We can’t control everything, but we can control our reaction

It was on a recent trip to Universal Studios Hollywood that I realized an important business lesson: there are some factors we cannot change, but it’s how we handle these things that matters to our customers.

If you have ever been to Universal Studios (or any amusement park for that matter), you more than likely accepted the fact that more of your time at the park would be spent in line than actually riding rides. Unfortunately, this is the downfall of spending vacation at an amusement park and probably something that will never change. Though Universal Studios hasn’t figured out how to make their rides run without a line, they have figured out how to make the process more enjoyable. At the most popular rides in the park, like Jurassic Park, the Simpsons Ride and the Studio Tour, TVs playing clips that correspond with that particular ride are mounted throughout the waiting areas. There are also refreshment stations set up so you can purchase drinks or treats while you wait. (Not only a smart way to make people happy, but also a way to increase revenue.)

These things are really great, but the real brilliance happened while waiting in line for the Studio Tour. This is probably the most popular ride in the park, which means you could wait over an hour before you actually get to take the tour. What I found fascinating is that, even though the line was extremely long, we spent our entire wait walking through the line. Whoever constructed the waiting area must have figured people are less likely to be upset about the wait if they are constantly moving. In fact, I didn’t notice anyone complaining or truly unhappy in line, which is fairly unusual. Though Universal Studios is not my favorite theme park of all time, I am extremely impressed by the thought and precision they have put into making the experience as enjoyable as possible.

Amusement parks are not the only places trying to alleviate some of the pain caused by factors out of their control. In fact, Delta Airlines has found a way to alleviate the phone hold time by offering to call customers back when the next customer service representative is available. Whether it’s shortening wait times or making that time more enjoyable, are there things you could change to make your customer’s experience more enjoyable?

Megan Lane is part of the client relations team at Imagine Communications.Contact Megan at mlane@weareimagine.com.

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