Set Expectations (Marketing Lessons from Walt)

This is the sixth in my eight-day series – Marketing Lessons from Walt.  As my family and I enjoy Walt Disney World, I’m going to capture some of the marketing genius that I believe began with Walt’s passion and has now grown into one of the world’s most powerful brands.

Human nature dictates that we are much more comfortable with the known.  While surprises are nice if they’re fun-filled, no one likes a nasty surprise, like a rush charge or an extra long wait for a product or service delivery.  The folks at Disney understand that human truth.  So they set expectations for their guests.

20061130waitjpg At the front of every attraction there is a sign that tells you the current wait time.  (Night photography is not my forte!) You make an informed decision — is Space Mountain worth a 90  minute wait?  Is Big Thunder Mountain enough fun to stand in line for 45 minutes?  Customers don’t mind boundaries or consequences if they know in advance what they are.   I’ll bet it won’t surprise you to learn that if there’s a 20 minute wait posted at a Disney attraction, the real wait time is more like 10-15 minutes.  Set expectations and when possible — exceed them.

Do you set your clients’ expectations?    Billing, delivery times, levels of service, your availability, etc.?    How do you do that?  Conversation?  A New Client handbook?  A contract? 

How you set them is a communications choice.  But setting them is just smart business.

Marketing Lessons from Walt – The Series:

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