I get it. I really do. I know that every time I publish a review of a resort, vacation or hotel, at the back of your mind you may be thinking, “Yeah, but was it all roses because you received special treatment? Did they go over and above because they knew you were reviewing their property?”
Okay, so the truth is – YES – often perks and rewards are bestowed upon us media folk. But certainly, it’s to be expected; it’s the same reason you clean your home before company arrives, grab the best wine and/or break out the fine silverware. You want your guests to leave with a wonderful impression. Because the truth is, if they knew that you actually just dusted in front of the picture frames instead of lifting them off the shelf, and that the wine currently stocked in your wine cellar was purchased 15 minutes before your guests arrived – maybe they wouldn’t tell your friends about the perfect dinner party you hosted. And that’s all we really want, isn’t it? Kudos. Pats on the back. Good press.
Hence, when writing reviews, I’m always sensitive to the “bonuses” that members of the media receive, and refrain from gushing or being overly obnoxious about them. You will rarely see me Facebook a perk, freebie or something else that is unique to my situation as a blogger; my attitude is, if my reader won’t be offered special treatment, there’s no need to prove that I was.
So, it gives me great pleasure to tell you about a wonderful – no, magical – example of exemplary customer service that we experienced this past Sunday at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. Staying at the Contemporary Resort for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, read on for an example of the Disney Difference – not because I am media personnel (he had no way of knowing), but because I am a person. Here’s what happened.
We were booked for the 4:20pm Magical Express to take us to the airport for our return flight. Since we were flying out of Buffalo, we were able to take advantage of Disney’s Resort Airline Check-in. Simply put: we could check our bags and receive our boarding pass right there at the resort, and then jump on a complimentary shuttle to the airport. After ridding ourselves of our heavy luggage, we decided to make our way to Hollywood Studios, to ride Star Tours… oh, 8-10 times.
However, at some point between the 35°C heat and the repeated passage on the simulator ride, Ryder began to feel sick. All the classic symptoms of heat exhaustion, really; irritability, drowsiness, complaining of thirst, and an overall feeling of malaise. And, since I was so wrapped up in making sure he was okay, I did something really silly – when I checked my phone, I thought “3:45 pm” read as “2:45 pm”. So yeah, by the time I figured out my mistake and we booted it back to the Contemporary Resort, we had missed our 4:20 pm Magical Express.
Truth be told, I wasn’t too concerned. I knew there would be another leaving at 4:50pm, 5:20pm, 5:50pm… etc. And, since our flight wasn’t until 7:20pm and our bags were already checked, there was no real emergency. We just had to make sure there was room on the 4:50pm bus. So, after collecting our carry-ons from bell services, I ventured to the front of the hotel and explained the situation to the Magical Express coordinator.
Me: (Eyeing his name tag) Hi Greg!
Greg: Hello there! How are you?
Me: Well, I have a small problem.
Greg: How can I help?
(Note: Greg didn’t say, “What’s the problem?” – rather, he immediately jumped in and committed to helping me find a solution. Love that.)
Me: Well, my little guy was under the weather in the park, and in turn we missed our Magical Express.
Greg: That’s not a problem.
I followed him over to a podium where I assumed he would check for availability on the next shuttle. Instead, he simply grabbed a taxi chit, filled in a few details, and said,
“Are you ready to leave now? Or would you like to cool off in the hotel for a while? I can arrange for towels if you’d like to freshen up.”
“Um, no…” I sputtered. “You really don’t have to do that. We can take the next Magical Express, I don’t want to put you out.”
“You’re not putting me out”, he laughed. “Everything is already taken care of. This chit even includes a tip, so unless the taxi driver sings and dances for you, you don’t even have to worry about that. Honestly. Just go inside, rest a bit, and when you’re ready to leave, the taxi will be waiting here for you.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Listen, you’ve got a little guy who’s under the weather. And the last thing you need is to board a bus that makes multiple stops. Relax; it’s my pleasure to make your vacation the best it can be, right up until you board your flight.”
And THAT’S the Disney Difference.
“Well Greg,” I said. “You’re so awesome, and you know what? You’ve helped someone who has the ability to tell the world how amazing you are,” I said. “I’m a Disney Social Media Mom, and you just know I’m going to put this on social media! Can I take a picture with you?”
Stunned, Greg posed for a photo. (Thanks again Greg!)
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve never had a problem that Disney couldn’t solve immediatly and above and beyond. And I’ve never travelled there as media! Staying onsite is worth every penny for the great service you receive.
That’s so refreshing to hear, Laura, and you’re right – they absolutely go over and above to make sure every aspect of your stay is magical!
awesome! stuff like that makes a huge difference
It really does! Was the cherry on top for our Disney vacation!
That really is amazing! I love it when staff take the extra step and have the ability to think outside the box. Disney really does do it right :)
Couldn’t have said it better, Steph! They definitely do it right!
That’s why I love Disney! The amazing customer service really defines the experience and makes vacationing with the family much more manageable and enjoyable!
Absolutely! It’s almost like staying with family in some ways! Love it!
That’s great Lena!!
I love great customer service stories.
Everyone deserves to always be treated in this manner.
