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Want to get in the front of the Disney lines? Hire a disabled tour guide.

I got quite a laugh when I read that people were buying handicapped stickers so they could cut in the waiting lines at Disney. Are the lines still miles long? The last time I was at Disney the lines to the rides were so long I wanted to cry. Actually, I just wanted to take the crying four-year-old back to the pool. As I recall, Jerrod wasn’t the only one getting, hot and edgy, both the adults were hot and tired. I thought about using the bathroom but knew I would lose my place in line.

Disney who is noted for their magical customer service has hit a snag. They are investigating the people selling the handicapped passes and taking people to the front of the line. Apparently the tour guides are going for $130.00 and hour.

Yes selling handicap passes to get customers to the front of the line isn’t ethical but I think it’s covering up the real problem–unbearably long lines.  The real problem is, why do we have to stand in line for 45 minutes and pretend we like it. I”m sure that many people have complained but Disney hasn’t fixed it. So, the customer has decided to take matters into their own hands–buy bootlegged passes to get in the front of the line. The customer sees a problem so they fix it. Bootleggers see an opportunity, so they create a business. It all goes back to the same problem–the lines are too long.

I believe this is called ‘blaming the customer’ for your inadequate customer service. For anyone who has waited in line for a ride you know what I mean. It’s actually easily fixed, provide free ice cream, have clowns, free water, face painting and anything else to keep people from wanting to slap each other. I suppose you could put in more rides but that might not be feasible.

In a recent study on customer service out of the UK, it seems the  the younger generation that are more willing to tolerate long hold times, perhaps due to a greater capacity for multi-tasking. 49 percent of 16 – 24 year-old are prepared to wait 5 – 10 minutes before hanging up and 30 percent would wait 11 – 20 minutes. Us older folks seem to have a shorter fuse. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to spend our time in lines. Of those aged 55+, only 9 percent would wait 11 – 20 minutes and 22 percent hang up within 5 minutes.

According to the results, men are generally more impatient than women, with a fifth prepared to wait less than 5 minutes (20%) versus only 13% of women. Following a great customer experience, women are more vocal at recommending the company – whereas men would actually use the service more frequently. Another study reports that 43 percent of consumers said long lines will affect their decision to shop a particular retailer in the future — and three percent of those consumers will stop visiting the store. It’s obvious, none of us like lines. Many of the supermarkets are very responsive, if they see more than 5 people in a line they bring in another cashier.

What about lines in at the airline ticket counters. For those of us who travel often, we know it’s a fact of life, and personally, I don’t really notice anymore.

When customers ‘step out of line’ or seem to be causing trouble, it’s likely there’s something wrong with your customer service.

Want to know which lines take the most times and where to go to meet your Disney characters? How about an app that tells you what you need to know.For $13.95 a month you can find the real  wait time at Disney! The app is called Touring Plans and it is updated during the day with information from customers standing in line!  Apparently you can get the information from Disney about the length of the line but the time really depends on how busy the park is.

So what to do when your customer acts up? Ask yourself, is it something we need to better or is the customer just crazy? Even nutty customer should be an audience, you never know, you might learn something for your business. Come on Disney, you can do better than this.

What’s your experience with Disney, love to hear it.

Lisbeth helps businesses build loyal relationships with their customers through customer service training and social media marketing. She can be reached at www.lisbethcalandrino.com

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