, I forgot about that. They had a little band that you could use, um, to do the arcade and a couple of other things just basically, so you’re, you’re out of water, an indoor water park essentially, so they don’t, you’re not gonna walk around with the wallet. So they use this and I think a lot of water parks use something like this these days, so that way, so the

Yasmine (10:59):
Buy is not like, yes and the technology is like, not like necessarily exclusive to Disney. It’s being seen in other theme parks. So yeah, it’s interesting that Universal hasn’t quite um, you know, jumped on that train yet.

Nicole (11:10):
Yeah, I’ll say that Universal app was very much like informational based. So yeah, you could see where you were on the location and see what restaurants were around you, but there was no like mobile order ahead. There was um, like the Disney app you can be like, here I am, I wanna get over there and it will actually like, give you directions on how to get there if you want to. So like that didn’t happen. But more importantly for me is like I thought all of my reservation information would be in the app so I could easily figure out like what room I was in. I stayed at Cabana Bay and it was a really large resort . So yeah, like just things like what was my room number again? And the thing that really floored me was they still have the ticketing system where you have a paper ticket and you, um, have to like use your fingerprint to get in.

Nicole (12:02):
And so we had some trouble with my kiddo trying to get his fingerprint right where it needed to be or whatever. I ended up using my fingerprint on it because I’ve done that at Disney before. But we had to each have our own paper ticket in our hand. I couldn’t be like, here’s our three understandably because staff is like, I, you, I see three in your hand, I can’t count how many people came through. So even my kid had to hold his ticket and like, it just was blind boggling to me that I couldn’t use the app or keep that information somewhere safe. And I’m literally like holding the ticket with my kid, making sure he doesn’t drop it because I don’t even wanna know what process I’d have to go through to go get a replacement ticket to get into the park if we were to try to switch parks or anything.

Nicole (12:44):
So that was really frustrating to like have to dig in my pockets to find paper tickets. They weren’t even plastic cards. So Disney, if you don’t have a magic band or anything like that, you, you can use a plastic card and you know, enough environmentally plastic is plastic but they also can, you know, get in your wallet that might get a little wet on water rides or like the paper tickets were just so crumbly and I, I don’t know, it just floored me. I was expecting a little bit more than just here’s a paper ticket, get into the park. Like it’s, you know, the old days . So in that way, I mean, yeah, I got into the park, it served as purpose, but there’s something really magical when you’re scanning into Disney and whether you’re using a card or a magic band or your watch or whatever, the little like Mickey ears, you know, light up, you get this big ding like you can go like, you’re ready, you’re in.

Nicole (13:41):
And it just kind of gives you those pictures of, you know, the old videos of Disney World where they have like the, the rope drop and everyone’s standing and waiting and like you kind of get that ding that that excitement, that pixie dust in when you’re walk in cuz you’re like, Oh I did it, I’m here. Um, you didn’t feel that at Universal. It was like, here, here’s my paper ticket, you scan it and then put your finger here and um, it just didn’t feel the same entering the park. Which I mean that’s my own taste too, .

Yasmine (14:10):
No, but I think, I think it says something about making things a little bit more seamless and even like, like you said, exclusive, more personalized for your audience. So why don’t we talk about a couple ways that our, um, listeners at home can apply these principles to their business. Cuz let’s be real, not everyone has the budget to create magic bands for their customers. I mean, I wish I did, but I’m a couple billion dollars short of that. So, um, one tip that I wanna give everyone, and I feel like this is pretty basic, but I can’t tell you how many times actually don’t see this being done is one way that you can help convert people or make your customers feel more appreciated. Whether you’re a service based provider or you are selling products, is personalization in emails? I know, I know it sounds so silly, but you know, when you open up an email it’s like, hi friend or hey, like you kind of know that’s being broadcasted to everyone, but what it says like, Hey Kel, and it mentions your names a couple times throughout. I mean, you might be savvy enough to know that this is going to more than just you, but it actually does help in terms of making the person on the other end feel like you’re communicating with them one on one, which can really foster that connection and you know, sort of increase the exclusivity of your brand because you are really, um, welcoming people and really making that connection with them.

Nicole (15:33):
So I know that that’s more about like the marketing side of things. So when it comes to selling, Yasmin actually mentioned this when she was talking about how Universals fast pass system is kind of this like one cost all in that is really priced in a way to make their luxury hotels look one more affordable or that you get more bonuses and exclusivity by being there. So definitely think about that in terms of the products that you have, right? So do you have something that’s kind of a gateway to something larger? Do you have something that can be the bonus to the larger thing that just makes the larger thing a no brainer? Because when you’re charging $300 for one person to have a fast pass and your hotel room is $600 a night, if that like early entry fast access to everything all at once is really important to you, that $600 a night suddenly in your head turns into $300 a night.

Nicole (16:22):
And so thinking about those things where you might have something that is really valuable as part of a bigger offer. So definitely look at those things. Um, I think while this is airing, we’ll still be in time for you to get ready for a Black Friday sale. So also consider how um, Disney has this kind of like ad hoc micro transaction just by the rides you want versus Universals get access to everything and how like which one of those paths you feel like fits best for your audience and the type of products that you sell when you’re going into something like Black Friday because you could do something that’s like all of my little products are all on sale, or you could have, you know, an all access path, big bundle or something like that. A big bundle of everything that you have.

