The Disney Way!

by Joan Hebert, Hebert Performance Training

After interviewing the manager of course development at the Disney University back a few years ago, I have continued to be a diehard fan of the Disney parks, resorts and “guest” philosophy. Although I discuss many of their insights in my customer service and management programs, I wanted to share some of the key concepts that make Disney so great!

“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
– Walt Disney

Lesson 1 – The competition is anyone the customer compares you with.

  • Recall a situation where you were very impressed with the level of service you received.
  • How did it raise your expectations of other companies?
  • How does our company’s service compare?
  • Who are our direct competitors?
  • Who else might our customers compare us with?
  • What does that suggest about how we might change the way we do business?

Lesson 2 – Pay fantastic attention to detail.

  • What details get in the way of our being easy to do business with?
  • What details could be improved to keep our customers coming back?

Lesson 3 – EveryONE walks the talk.

  • Think about the way people do their jobs here. Could we adapt the “aggressively friendly” concept to our company’s environment?
  • How might we expand customer service from a department to a tradition?
  • How could we individually do an even better job of “walking the talk” than we do right now?
  • What does “walking the talk” mean around here?
  • How would a customer’s experience be different if everyone here “walked the talk”?

Lesson 4 – EveryTHING walks the talk.

  • What messages are being sent to our associates/employees about the value of customers?
  • What’s one thing that could be changed so that it did a better job of walking the talk?

Lesson 5 – Customers are best heard through many ears.

  • How can we better track customer satisfaction?
  • How could the process of gathering feedback be more creative and fun?
  • Remembering the impact of immediate action, how could we improve our response time?
  • What formal and informal listening methods are we not using that we could be using?
  • How could we become more responsive to customer needs?

Lesson 6 – Reward, Recognize, & Celebrate

  • How often does good performance get recognized?
  • In general, what’s the positive-to-negative feedback ratio in our company/department?
  • How could we improve that ratio?

Lesson 7 – Xvxryonx makxs a diffxrxncx.

  • Thinking about the keyboard with the broken key, how could your company apply this lesson?
  • In what ways have we personally experienced this lesson?
  • How can we communicate this belief to others in the company?

Source: “The Disney Way” by Capodagli & Jackson

“You don’t build it for yourself. You know what people want and you build it for them.”
– Walt Disney

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