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Lesson #2-business lessons learned at Disneyland

Customer Service.

Besides Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA [I have not been to any other Disney park to date] the only other business where I have received consistently excellent customer service is the In-N-Out Burger in my community of Livermore, CA.

On my recent week-long visit to Disneyland – going every day for 5 days – and staying from opening until closing – I can say that I experienced, as a customer, consistently excellent customer service.  It appears that what Disneyland as a business has learned is this: 

1.  every employee is the “face” of the company to every visitor they encounter

2.  that although an employee may have to speak the same script a thousand times a day to a thousand people, they remember that there are some of those people for whom that script is something brand new…the experience in the park is brand new and the employee can make or break that customer’s enjoyment of that day

I think that is what impressed me the most.   On the Wednesday of our Disney week, the temperature was 100 degrees.  It was hot.  Hard to believe the first week of October could be so miserably hot.  There were a lot of people in the park.  And it was a bit humid which made the heat that much more uncomfortable.  The visitors felt it and the employees felt it.  Yet, even during the hottest part of the day, we never once received an unkind word from an employee.  We were greeted with smiles and courtesy.  I especially felt sympathy for the cast members in the afternoon parade who were wearing the heavy costumes.  Yet those performers gave a great performance – that is such an important lesson.  There were most probably people watching the parade for whom this was their very first visit to a Disney park, their first viewing of the famous parade and if the performers had been half-hearted in their singing and dancing, it would have been a tremendous disappointment.

How many of us in our businesses remember that customer service is key  to a successful business?  We may have to speak with many people all day long and repeat the same information over and over, but it’s important to remember that each individual customer deserves our respect and attention.  After all they chose to do business with us.

I mentioned In-N-Out Burger.  A few days ago I had a very late lunch, 4 in the afternoon, and chose to get a burger.  The place was nearly deserted as 4 o’clock is not a usual eating time.  The staff was utilizing that period of time to mop and clean tables.  When I entered, the young man mopping put away the mop and greeted me with a smile and took my order.  I filled my drink and found a table and waited for my order number to be called out.  But instead of that, because there was virtually no one else in the shop, my order was delivered to my table.  My burger was fresh and just about the best I’ve had in a while.  As I ate, about three other people came in, and they received the same kind of service as I had.  After I finished, I sat sipping my iced tea and one staff member came and asked if he could remove my red basket.  This was customer service.

I was so impressed with the service I had received and the quality of that particular burger that as I was leaving I went to the counter and complimented the lot of them.  They found the one person who had actually put together my burger and I thanked him.

I think we can all take a lesson from Disney and In-N-Out Burger and other businesses who put their customers first.  Now, I don’t agree with the old saw that “the customer is always right,” because it’s simply not true.  However, I do believe that without a customer we have no business and without a happy customer we have no ongoing business.

So…do you make an effort in your business to put make your customers’ experience with your service or product a successful one?

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2 Responses

  1. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  2. Linda. Isn’t it great when you can actually see what we aspire to do in action. I called a gentleman the other day who couldn’t take my call at that time but he told me “Please call back in 20 minutes, I can’t wait to talk to you.” I was going to him with some questions, the guy was busy and yet he made me feel like a million bucks.
    That’s service !
    Take care
    Joyce Penner

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