Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Enhancing the Customer Experience

March 05, 2013 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Your service experience should be designed around the needs and wants of the _______________. You probably said customer without even thinking, and you would be correct. But in order to do this, you must have a deep understanding of who your customer is.

Too many organizations limit themselves to a tunnel-vision approach while designing this experience. They think “We know they don’t like to wait in long lines” or “We know they expect us to answer the phone after so many rings.”

But organizations must move past the obvious service criteria and begin to take a holistic look at the customer. Listening posts are essential in collecting the feedback required to develop and refine our service experience. At Disney, we collect Guest feedback from a variety of listening posts:

  • Face-to-Face Research: This can be as simple as asking the location the Guest traveled from or what a Guest thought of a specific ride or event. Immediate feedback offers the opportunity to make short-term adjustments quickly.
  • Guest Communications: Listen to the letters, e-mails, and phone calls you receive. Every complaint can be viewed as an opportunity to improve.
  • Internet Sites: What are your customers saying about you online? Use this sounding board as an opportunity to learn from your customers’ uninhibited comments.
  • Talk to Your Employees: Few people know and understand your customers better than your front-line employees. We’ve found that our Cast tends to be the most honest about our areas of opportunity.
Learn more about Disney’s Approach to Quality Service by joining us tomorrow at noon ET for a D’Think Chat with customer service experience expert, Stu Levine. Leave your questions for Stu in the comments below!

Disney Institute is ready to help you apply strategic rigor to your customer experience efforts - call us at 321.939.4600 or complete our Contact Form

Posted in Quality Service | Tagged Customer Service Training, Customer Service Techniques, Customer Experience Improvement, Quality Service, Bruce Jones | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Enhancing the Customer Experience

  • David says:

    on March 05, 2013

    Outstanding advice! Any entrepreneur will tell you that your customers are not waiting in your office. They are out in the world and the only way to find out what they want is to go find them and talk with them...outside of your office! This may be a significant departure given a migration in our culture away from face-to-face or even telephone contact and more toward email. But email does a poor job at communicating emotion and does not provide the means to have a real conversation. It may take a little more time, but the investment will definitely pay off!

  • Alex says:

    on March 05, 2013

    Great point about not relying on assumptions but listening to the guests to find what is working and what isn't. Does Disney perform any contextual research and ethnography to discover insights about how to better design for and serve the guests?

  • Linda says:

    on March 09, 2013

    I recently visited Disneyland/California Adventure Park this Christmas. Sadly, the cast member doing surveys really dropped the ball in regards to getting my feedback during the first part of our visit there. I was a bit stressed with a few hiccups in availability of service. I was feeling a tad irritated while exiting the park. A person with a handheld electronic survey approached my husband as we were leaving. He declined an interview, but I (btw I was standing right beside him) said "I have an earful for you." The cast member declined any of my concerns, stating that she had to only interview the person she approached. She did not offer me any suggestions of who to contact regarding my concerns, but just brushed me off. If Disney really believes that they want to hear customers comments - then they should do a better job at listening and giving an opportunity for us to tell them. After this first dissapointing day - we had a better time at the parks - but I still remember the feeling of being brushed off and not heard that first day. There is room for improvement.

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