Today we look at the idea of organizations that open earlier than what is stated.
It’s a simple thing: Open earlier than what is stated in your promotional material. If Walt Disney World states that the opening time for the Magic Kingdom is 9:00 am, then you can be sure that the turnstiles are open prior to that. To accommodate all of the guests filing into the park, they open up the area in front of the train station much earlier than opening. Services like stroller and wheelchair rental are available, as well as small merchandise stands selling ponchos, autograph books, sunblock and even aspirin.
Even prior to that, the parking toll plaza opens an hour or two prior to the park opening. Attendants are working early parking cars well before the stated opening time. Ticket booths at the Transportation & Ticket Center are up and running, as are monorails and ferry boats leading to the gates of the Magic Kingdom. Imagine if none of these things opened until 9:00 am. It’s a serious investment on Disney’s part to open early. But doing so rewards the guests and ultimately Disney.
Once there, they create an anticipation by entertaining those guests that arrived earlier, and who are waiting for the rest of the park to open. The mayor comes out and welcomes the crowd, along with other residents of Main Street, USA. A musical number sets the stage as the train comes into the depot, filled with Disney characters. A family selected as special guests help count down to the moment the park opens, which is accompanied by fireworks and streamers. And all of this happens before the hour of 9:00 am.
I see places where they open earlier than what is stated happening elsewhere. Most Nordstrom stores I’m familiar with have been doing it for years. I was visiting a Great Clips store near my home one morning. The stated opening time was 9 am. But at 8:50 the sign stated it was open for business. I was happy to not have to wait in my car to go in.
What I don’t understand are the restaurants and stores and doctor’s offices and other companies that open later than what is stated. Why would you leave your customers waiting outside for you to open up? You’d open the door immediately if you literally saw dollar bills sitting on the sidewalk in front of you. It’s the same thing with your customer. What message are you sending, when you make no effort to welcome those customers waiting to see you?
So there you have it–Guest service idea #3: Open earlier than what is stated.