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The happiest wristband on earth.

Posted by Hilary Biggart Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This is an installment in a weekly series on uncommon tech innovations and implementations across all industries. Get an inside look at how other companies have changed their brands, their sales, and their retention through digital and mobile tech. 

If you’ve been to a Disney park in the last year or so, you might’ve noticed a new trend: colorful rubber wristbands on everyone from parents to children. Maybe you were even wearing one yourself. Simple those these wristbands look, they have overhauled the Magic Kingdom, and the technology behind them is poised to change the world.

Disney’s appropriately titled MagicBand takes the encapsulated world of Disneyland or Disney World and turns it into a centralized, tech-fueled experience we will expect from the entire world one day soon. Even to limit the MagicBand’s capabilities to the parks themselves seems inadequate. These wristbands curate every interaction you have with Disney, from the time you book your trip to your final ride on Space Mountain.

Disney knows what you want before you want it.

It’s impossible to overstate the power of the experience Disney has created with the MagicBand. Through an intricate system of radio transmitters and receivers, all powered by the information you provide through Disney’s website and app, the experience begins right when you book your trip.

MagicBands arrive in the mail, etched with your name, before you leave for the Magic Kingdom. Once you arrive, the bands serve as your key to your hotel room, your ticket to enter the park, your payment method for buying food and souvenirs, and your pass onto pre-reserved rides. One wristband and you truly have an all-access pass.

Friction is a thing of the past.

In making the MagicBand, Disney scoured their processes for “friction”—pain points that cause annoyance or frustration for their park patrons. This starts at the airport where families have to wait at the baggage carousel or rent a car and finishes at the park, where your favorite attractions might be spaced far apart or crowded.

The MagicBand seeks to relieve as many of these pain points as possible without patrons having to move a finger. No more waiting for your luggage—it’s tagged at your home airport for delivery to your hotel. No more zig-zagging around the park—the MagicBand structures an itinerary around your favorite things and gives you the most efficient routes to get to them.

All of this contributes to the most seamless, effortless customer experience the world has ever seen.  

Disney aims for more than the “Internet of Things.”

A Disney executive stated last year that the long-sought “internet of things” misses the point. It’s not about things, it’s about experiences. The technology in our world shouldn’t fuel the things around us, it should curate the way we experience the world in a way that effortlessly fits our lifestyles.

What we can learn.

Disney has taken the idea of the customer experience and supercharged it. In a dealership context, it might initially seem excessive. But actually, a dealership is the perfect environment for a MagicBand-esque technology overhaul.

As a contained world of its own, your dealership shares many of Disney’s pain point. Consider for a minute what makes your customers feel frustrated or annoyed. The exact friction might be different from Disney, but the solutions are the same. Provide an ultra-personalized, curated, seamless customer experience—driven by simple technology—that anticipates your customers’ needs before they even have to say them.

We may not have an all-access wristband quite yet, but the initial tech tools to begin creating this experience are already on the market. You can start greeting your customers by name on the service drive. You can start anticipating their needs through custom service menus and targeted marketing messages. You can start using a mobile app to stay constantly connected and keep them engaged.

An all-connected world is just around the corner. It’s time to start putting the pieces together now. 

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