Yasmine (17:09):
One other strategy that I actually employ for one of my clients that really helps us drive sales is we do a gift with purchase, but the gift with purchase is an exclusive item that’s only available as a gift with purchase. So it’s not something that you can regularly buy in the store and yeah, yeah, we purposefully make it so it’s covetable so it actually gets people to spend a certain, um, basket size. So let’s say it’s like free with a $50 purchase in order to get that, which increases our purchases. So again, that’s something that’s like the Universal hotels, What it reminded me of is, you know, if you’re springing for that, well then you get this item so it gets sort of bundled in there and thus the investment that you’re making in the the other products makes it worthwhile because you’re getting this one item that you really want for sort of air quotes free.

Nicole (17:54):
Yeah, and you know, having been a consumer who’s had to buy a few things lately for a friend, they have a lot of those out there and I would just caution you when you’re doing it to plug and play with your carts as if you were a customer, see what they would add, see what they need to do in order to reach that threshold to get the free item or the free shipping or whatever it may be. Um, because it happened twice in the last week trying to send some gifts to a friend and I was at like $49 and I needed to be at 50 in order to get, it might have been free shipping, but it was like, okay, so I need to get two pairs of socks and this and that to get over that threshold and then it became like a $75 order and I wasn’t willing to spend that.

Nicole (18:39):
I really wanted to stay around 50. So definitely look at that experience because yes, you want to entice people to get to that threshold, you want them to spend more to get there, but you want their cart. If you take your most popular sellers and put them in a cart and they add up to $38, having a $50 threshold makes sense cuz then they gotta add, you know, a whole product and they’re basically getting shipping for free. But if your best sellers add up to $48 and your threshold’s 50, it might actually have an unintended side effect of abandoned carts because they’re mm-hmm. feeling like you purposely made it this way to make them spend more. So there’s a lot of psychology that comes into the marketing and selling, and I just want you to, to encourage you to pretend like your customer when you’re setting these up and try and break your carts, try and add a couple different things. Look at what it looks like and what it would feel like to someone when you’re deciding what that threshold level is. It doesn’t have to be $50, it could be 40, it could be 45. You can make it whatever number you want, but mm-hmm. , you know, just act like a customer for a little bit and see how that feels.

Yasmine (19:42):
Thank you again for joining us for another episode of Pixie Dust and Profits. I hope you took something away from this episode. And as always, if you ever have any questions or any comments, please DM us on Instagram or comment on one of our posts. We’d love to hear from you. We’re @PixieDustandProfits on Instagram and hey, if you’re kind of feeling disorganized and you know you have all these new ideas and you’re not quite sure where they fit into your current business plan and you wanna get focused, we highly recommend that you check out our squirrel workbook. It’s all about helping you sort of, you know, shun shiny object syndrome and focus on the things that matter in your business. And you can get that at pixiedustandprofits.com/squirrel.

Nicole (20:24):
Thanks for joining us today. We’ll see you next time.

Yasmine (20:28):
Bye.

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Episode 71: How to Create Elevated Inclusion in Your Business

Nov 1, 2022

Have you ever wondered how Disney manages to make you feel like you’re having the most exclusive and individualized experience, even when you know thousands of other people are being treated the same way? We did, too! So today, we decided to break down what Disney does so brilliantly and how their exclusive inclusivity works so well.

Download Episode 71 transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 

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Episode 70: Delivering the Full Experience to Repeat Customers (Transcript)

Oct 18, 2022

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.

Structural Changes

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! 

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 (00:26):
Hello and welcome back to Pixie Dust and Profits. I’m Yasmine. And

Nicole (00:30):
I’m Nicole.

Yasmine (00:31):
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?

Nicole (01:50):
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.

Nicole (02:40):
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.

Nicole (03:26):
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.

Nicole (04:15):
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.

Nicole (05:06):
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.

Nicole (05:56):
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

Yasmine (06:23):
More to cover.

Nicole (06:24):
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 .

Yasmine (07:01):
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.

Nicole (07:13):
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

Yasmine (07:22):
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?

Nicole (07:37):
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.

Yasmine (08:25):
. 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?

Nicole (09:28):
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.

Yasmine (10:22):
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.

Nicole (11:10):
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.

Nicole (12:00):
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.

Nicole (13:06):
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.

Nicole (13:49):
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.

Nicole (14:51):
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.

Yasmine (15:05):
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.

Nicole (16:39):
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.

Nicole (17:34):
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.

Yasmine (18:41):
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

Nicole (19:35):
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.

Yasmine (20:14):
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.

Yasmine (21:08):
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.

Nicole (21:59):
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.

Yasmine (23:20):
Thanks so much and we’ll see real soon.

Nicole (23:24):
Bye.

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Episode 70: Delivering the Full Experience to Repeat Customers

Oct 18, 2022

You want customers or clients to come back, but how do you keep them happy? We talk about keeping the magic alive for repeat customers in this episode! 

Download Episode 70 transcript right here

Text us! 207-203-6769 

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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

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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 

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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.

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Episode 68: Cast Members Going Above and Beyond

Sep 20, 2022

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! 

We talk about how Disney meets disabled guests with kindness and accommodations, how even the littlest guests have an amazing experience, and more. Then, we share THREE key strategies you can take from Disney cast members to apply to your own business.

Download Episode 68 transcript right here

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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.

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Episode 67: That Time I Got COVID at Disney World

Sep 6, 2022

In this episode, we’re discussing that time Nicole ended up with a positive COVID test during her vacation… yikes! 

Listen now and discover how the situation was handled and why crafting a good client experience isn’t only about a single interaction or a single event. A great experience can even turn a disappointing situation into one that’s not-so-bad in the end.

Download Episode 67 transcript right here

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