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12.03.2009

How Disney Works to Win Repeat Customers

Owners of retail shops and service businesses can borrow Disney's "secondary-guest" strategy to convince customers to keep returning!

Posted by: Carmine Gallo - Business Week

At Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., a 1% increase in repeat business translates into millions of dollars in revenue. How Disney (DIS) communicates its values to customers is critical to its success. To make sure each customer receives a positive experience, Disney has a strategy in place intended to woo "secondary guests" — those who exert influence on the purchasing decision, but aren't considered the core customer. The secondary guest can stand in the way of repeat business.

"If a mother comes to your retail store and an employee is rude to her children, she may not return. If a parent is test-driving a new car and the kids are bored and unhappy, the parent may become distracted and more likely to leave without making a purchase," says Bruce Jones, programming director for the Disney Institute, the entertainment giant's professional development and external training arm. Jones says the secondary customer experience is critical to differentiate your business from others that may offer the same or a similar product or service. It applies to businesses large and small.

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