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Understand Your Customers Using Guestology

August 21, 2012 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute

With more than half a century of change and evolution in Disney product and service, one constant has been a relentless focus on understanding the needs, perceptions and expectations of Guests.

The simple term Disney uses to describe this research is Guestology – the study of the people for whom we provide service.

In order to provide quality service to Guests of Disney Parks and Resorts, we don’t just take what Guests need into consideration – we try to learn as much as we can about them to provide what they want, as well. This helps our Cast Members to deliver quality service that is above and beyond Guest expectations.

For Disney, it’s an ongoing process that continually evolves, so when considering Guest relations strategies, remember that it’s something that will always continue to grow. For Walt Disney, the same rang true after the opening of Disneyland.

“The first year [at Disneyland] I leased out the parking concession, brought in the usual security guards – things like that – but soon realized my mistake. I couldn’t have outside help and still get over my idea or hospitality. So now we recruit and train every one of our employees. I tell the security police, for instance, that they are never to consider themselves cops. They are there to help people. The visitors are our Guests. It’s like running a fine restaurant. Once you get the policy going, it grows.”

Consider it differently: How can you exceed your customers’ expectations without first knowing your customers?

Once you clearly define their needs and wants, you will be able to map out a plan to deliver strategies that will exceed their expectations.




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