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World Class Customer Service courtesy of The Mouse

by Linda Kleineberg | Jan 27, 2012

You know when you experience great customer service...  and you know when you don't.

I recently took my family on a five-day vacation to Disney World.  When it comes to World Class customer service, there are few that can rival The Mouse.  While the trip was purely for enjoyment and pleasure, I couldn't help but bring a few lessons and observations back to my home team at VIBCO.

Observation #1 - The Power of Consistency

Each and every employee (with a couple of notable exceptions... see Observation #3) referred to my 3 1/2 year old daughter as "Princess". 

"How are you today, Princess?"
"Are you excited to ride the teacups, Princess?"
"What would you like for dessert, Princess?"
"Have a lovely day, Princess!"

By the middle of our second day, my daughter was absolutely convinced that she was a princess.  That's the Disney magic... and it was incredible. 

Observation #2 - The Power of a Personal Connection

Upon our arrival at The Grand Floridian Hotel, I was the first out of the car. A cast member immediately and quietly asked my last name before the others in our party (my husband, daughter, mom and dad) were within ear shot, then...

"Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!  Hey everybody... The Kleinebergs are here!  Welcome to you!  We've been waiting for you all day!"

We were swept up in a flurry of attention and a gracious welcome that was just on the right side of overwhelming.  Perfection.

Observation #3 - The Danger of Misalignment

When you provide great service, your customers (in Disney's case, guests) expect great service.  When that service doesn't happen... especially on multiple occassions with a particular department or group... it's glaring, it's obvious, and it means that your customers will have unanswered questions about your organization.

"Does this group not receive the same training as everyone else?"
"Are the people who work in this area unhappy?"
"Why is there such a difference between this experience and all the others?"
"I wonder if there's some sort of labor dispute..."

None of those are questions that The Mouse wants it's guests to be thinking... but that's exactly what we were thinking whenever we rode a Disney Bus.  There was a Dramatic (with a capital D) difference between the demeanor of Disney Bus drivers and every other cast member we met.  The difference was profound and it was consistent.

I shared these observations with my team upon returning to the office... and I was delighted at their reaction.  Every person immediately and clearly understood how we can continue to improve and work toward our own version of Disney's World Class service. 

VIBCO's World Class Service doesn't involve us calling our customers "Princess", but it does mean that we need to consistently show them that they are important to us, that we are all working together to provide them with an easy and fun customer experience, that we appreciate them and will do everything within our power to make their day, and that we absolutly want to know about and work on those things where we fall short.

Cheers to The Mouse for a great vacation and for the inspiration.