Today is a special guest post from my husband Andrew. He has been working on three part series on why he loves Disney. Today I am so excited to be posting part one, The Magic of Disney Customer Service.
Why I love Disney? The Magic. The “magic” is not an easy thing to describe as it is something different to everyone. This is my view of the magic and why I love it.
I have spent the last decade in the service industry leading sales and service teams in both retail and call center locations. I view the world through eyes that grade the quality of the sales interaction and customer service provided. That means I notice every light bulb that is burned out and look at displays as if with a white glove. It is not intentional, but I can’t turn it off. I always go out of my way to thank everyone by name and provide compliments when ever warranted. It’s because I know what its like to be on the other side of the counter.
Consumers today say that a high level of customer service is important and are even wiling to pay for it. But all to often when dollars hit the pavement. The impact of quality of customer service on the buying decision is outweighed by the increased cost. Quality service requires an investment by a company. As dedicated as a clerk may be, that little something extra is the first thing left out when long lines form and the stress sets in. Places known for good customer service always have plenty of people working, and invest heavily in training and development. But fewer companies are making that investment because the average customer would prefer the companies invest in lowering prices, how else did Wal-Mart become the worlds largest retailer?
When I visit Walt Disney World its as if I am watching a master execute in the same as you might watch an elite athlete or musician. The magic of Disney is the dedication of the cast members and the willingness of Disney to continue to invest in them. Treating a customer like its your first is the hardest thing for a service professional to do. Yet Disney finds a way to not lose that eagerness.
A reporter once asked Walt how he expected to keep Disneyland so clean. He responded something to the effect that, we will keep it so clean that guests will feel guilty putting trash on the ground. I love a clean resort, but I greatly appreciate the work and pride that goes into keeping it that way. Regardless of the price or location, if the name Disney is on the door you can expect that the cast members will treat you like you are staying in a 5 star resort.
Walt Disney world is my service utopia and what I try to emulate. Building an organization that provides great service can be done. Building an organization with ten’s of thousands that serve millions of customers is unheard of. But doing it in a way that is profitable and sustainable requires a magician.