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Distraction

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Not being much of a thrill seeker, I had no idea that my natural reaction to roller coasters is to scream continually and laugh hysterically until tears run down my face. A recent ride on Space Mountain was as entertaining to my family was it was to me (and only slightly embarrassing).

We were privileged to spend four magical days at a Disney resort and two days at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park.  Every moment, every encounter, every attraction was delightful – to us and the gazillions of other people who opted for Anaheim that week. It didn’t feel overly crowded, being Disneyland and all. Our wait time in line for the major attractions was five to 45 minutes. But here’s the amazing part: we actually enjoyed the wait. As we snaked through the queues, we noticed these clever techniques:

Posted Wait Times

Each ride was clearly marked with the current wait time.

Do you tell Ms. Jones how long her transaction is going to take? How long until a financing decision comes through? How long until her order comes in?

Constant Movement

The lines moved continuously, we rarely stood stock still. This constant movement made us feel as if something was always happening, we were always moving toward our final thrilling destination.

Do you keep Ms. Jones moving with a constant flow of information about her progress? Do you notify her of her order acknowledgement, her confirmed ship date, the day her order was received, the time window it will be delivered? Have you automated any of these processes?

Peek

Sometimes you could hear the exclamations and catch the excitement of riders who were getting off the ride, or you could get a glimpse of the ride in progress. It whetted the appetite for your own experience.

Do you show Ms. Jones what she’s in for? Do you display pictures of completed projects or satisfied customer testimonials?

Deception

Around every corner was… another corner. Long, twisting lines with barriers and  dividers hid the next phase of the line. Had we been able to see one continuous string of people waiting for a ride, chances are we would not have joined them.

Customers crowded around your wrap desk to make purchases is a nice problem to have. But keep your problems to yourself and only let Ms. Jones see what she needs to see. Do you have several locations in the store where sales can be entered? Do you have a designated office or secluded spot to talk to disgruntled customers?

Distraction

When you spend a half an hour standing in line to ride a two minute roller coaster, the line becomes part of the experience. In fact, it’s the majority of the experience. The lines at Disney are as attractive and interesting as the attraction. They are elaborately designed and never break the mood. They incorporate sight, sound, touch and smell.

Does your warehouse pickup area look like, well, a warehouse? Do your restrooms incorporate all Ms. Jones senses… in a good way? Do you have informative, educational, entertaining diversions at the wrap desk or design center? Do you distract the littlest Joneses so Mommy and Daddy can shop?

We can all learn a little magic from the Mouse.

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