Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Harness Your Listening Posts to Enhance the Customer Service Experience

July 24, 2014 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Pop Quiz: Your service experience should be designed around the needs and wants of the _______________.

You probably said “customer” without even thinking about it, right? And you would be correct! But to design your service experience intentionally around your customers’ needs and wants, you must have a deep understanding of who your customer is.

In our Disneys Approach to Quality Service professional development course, we examine the idea that too many organizations limit themselves to a tunnel-vision approach while designing their customer service experience. They think: “We know our customers don’t like to wait in long lines” or “We know they expect us to answer the phone after so many rings.”

We believe that organizations must move past the obvious criteria and instead take a holistic look at their customers. Listening posts are customer-centric tools companies use to assess the customer experience and identify areas where customer needs are not being met. These tools are essential in collecting the feedback required to develop and refine the service experience.

Listening posts are not about collecting statistical data on your customers, but rather discovering their needs, wants, and expectations—and how you can adjust your service strategy to address gaps in the service experience.

At Disney, we collect Guest feedback through a variety of listening posts:

  • Face-to-Face Research: This can be as simple as asking Guests where they are visiting from, or what a Guest thought of a specific ride or event. Immediate feedback offers the opportunity to make short-term adjustments quickly and provide immediate service recovery.
  • Guest Communications: Listen to the letters, e-mails, and phone calls you receive. Every complaint can be viewed as an opportunity to improve.
  • Websites & Social Media: In today’s experience-driven economy, the customer experience extends far beyond the storefront. What happens on the local level has global impact, which is why it is critical to know what your customers are saying about you online. Use this sounding board as an opportunity to learn from your customers’ uninhibited comments. Observe trends as they occur in real time.
  • Talk to Your Employees: Few people know and understand your customers better than your front-line employees. We’ve found that our Cast Members tend to be the most honest about our areas of opportunity. Many of our service experience enhancements come directly from Cast Member suggestions.

What listening posts might your organization be overlooking as a valuable resource for feedback? 

We’d love to hear from you! 
Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook or Twitter using Hashtag #DThinkBlog.


For nearly three decades, Disney Institute has provided engaging and insightful learning opportunities for business professionals and organizations, teaching them the Disney approach to business….focusing on Service, Leadership, Culture, Brand Loyalty, Creativity and Innovation. To learn more about how you can attend an upcoming course, see our full Course Calendar. Not sure which course is best for you? Try our Course Recommender

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 Service, Experience, Listening Posts, Communication, Guest, Employee, Bruce Jones

Get In Touch

Phone: 321.939.4600
(M-F 9:00 am – 5:30 pm ET)

Email: You can also reach us through our Contact Form.
(No solicitors)