Exceed Expectations–By Just a Little

I love pancakes! When I went to Disneyland as a youngster, one of the simple highlights was eating at the River Belle Terrace. There I was surprised with not just eating pancakes for breakfast, but eating a Mickey Mouse pancake! It was lined with cherry eyes and a pineapple slice smile.

It was a little thing compared with Disneyland attractions like the mighty Matterhorn Bobsleds or Submarine Voyage. But it was something I remembered as a child. On special occasions, my mother would replicate the concept at home. That gesture would always take me emotionally back to Disneyland.

Exceeding Expectations at Disney
In truth, there are many details that make up the very quaint experience at the River Belle Terrace. But sometimes the simplest one is the one you remember most. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Great customer service providers exceed expectations. Disney does that in many ways–some of those ways being very elaborate. But sometimes the simplest things get the biggest attention.

Exceeding Expectations
Here a hamburger at Tokyo Disneyland includes a familiar shape for a bun. Photo by J. Jeff Kober

For kids everywhere, Mickey-shaped food products can be found in all of the parks worldwide. The same thing can be found in hidden–and not so hidden–Mickeys that are popular throughout all of the parks. These little touches don’t cost much more to do, and yet they seem to be the thing people most remember.

Exceeding Expectations at Disney
This Mickey wreath is a little touch–it didn’t add much more to the overall holiday decoration budget–but it’s probably the thing that is most remembered. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

This played out beautifully on a recent cruise on the Disney Wonder. It was the first trip for my son who deals with Autism. While he loves the Disney parks, we weren’t certain how he would receive the experience of being on a boat. While our evening dining experience was rotational, our servers remained with us. We explained on the first night that he really only liked cheeseburgers, fries and a Sprite. Thereafter, we came into the restaurant each night with the meal already prepared and waiting for him. Again, a little thing, but it made a big difference in processing our child through the experience.

Exceeding Expectations
Of course there would be a “Hidden Mickey” in the ketchup. And on this night–Pirate Night–that Mickey came in the form of a skull and crossbones. It went over the head of our son, but it was more than memorable to us. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

Of course, no company succeeds by doing “just a little”. Great companies work very hard to provide the best experience possible for their customers. Still, consider how you can exceed those difficult and even complicated expectations by “just a little” to create something that is memorable to your customers. That may be a little gesture, a little extra product, a slightly easier way of doing business. With all of your hard work, it may be the very thing they walk away remembering.

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