I recently spent 5 days in Orlando attending the American Association of Orthodontists annual conference, and there were thousands of doctors and their staff in attendance. Orlando is a big draw for conventions as many people will bring their families along to enjoy the many theme parks associated with Disney World.
Disney fascinates not only children, but adults, too. Many of us are just as excited to go on a Disneyland, Disney World or even a Disney Cruise vacation.
We all probably have at one time or another been to one of these vacation destinations, and for some of us, we have been there multiple times.
At an employee team meeting not too long ago, we were working on ways we could improve our patient experience with our offices, and the “Disney” experience became the main topic.
When asked about the most memorable experience they had, the overwhelming majority of my team said, “Disneyland or Disney World is a magical experience!”
Furthermore, it was discovered that the majority of my team had been to a Disney park multiple times with one individual exceeding 12 visits!
Most everyone, when they think about Disneyland or Disney World, thinks of Mickey Mouse and their favorite ride (Space Mountain is mine), and parents will always think about their pocketbooks.
Because going on a Disney vacation is not an inexpensive undertaking.
This doesn’t seem to stop the crowds piling into the parks and waiting 2 hours to ride a 60 second ride!
To me, it is truly extraordinary.
Whether we are in the dental field or own another small business, we all know how important customer service can be, and in the competitive environment we live in, an exceptional customer experience is imperative to not only survive but thrive.
So what can we learn from Mickey Mouse and Disney that we could apply to our businesses and practices?
After giving it some thought, these are my top three things that I will be addressing at our next team meeting and implementing as part of our “magical” patient experience. I thought I would share them with you.
1. Be happy, smile often and love your patients (customers).
Does Mickey Mouse ever have a bad day? Well if he does, you would never know it. He is always happy and smiling. He shows real excitement when children (and even adults) come up to him for a hug or photo. He has endless energy and appears to truly love his job.
We all have those “bad” days, but our patients and customers do not need to know about it. Making them feel welcome, special and loved is going to make you feel better too as the day progresses.
2. If you see something isn’t right, take care of it and make it special.
At Disney, you get a sense of team work, where no one is too big to pick up a piece of trash or help a guest find the restrooms. Throughout the day you will see Disney employees picking up trash and helping children find their lost stuffed animals.
There are numerous stories about Disney employees who took it upon themselves to send a lost toy to a child with a note letting them know they found him riding Space Mountain or eating an ice cream cone. The employees go out of their way to ensure that a guest’s experience continues, even when they arrive home to find their lost treasure waiting for them.
What could you be doing each day to delight a patient who maybe had a tough appointment or unexpected change in the treatment plan?
3. Have a VIP program for those people wanting a more elevated or personal experience.
Disney has a VIP program where you pay a significant sum of money on top of the admission tickets, but you get your own guide for the day who escorts you to the front of the line for all the rides and provides a more personal and behind-the-scenes type of experience for you and your family.
Many families opt for the VIP pass and are willing to pay the price to avoid the long lines and get through the park easily and effortlessly with their special concierge.
How can you provide a VIP experience to your patients and customers? Would this be an additional program you might offer with special benefits for the entire family?
These are the top three things I learned from Mickey Mouse and Disney that I will take back to our practices. I hope you have been inspired too to share these with your employees.