It’s true, Allie!
I second that Allie.
Brilliant customer service is so rare these days, I’m so glad you received this care at Disney! They are really the best!
They really are, Anne. I was honestly blown away!
I have never had the pleasure of staying at a Disney resort, but I want to take my oldest granddaughter on a trip with me (hopefully sooner than later) and it sounds like this might just be the perfect place to go ;) So nice to hear about great customer care !
Oh Flora, you simply MUST. You both will love it!
Disney really does make the extra effort. When we were there I simply said “hello” to a park cleaner (I was waiting outside of a ride – holding my wriggly baby). He stopped – asked if I knew about the Switch Rider program (I didn’t) and went on to explain how I can switch spots with my husband riding with the big kids – thus taking turns.
He could have kept cleaning – but he went the extra mile – to ensure we had a magical time.
Thanks so much for sharing, Caroline – that’s simply amazing.
That’s amazing — I love hearing about great customer care
I think everyone loves hearing that there are awesome people in this world – especially at Disney World!
What a great guy! To some people customer service is the ‘job’ they do during certain hours but sounds like you found one of those great people that truly want to help out.
Yes, that’s exactly right Lisa!
Simply amazing. There really is a Disney Difference! Loved this post.
Sounds like Greg loves his job! Great to come across people who are so willing to help others. Thanks Lena, I’ve bookmarked the Contemporary.
So happy that you did, Jenny! I enthusiastically recommend the resort.
Now that’s fantastic service!!!
It really was Nicole – blew me away!
That is so cool. Fantastic service for sure. I’ve only been to Disneyland but the employees at the park are also very helpful.
Great to know Delia! I’d love to visit Disneyland one day!
Saw the post on your Facebook page, that’s so Disney!
Hahaha, yes it is!! LOVE that saying!
That is AWESOME! Love that Lena!
Thanks Joey! They really are awesome at Disney, aren’t they?
wow now that’s fantastic customer service!!
Yes indeed! Still so thankful for their kindness and hospitality!
That’s fantastic, and how Canadian of you not to want to put Greg out lol. We went to Disney for the first time last year and are already planning our next trip, we loved it that much. The people at Disney really make the difference of a good trip and a great trip and we had nothing but great people!
Hahaha it WAS very Canadian of me to not want to put him out! I think that most people leave Disney planing their next vacation. It’s so magical!
That’s an awesome story. Every company can benefit from going that extra mile. A few buck extra spent on small gestures can mean huge rewards from good press
You said it! And he had no idea he’d get any sort of press, so it’s SUCH a bonus.
Oh my! That truly is amazing! Disney is such a magical place BECAUSE of people like this!
Looking forward to hearing more about your trip! :-)
Thanks Soozle! I have so much to share, I don’t know where to begin, haha!
That was great to hear! Usually, customer service gets negative press so it is nice to hear that the employee went the extra mile!
It’s so true – all we hear about is the complaints. Nice to know there are employees who love what they do, and show it!
It’s always nice to hear positive feedback on customer service. Sadly, it’s not often!
Side note & off topic… I LOVE that green top you have on in the picture :)
Thanks Holly! Would you believe it’s a Joe Fresh top I found on clearance last year… for $3.99? One of my fave summer tops!
Great job Greg! Love the Disney Magic.
And I hope Ryder recovered quickly?
Yes, Ryder was better in under an hour. He just needed a little water… and some air conditioning!
You always tell the loveliest stories that we can all relate to! Happy to hear you had a great time and love that Greg made it magical.
Thanks Alexandra! He really did make our day.
A true example of the Disney Difference. I think it’s awesome that you were able to show that anyone can expect that level of service, not just media types as you mentioned. We’re going to Disneyland in August and my DD7 and DD9 are so excited!!!
That’s exactly it – Greg could not have known that I’d be publishing this account!!
What amazing service, that is what I love about Disney!
Just one of the many things!
Wow! that’s awesome customer service! Thanks for sharing this lovely story Lena. It shows that there are people in this world who would go the extra mile to be hospitable and show that they really care about your situation.
Couldn’t have said it better, Marissa. You’re absolutely right!
What a difference it makes to stay on the Disney resort…..service and amenities were amazing!
I know. Dream come true! So happy you and the boys had a fabulous time :)
I know! Not only have I received superior service at Disney and I am their biggest fan but I have heard tons of stories like this. I person I know was on a Disney shuttle and her son was sick so the driver dropped off the passengers and then drove them to a doctors clinic in the Disney shuttle bus. Seriously that is for sure above and beyond. So many stories like this. This is why no ones does it like Disney in my mind, and I have been to many places, waiting to see that someone else figured it out. So far I no where has. Some come close but none equal.
So happy you had that experience Lena! It really makes the trip special.
That is so wonderful to hear, Cathy – thanks so much for sharing your experience!
Disney is the best family resort as far as I’m concerned and especially if you stay onsite. The staff goes far and beyond being helpful and so courteous and totally genuine in their care for your experience while staying with them.
Couldn’t have said it better, Clifford. Thanks so much for your note!
Yes,they certainly seem to take very good care of things and that show how much they respect you and the place.