Finding Pain Relief

Guests tell Disney that the least favorite part of their theme park experience is the” wait in line.” Over the years, Disney has tried to mitigate that part of the ride process. They started with creating the queue in a snake-like design to let guests talk to other guests they passed to make the wait go faster. Water misters were added to keep guests cool during the wait. Pre-shows were created to keep guests entertained and then the FastPass reservation¬† system was designed to try to bypass most of the wait.

Disney has always recognized the waiting in line as a “touch point” in the guest experience and has continuously been striving to turn it into a differentiator amongst their competition. Any touch point that causes complaints, frustration, or hassle for the customer can be considered a Pain Point and should be viewed as an opportunity by the organization to make it a competitive edge.

Last week an app debuted at Walt Disney World parks. The app consists of games that are designed to interact with the physical environment around the guest; for example, at the end of the Space Mountain queue, guests can “race their ship against other ships in the queue that are projected on the ceiling above them.” The app can trigger and interact with real physical things in the line, such as lighting effects, sound effects, and actual animatronic props. It encourages interaction and engagement with the guest so the Wait touch point becomes fun.

Remember when you had to wait for hours to get your driver license renewed? Every one across the country dreaded having to go through that process. The DMV finally analyzed the process and focused on the wait in line as an opportunity to improve. Today, most DMVs will take appointments and use a buzzer system to minimize the wait. Banks redesigned their approval process for loans to be able to decrease the wait from a two week period to a 24 hour period and less.

What are the touch points or processes in your business that cause your customers “pain?” Rather than accepting them as this is how we do business or “that’s just the way it is”, look at them as opportunities to become better than the competition and create happier customers.

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