Disneyworld in Orlando represents a special place and time in the lives of millions of visitors but even the Disney people can sometimes go above and beyond and make those same life experiences even more special. In a world of cynicism, poor service, unrealized promises, and negative press, Disneyworld is able to rise above the mediocre and show us how it should be done.
My sister's recent visit offers a perfect example of how customer service can cement a lifetime relationship. This summer, she and her husband took their three sons, three daughters-in-law and 5 1/2 grandchildren for a return visit to the Magic Kingdom. It was to be a grand trip to revisit a place where Jane and David and the boys had been 22 years before, on a previous family vacation - prior to wives and grandchildren.
In 1991, they bought multi-day family passes but had left one of the days unused. Jane had held onto the pass in the event that they should return at a future date. That future date turned out to be 22 years later! First of all, I don't know about you, but I never would have saved it and never would have found it if I did save it. Jane is obviously much better organized...to say the least. She took the unused passes to Florida and felt a bit funny at the entrance gates when she timidly inquired about the possibility of using these decades old passes - "would they even be valid for use 22 years later?"
Her question was met with a kindly smile from the "senior" cast member (or is that Mouseketeer) at the ticket booth and an incredible reply, "Why, of course dear. You are more than welcome to use your passes."
And then the next question, "The boys were just children when we originally bought the passes, should we upgrade them to adult passes or can we transfer them to their own children?"
"Dear, Mr. Disney would never penalize children for growing up! The boys are welcome to use their original children's passes even though they are now adults."
WOW and WOW!
In a world where we love to blame government, big business, politicians, overworked servers, and unfulfilled expectations, here's an example of a huge corporation who has never lost sight of who they are and who their customers are. It's always the little things that make the biggest difference. It's the friendly smile, the caring attitude, the "going the extra mile" culture that cements a relationship between customers and companies forever.
It's nice to know that even though "Mr. Disney" is no longer on TV every Sunday night, he is still making kids smile...no matter how old they are.