Thursday, March 12, 2009

More From SOCAL

Here are a few more memorable customer service and business (non) brilliance from our SOCAL trip so far.
Universal Studios tram tourUniversal Studios: For those of you who have taken the famous tram tour, do you remember the Subway Earthquake inside the sound stage? The effect that has all the water pour down the stairs and the tanker truck falls thru the roof? Well, as we left the sound stage after the effect, back out into the sunshine, someone pulled the emergency rope and the tram screeched to a halt. The driver proceeded all the way back to the end of the 10 car tram and a few rows from us a lady had lost her sunglasses inside the sound stage. The driver said he couldn't go back inside, due to safety reasons, but he would "call someone". Yeah, lady, that was the end of your sunglasses, I thought. But wait! Not more than 2 minutes later, as we drove up the hot set of Desperate Housewives (Hot Set = filming was actually in progress), a pick-up truck pulled next to our tram and a gentleman raced out, holding a pair of sunglasses! Other riders Ohhhed and Awwwed at the incredible customer service. It was actually quite amazing how the driver could radio about the lost glasses, have someone go into the sound stage and locate the glasses, and then catch up to us in such a short time - all with a smile. Very memorable.
Parked strollersSan Diego Zoo: We had our stroller parked at the entrance to a wild animal show at an outdoor auditorium that held about 300 people. The designated "Stroller Parking" area was jammed, and I was as much to blame, since everyone just parks any which way and heads in. The show was great, but when we came out to get our stroller, every single one was organized in parallel fashion and turned to face towards the exit. Spectacular! Oh, and to my buddy Scott who owns Baby's World: You are in the right business, my friend.
Captain Kidd's sinking fast!Captain Kidd's Buffet: It is amazing what viral information can do to a business. We stayed in a hotel directly outside the gates of Disneyland and there is an IHOP right next door. Also, there is a restaurant called Captain Kidd's Buffet. Before we ever left Vancouver, we had 3 people tell us "Don't eat there!" for all sorts of reasons I won't go into. My point is, a business's reputation is so far-reaching in this world of Twitter, FaceBook and other social sites that, along with old fashioned "word of mouth," it can make or break your success. Sure enough, when we saw both restaurants, Captain Kidd's was sparsely filled, and IHOP had a line up. We ate at IHOP, but also tried The Captain for a breakfast one morning, just to be fair. Mmmmmm… I love IHOP! Check out the comments I found online - some are hilarious!!