Category: Conferences and Events, Industry Trends

Have a Magical Day


Big-DataLast month, I attended the DST ADVANCE conference in Orlando. The conference is a gathering of DST clients who come together to exchange ideas, share insights, and collaborate on the current and future direction of DST products and services. One evening during the conference, I experienced my first “Have a Magical Day” moment.

It was Tuesday night, the conference was done for the day, and a group of us decided to grab a late dinner in Downtown Disney. After dinner, we walked around taking in the warm weather, the unique sights, and doing a little shopping. While walking, a colleague told us about a bad experience she once had at one of the Disney properties. She experienced an issue, and Disney was unable to correct it. She had become frustrated when Disney proceeded to tell her to “Have a Magical Day.”

It didn’t really sink in how frustrating this would be until about an hour later when I stopped in the Disney Store to purchase a gift. After finding exactly what I was looking for, surprisingly at a great price, I moved to the checkout area. After standing in line for 40 minutes, it was finally my turn. The cashier wanted to chitchat, but I wasn’t in the mood at that point. After paying the cashier, I quickly turned to leave, and I heard the cashier say, “Have a Magical Day.” I forced myself to keep walking versus telling him how I really felt. But in that moment, I realized that many of the concepts being discussed at the ADVANCE conference are applicable across many industries.

Let’s look at a few as examples:

  • Big Data – Everyone has heard the buzz word “Big Data,” but what does it really mean and what value can it bring to your organization? According to the ADVANCE conference session, “Using Big Data to Drive Profitable Behavior Change,” Big Data analysis provides valuable insights into what is happening with your customer. Figuring out how to take those insights and turn them into value-added action is the key.
  • Customer Engagement – Steve Hooley, Chief Executive Officer and President, DST Systems, kicked off the conference talking about the age of the customer and the need to have deeper insights and stronger customer engagements. He noted the theme of the conference: “Insight > Action > Results.”
  • Communicating in a Hyper-Connected World – According to DST’s Rich Langan, “Smarter, more contextual interactions will be critical to delivering successful customer experiences.” He also said, “Contextually relevant communications can grab and hold your customer’s attention.”

These topics and many others made for a successful and informative ADVANCE conference, but it’s interesting to realize they can be applied outside of our core industries as well. Go back to the not so “Magical Day” experiences that my colleague and I had in Disney. Imagine for a minute that Disney had used Big Data analytics to influence or modify the behavior of their employees. Imagine that those employees could quickly receive relevant data, and turn it into insight to take more germane, contextual action. The result might have been a very different customer experience for my colleague and me. Who knows, we might have had a truly Magical Day.

Marianne DeMello-Smith

Marianne DeMello-Smith

Marianne has over 20 years of transfer agency experience and joined Boston Financial in 2000. She leads the Desktop Solutions Services team managing testing, administration, implementation, and consulting for the DST application suite.

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