This past weekend, my wife and I visited Universal Studios Orlando and braved lines sometimes longer than an hour to immerse ourselves in our favorite films and gawk at the most popular attractions. As these lines wound through turnstiles; in and out of buildings; past video screens and around huge, detailed and awe-inspiring resin sculptures; I was reminded that the customer experience is never just about the ride. It’s about when you get on, how you get on, and how you’re treated once you’re off.
The line for “Disaster” wound through an outdoor hangar and had tons of airplane wreckage to “ooh” and “aah” at and take pictures of. The Simpsons ride had a 107 minute-long wait, but it was the most talked about ride of the day and conveniently, had a “Kwik-E-Mart” next door where we could do some shopping. The “Revenge of the Mummy” had pieces of the sets and costumes (as well as original artist sketches) on display and also featured a video loop which told a cute little story of the “curse” that followed the crew while filming the movie.
The actual rides were intense, shook you around a little bit, and were great fun – and in the case of “The Mummy,” shook you around a lot and was only 10% of the total experience.
Whether it’s a 5-minute purchase or a 2-hour read, is your customer experience programmed to be worth the wait? Most importantly, does it spit the user out the other side, satisfied and motivated enough to want to brave the 107 minute-long wait all over again?