Turning No into Yes

Written By: Kim - Apr• 11•11

I just spent three days at Digital Now in the most magical place on earth: Disney World. There is not a cast member there, whether on duty or not, who did not have a smile on their face or a quick hello for their guests. I have never experienced such fabulous, consistent, customer service.

I was lucky enough to attend a branding session given by a cast member of the famous Disney Institute. The speaker talked about how Disney used to say no to weddings. Then they noticed brides showing up in their dresses under overcoats, going with the bridal party to the spot where they wanted to get married, then quickly having the ceremony before security could come and ask them to stop.

The cast members started thinking about how they could manage and host weddings. Walt Disney World now hosts 1,500 weddings a year. In saying yes, they also built brand loyalty: providing a Disney fan the chance to get married in a place where they built memories as a child. The residual income from the wedding party, suggestions to other friends who love Disney and future trips with yet-to-be-born with children has created lifelong brand loyalty.

How are you saying yes to your members and customers to create lifelong brand loyalty?



I Am Turning into My Mother

Written By: Kim - Feb• 27•11

Recent events have made me realize that I am slowly becoming my mother. When exactly do women start to turn into dear old Mom?

For me, it really started when my children were younger. Things like, “Because I said so” started coming out of my mouth. Nagging them to buckle up before I left the driveway. And, no, I have never used my spit to comb my kid’s hair. That’s just too gross. Drilled in to my head were other Momisms like, “Never judge people by what they wear. The richest man in town is a peanut farmer who wears overalls and a straw hat.” “Always have your own credit card when you are married.” “When cooking, you can always add but you can’t subtract.” (Which means, add a little at a time). “The man you are in love with at 18 is not necessarily the man you are in love with at 28.” The list goes on and on.

But morphing into Mom became even more prevalent recently when I started critiquing the way the clerks at a local super store bagged my groceries. Honestly, who puts eggs on the bottom of a bag, even if you are putting the bread on top?

L-R: Emory Wickline (Dad); Carolyn Sheets (cousin); Nellie Wickline) grandma; and Marie Wickline (Mom) after my Dad's re-up in 1981.

I grew up on a military base, Ft. Rucker, Alabama, and the commissary was our main source of groceries. The commissary had grocery baggers who also took your brown paper bag purchases directly to your car. Apparently, this service still exists today in spite of all the self-service forms of purchasing that we have today.

Mom would always look for Mr. Bryant to bag her groceries. It did not matter who was at the end of the check out lane, she waved to him and he always came over. Oh, the dirty looks we received over the years from the baggers who showed up to our lane only to be turned away by my Mom. These guys and gals were working for tips, too. It embarrassed me to no end.

But Mom taught me a valuable lesson: You are the customer and you have a right to expect excellent customer service. Mr. Bryant provided excellent customer service. He knew exactly how to pack a bag of groceries: cold stuff together, heavy stuff on the bottom, don’t make the bags too heavy, and make quick witted conversation to the car. He was a dream.

My Mom had a high school education but could carry on a conversation with the most educated person in the room. She raised five children on a US Army enlisted man’s salary. Mom was never impressed with titles or labels. She could spot a phony a mile away — a trait she passed on to me. She believed in God, country and family. She loved to read and laugh.

I guess turning in to Mom really isnt that bad.