Disney Customer Experience
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If you don’t think that customer service experience matters, just look at Disney.

I recently spoke to a rock star customer service team at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel on the Disney property in California about the Disney service experience.

Disney is famous for their customer-focused training regiment for all of their employees at their resorts and theme parks.

People come from all over the world, and many plan years in advance before visiting Disney’s theme parks and resorts. Because of the expectation of a magical service experience, Disney’s customer service focus HAS to be based on creating a magical service experience for all of their customers (“guests”).

Disney has mastered the art of the customer service experience.

Do what you do so well they want to come back and bring their friends.

-Walt Disney

To Disney, a 1% increased in customer loyalty, translates into millions in revenue each year; yes, customer service experience REALLY matters. The service experience at Disney, involves a number of “Magical” aspects, of which I’d like to touch on 3 of them.

1. The Magic of Setting in the Service Experience

At Disney’s parks, guests are treated to re-creation of famous Disney settings. Visiting the various areas of the park, guests are immersed in the Disney service experience and feel as if they’re a part of Disney. Every detail of the settings counts towards creating that magical customer experience.

Your customer service experience setting will be wherever your customers interact with your people and systems. Every detail of the encounter sends a message to the customer. Phone calls, emails, live chat, even Web sites speak to customers. What’s the message you’re sending? Does it say “we care about the customer”?

2. The Magic of Cast in the Service Experience

Think of your last Disney experience? What were the people like? At Disney, all “Cast” Members (Employees at the Park) are friendly, approachable, and helpful without being condescending or mechanical. I recently was at Disneyland with my family and as we entered the park at opening time, we were greeted as we walked down Main Street by smiling, happy, employees waving to guests with giant Mickey Mouse hands.

at Disney, every team member knows, studies, and understands the behaviors, mannerisms, terms, and values that are specific to his or her job function.

Every job function is measured against the core service values of the organization.

3. The Magic of Action in the Service Experience

At Disney, team members are trained to look for combustion points. Combustion Points are where even finely tuned, positive customer experience processes break down, creating negative customer experiences.

Where are the combustion points at your organization and within your team? What are your positive customer service experience creating areas where because of break downs, system failures, or poor performance by team members, negative experiences breed?

Disney focuses on uses cast-guest communication, guest-flow, and service attention processes to eliminate or control these points.

Your customer service experience can be magical too!

Disney sets the customer service bar high with their attention to every detail of the customer service experience. But their successes are focused around effectively implementing these keys to creating an amazing and magical service experience for all of their guests. The Disney service model can be applied in any organization if management and team members are committed to creating magical experiences for their customers. The model isn’t expensive or complex. It simply requires commitment on the part of the individuals involved to creating a magical service experience for each customers.

What do you think? I’d like to know what ways you’ve found successful to make your customer service experience stand out from the competition.

Culture, Customer Experience, Customer Service

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. recentley me and my wife traveled to Walt Disney World and stayed for a whole week but we didn’t stay in a Disney hotel because we were on a budget so we ended up staying a none Disney hotel but it was still inside the park property so on our last day remind you it was our last day we were at Epcot and we just finished watching fireworks show so we decided to go see if we can get on the fast track ride but as soon as we got in line the worker who was there asked if we were staying at a Disney hotel and we said no but we are staying in the park she said the ride was closed as of 9pm and it was only open to guests who were staying in a Disney hotel and we told her it was our last day and she said sorry,so what does it matter were you stay in the resort we spent alot of money regardless so i really doubt it if Disney guests are spending any more money then someone staying in a non Disney hotel me and my wife were really annoyed by that that almost sounds like the worker was discriminating agianst us because we were not staying in a Disney hotel so to tell you the truth by that i told my wife this will probably be the last time we go to Disney World resort i think everyone should be able to ride any ride regardless in which hotel your staying.

    • The entire reason people pay the extra money for a Disney resort are for the perks. One of these perks is magic hours. Magic hours are where the park is only opened for Disney resort guests. IF they allow non guest to take advantage, this is no longer a perk. Sorry your time was ruined but it wouldn’t be fair for the individuals that paid the extra money for the treatment if they let anyone in. Rules are rules. Disney is excellent and taking a wrong and making it a right, but they still abide by the policies of the park with no exceptions just as any good business should.

  2. […] when they are older. They won’t remember the money they received, but they will remember the magical experience they have while waiting for the tooth fairy to visit them in the night. It opens up a whole new […]


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