Every day at Disney, the characters are asked the same seemingly obvious question from anxious guests who don’t want to miss out. They’ve got things on their mind, a million things to do, and a family of people pulling them in every direction. And so they ask, “what time is the 3 o’clock parade?”

But is the question they’re asking the real question they want answered?

The answer is a simple, no.

Beneath this seemingly obvious question, lies the hidden questions the person wants to know about like “what time should we get ready for it?”, “how long does it go for?”, so, rather than just giving the simple and bland answer to the main question, Disney staff call on their knowledge of all things Disney parade and offer up additional insights that answer these hidden questions, and more. Not in a way that’s over the top though, it’s important they stay focused on the question at hand, but going above and beyond what’s asked of them at the surface level. Even to the point of giving what seems like inside knowledge like where the best vantage points are, and what time the parade will reach a certain area of the park. Something to make that person feel special, and like they’re worth the effort.

So this brings me back to you and your startup. What are the common questions that you’re being asked by your customers, and more importantly, are you merely meeting them with canned responses to brush off that surface question?

If so, you’re missing a huge opportunity to deliver a delightful experience on what is often their first experience dealing with a person at your company, while they’re still getting their bearings. Take this chance to exceed their expectations. What other little pieces of information can you provide that helps to answer the hidden questions they’re really asking, or to help them at the next step they’re likely to reach?

The most important thing to remember, is that support is not just about answering a question, and it’s definitely not a sales or marketing tool as some others would have you believe.

It’s a relationship building platform.

Use it wisely, and the relationships you’ll build will be worth more than any quick win you can push through a funnel.

So, when’s your 3 o’clock parade?

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