Branding Speaker, Trainer, and Coach

5 Ways to Keep Your Clients Happy

Liz and Piglet

It’s been 17 years since I was last at Disney World and wowza! This place has changed…and not for the better. It’s not that any one thing was an egregious error; it’s simply that the total experience was less than magical.

My son and I had packed a ton of patience, but if I had magic fairy dust, here’s how I would sprinkle it to make your clients’ experience even better.

  1. Provide the Important Details – Directions throughout the hotel and park were given as “you can’t miss it” or “Just over there.” Or, “just hop on the Monorail.” BUT, what was missing were key details such as that the monorail to the Magic Kingdom requires that you change trains!  OR that you need to be on the “B” side of the terminal to get the bus, or that…The list is endless. Patiently take the time to talk and explain new processes to your customers. Remember: You may know your industry and process like the back of your hand, but they don’t!
  2. Bend the Rules… at least a little – We arrived late at one restaurant by ONE minute and were told simply “Sorry; the restaurant is closed,” despite it being filled with lingering guests. Still hungry, we walked to another restaurant advertised to be open until 10 (it was 9:32) and were told the exact same thing!  After pleading with the manager, we were seated and spied a tempting side dish of polenta offered with the porterhouse. Could I order it? Answer? No! Really? Could you check? No! Finally, I begged the waiter to ask the chef. He never returned, but when our food arrived, it was there…and added to our bill. Bear in mind: deviate from the rules slightly if you can make the experience better.
  3. Use Humans WITH Technology, Not as a Replacement – Disney has an app, but with spotty Wi-Fi (not enough to even initially download the app!), we needed real people to give us real answer questions. Throughout our stay, we got curt, clipped answers to what they thought were “not worth their time questions.” Please don’t insult guests by referring them to your site. Note: virtually all information about my speaking business is on my site, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t patiently hotlink the correct links and attach the essential information to prospects.
  4. Keep Renovating and Re-Inventing – There’s a difference between retro and dated. Here, at the spendy Beach Club & Yacht Club, the property is truly looking weathered. Rooms need to be modernized ASAP. Let me ask you: what can you upgrade for your clients?
  5. Provide Unexpected Gifts and Rewards –Remember the gift of a candy on your pillow? Remember how that made you feel? That’s the goal you should have for your clients. Find ways to make them feel special! 

I’m all Mickey ears to hear about your experiences wooing clients.  Tell me in the comments below.


  1. After reading your article, Walt wishes the rumors were true that he’s just frozen in suspended animation, so he could thaw out and correct every fault that you pointed out. He would agree with every point, as those are exactly the joys and comforts he strove to make sure his guests experiecnced.

    Disneyland is my favorite place on earth. (I haven’t been to DW.) But I agree it is no longer the happiest. Customer service is way down, but our culture as a whole seems to expect it and accepts it. (Not you and me, but the masses.) Too bad.

    But your examples of what’s wrong with Disney World are excellent reminders of how we can make our own clients happier.

    M-I-C see how we can provide the happiest client experiences on earth

    K-E-Y why? cause that’s what Walt would do

  2. Oh, I love your comments, Chaz.

    These are easy fixes that would move the customer experience from OK to phenomenal. And, our goal is to make sure that every interaction is the best it can be.

  3. We have recently created a “Purple Carpet Distinguished Patient” program. We picked about 20 or so of our patients who are about to receive Special promos from us..upgrades to massage, % off vitamins, etc. I will let you know the feedback!

  4. Oh, Iris, I LOVE this idea! It’s even better because it ties in your branding color and your name at the same time!

  5. Liz:
    Years ago, the great professional speaker Joel Weldon, described mediocre customer service this way. Joel said, “Elephants don’t bite, but mosquitoes do! If you stand outside on a summer night for too long, you’ll get tired of being bit and go inside.”

    Joel’s point is this: It’s the little things that eventually add-up to create a negative experience or disappoint customers… it’s rarely the “elephant-size” issues. People can spot big issues from a mile away and avoid them. It sounds like Disney is allowing too many customers to suffer “mosquito bites.”

  6. You are spot on, Tom; Disney felt as if death by a thousand little bites: lack of caring, lack of explanation, lack of enthusiasm. It wasn’t one thing, but everything!

    Thanks for sharing!

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