I’m a huge fan of amusement parks. I love roller coasters, churros, running from attraction to attraction, people watching and cotton candy. So obviously I’ve been to my share of amusement parks and carnivals and there’s a few things I’ve learned along the way!
Please excuse me if it sounds like I compare every amusement park on earth to Disneyland. That’s exactly what I do.
Make your terms clear
Josh and I were so excited to go ride the very best ride at the amusement park and as soon as we got there, we sprinted to that ride to wait in line. Because it was the best ride, it was a rather long line and we ended up standing there for about an hour. Once we were finally only ten people from the front, they made a quick barely audible announcement about not having cubbies for our bags and waterbottles and we needed to rent a locker outside of the ride. WHAT?? Why had no one told us this before? Why were we suddenly hearing about this when we were at the very front of the ride? Josh had to quickly run our things downstairs and pay for a locker we used for a whole three minutes and made it back just in time to get on the ride. Talk about inconvenient!
Make your terms clear to your client so there aren’t any surprises! If there are certain issues that come up on the contract, make sure to point them out so your client is sure to read it before they sign. Consider making guides and schedules for your clients so they will know what to expect the whole way through!
Small talk and friendliness
One of my favorite things about Disneyland is how friendly all the cast members are! It’s a huge difference from all the high school kids at other amusement parks that couldn’t be paid to act like they enjoy their jobs. The Disney cast members are nice and smile all the time! They are so willing to help you out if you need anything or have any questions. When we went to Disneyland for our honeymoon, they were always so excited for us and made us feel so special! It really added to our experience and cheered us up when we started to get tired and cranky after walking around all day.
Make your clients feel welcome and comfortable! Ask them about their day and get to know them a little better. Take some time to connect on Twitter and Instagram so you can talk about other things besides work. Make the experience more fun for your clients and they are more likely to remember you and return!
If something goes wrong, please the people
There is nothing worse than waiting in line for over an hour to get on a three minute ride when the ride shuts down. This is a pretty common occurrence and we’ve experienced it at a number of different parks and theres two things that happen. On one hand, everyone is told to leave while they fix it and we get to walk off in a huff having wasted an hour of our lives. On the other hand, we’ve been given passes to come back to the front of the line as many times as we’d like when it does come back up! Obviously the previous left us with a bad taste in our mouth and on one occasion where this situation happened to us three separate times in one day (we only rode two rides in the six hours we were there) I ended up crying on the way home about a whole day of vacation wasted and I wrote a very angry letter.
If something goes wrong, do what you can to please your clients! Don’t just say “Sorry it didn’t work out!” and leave them hanging, give them all the help you can! If you can’t work with them, give them references to people who might! If something they wanted isn’t possible, do your best to make up for it by giving them something better! Always leave your clients feeling happy and spoiled.
Make things simple and convenient for customers
Like the experience with the lockers, that park made things neither simple nor convenient. To ride any of the bigger rides (also known as the only rides we wanted to ride) we had to rent out lockers where you had to pay for the entire two hours of rental and then keep renewing it. This was highly inconvenient as we were going to be walking all over the park and didn’t want to leave our bags in one place! What about our water or our phones or our cameras? These are types of things most visitors need and they were making it impossible to keep our stuff with us at all times. I won’t even get into the greedy way they nickel and dimed us out of our entire vacation budget!
Get to know your clients and the way they work and make things convenient for them! If you know your clients tend to travel a lot, make sure your emails, documents, and materials are responsive and able to be checked out on a phone. If your clients have a lot of the same questions and they’re having to email you to get the answers, include that information on a FAQ page or a process guide. Pay close attention to their needs and help them out!
Go the extra mile
On our honeymoon trip to Disneyland, Josh and I got cute buttons that let everyone know we were newlyweds! It was so much fun to wear them and have people ask about wedding and congratulate us. On the last night we were there, I wanted to ride “It’s A Small World” for my first time. It looked so pretty all lit up and the line wasn’t very long. When we got to the front of the line, the cast member noticed our “Just Married” buttons and squealed with excitement! She then had us stand to the side for a moment to let a group of people go in the boat and kept us waiting. Then when the line was completely empty, she gave us our own boat to go through quietly on our own. It was the greatest and so sweet! Now “It’s a Small World” is one of my favorite rides.
This cast member had zero obligation to give us our own ride, but she wanted us to have a great experience so she did a little extra work. Do the same with your clients! Get excited with them and show that you care by going a little bit out of your way for them. When it’s their birthday, send them a nice note. Create nice client packages to send out when a project is complete to thank them for their business. Give them extra perks and help here and there. Show you care about THEM, not just the project you’re working on and it will really make a difference!