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Consider Your Setting: Everything Speaks

August 27, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Programming Director, Disney Institute


Where does exceptional service occur? A customer’s perception of the “where” is an equally important element of the overall customer experience and can be summed in two words: everything speaks.

Suppose you were preparing for a job interview. The outfit you choose, down to the color of your shirt and the polish on your shoes, conveys a message about who you are as an individual. Whether or not that perception is a reality is irrelevant to an interviewers first impression.

Similar to the interviewer’s first impression is a customer’s first impression of an organization. If a customer approaches a business for the first time only to find trash littered about the sidewalk, the perception might be that cleanliness is not a high priority. But the impression of an organization isn’t limited to a storefront or office. The appearance of a website, Facebook page, or advertisement all convey a message about an organization — a reminder that everything speaks.

Walt Disney was exceedingly aware of the signals a setting could send. He would insist on changing the texture of the pavement when entering into a new area of Disneyland© because he said, “You can get information about a changing environment through the soles of your feet.”

Regardless of intent, positive or negative, a setting will send signals to the customer about what the organization values. Are you sending the right message?


Image: Flickr/a200/a77Wells


Posted in Quality Service | Tagged Everything Speaks, Excellent Customer Service, Customer Service Techniques, Customer Retention, Bruce Jones | 2 Comments


2 Responses to Consider Your Setting: Everything Speaks

  • Donna says:

    on August 27, 2013

    Was trying to let my customers know that we are a happy place before they walk in the door, so we designed custom parking space signs. My favorite is "happy people park here, grumpy people park in rear" with a friendly smiley face. This sign brings so many funny comments from my customers. One of many Ideas sparked by DI and everything speaks.


  • George says:

    on August 27, 2013

    As usual, it's the little things that matter the most. Walt Disney was a master at being aware of that.


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