Disney Goes All In on CRM

If you want to see how CRM can dramatically personalize an otherwise impersonal live event experience, look no further than the Walt Disney Company. Below is the first of two articles by Erin Ramirez, Senior Data Specialist here at Patron Technology, about her family’s upcoming trip to Disney World, which illustrates this approach first-hand.
—Gene Carr

My Walt Disney World Experience Has Been Great…And I Haven’t Even Been There Yet!

By Erin Ramirez, Senior Data Specialist

On June 30, Gene blogged about how Disney World is changing how guests and cast members (aka employees) interact, with the use of new MagicBands. As it just so happens, my family had recently booked our first trip to Disney World and purchased MagicBands as part of our package, so it was fun to read his blog post. But Oh My Disney, they do so much more. They have customer service down to an art form.

(On a side note, I discovered that the idea of this sort of interaction has been around since 2003, as you can see from this article. But they’ve come a long way from Pal Mickey. And at the heart of it all? CRM.)

We’ve been to Disneyland (in Anaheim, California) a few times. My husband’s family lives relatively nearby, so the odd visit here or there was pretty easy to handle. But we’d never done the complete resort experience and so went a little crazy and decided to give it a try in Orlando.

Erin Ramirez

After our purchase, my husband was invited to create a login for My Disney Experience as well as download the app. Once he created his login, he forwarded me an invitation to create a login as well, and our logins were linked. Through My Disney Experience, you can see your hotel confirmation, make dining reservations, reserve times to meet characters, book FastPass+ reservations on rides, and set up Memory Maker to store and share all those photos that cast members take. It’s so handy to have all those details in one place, and it’s so worth it to not have to stand in line for 90-plus minutes in the Florida heat just to meet Anna and Elsa.

About a week later, we received our first mailing. It was a booklet titled “The Ramirez Family’s INCREDIBLE Vacation!” Of course, the Incredibles family was on the cover (sadly, without Jack Jack). The inside front and inside back covers were also personalized with our confirmation number, package type, arrival date, and deadlines (e.g., July 29 is the last day to customize our MagicBands).

Erin Ramirez

Ten days or so after that, we received our next package. Again, there was a booklet personalized with information about our resort hotel, our itinerary, dining recommendations, a list of seasonal events, new rides, etc. There is also a map of the airport, vouchers for a variety of things such as mini golf, and a savings card that can be used to receive 10% to 20% savings at participating locations throughout the resort.Erin Ramirez

Because we’d also made reservations to use the Disney Magical Express (motor coach transportation from Orlando International Airport to our resort hotel), they sent hard plastic Disney luggage tags with the logo of American Tourister (the official luggage of Disney World). And because luggage delivery service is included as part of Disney Magical Express, they also sent yellow airline-style luggage tags for Disney employees to easily ID our luggage at (or even before?) bag claim and deliver them to the correct resort hotel. In other words, we don’t have to rent a car! We only have to worry about our carry-on bags. We can use Uber for the one or two trips we’ll make off-resort.Disney-CRM-img3

Yesterday, most exciting of all, our MagicBands arrived — all in their own slots labeled with our names. They’ve been designed so cleverly. Can you see in the photo the black rim of the band? Well, for smaller wrists (say, those of a 6-year-old), the black outer band can be pulled off. And as long as the MagicBands stay in working condition, we can use them for future visits to Disney World.

Erin Ramirez

View Edna Mode’s “briefing” on the MagicBand

In my next post, I’ll let you know how all of this worked at Disney World itself.

Can you imagine taking some of these ideas and applying them to your organization? What can you send in advance? How can you help improve the on-site experience? How can you use technology to demonstrate to your patrons that you know them and want their experience to be magical, even if you deliver magic in a different way from Disney?

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