Disney Shows Why Your Organization Should Sweat the Small Stuff

Photo Courtesy of Disneyland

Photo Courtesy of Disneyland

It’s true: Disney does actually create magical experiences — so enchanting that the magical kingdom has a 70% return rate of first-time visitors, according to Help Scout’s Gregory Ciotti.

In this article, Ciotti highlights some interesting and unique takeaways from Disney Institute’s book, Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service. Since, as Jim has written, good service is the best marketing money you’ll ever spend, we thought we’d share a few of Disney’s customer service ideas below, and you can read the rest at Help Scout.

“Walt viewed his theme parks almost as ‘factories’ that produced delight and entertainment. His belief was that the backbone of Quality Service was built on designing perfect processes and then repeating them at scale. … Disney has seemingly held true to these beliefs with their close attention to detail in constantly improving their processes. It’s safe to say that they always sweat the small stuff.

Some examples mentioned in Be Our Guest include:

  • Turning around misfortune. Despite the efforts made to inform customers of height limits, often a young child will wait with a parent to go on a ride, only to find out he or she isn’t tall enough. Disney noticed that this was a major complaint from parents and, more importantly, ruined the experience for children. They have given staff permission to hand out a special pass when this happens that allows the child to skip to the front of the line on his or her next ride.
  • Ending the experience strong. What better way to end a magic experience than with a smooth exit? Unfortunately, Disney found many guests had problems finding their cars when leaving on trams. Tram drivers now keep a simple list of what rows they work each morning, which is distributed to team members at the end of the day. This allows guests to simply denote the time they arrived, and the tram drivers will know what location the guest parked in. A huge win for ending the day without hassle.
  • Fulfilling unique needs. Disney cast members found that disabled guests were often frustrated with parks because they had to constantly remind staff they were disabled, and they wanted to let staff know discretely. Disney created Special Assistance passes and provided their cast with a wide variety of training so that they were able to identify and fulfill the needs of disabled guests without invasive questions.”

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