Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Is Service Public or Private? Why We Must Assume The Customer Experience Will Go Viral

March 12, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Recently, you may have seen this great story featured on the news and in your personal social media newsfeeds. It’s an incredible story about the power of service and its ability to create emotional connections: Target Employees Help Teen Prep for Job Interview

As the story goes, a young North Carolina man was about to go on his first job interview, so he went in to his local Target store to purchase a clip-on tie. But, the store did not sell clip-on ties—only traditional neckties—so the workers went a step above and beyond. First, they assisted the young man by showing him how to put on a traditional necktie. Then, they tucked in his shirt, doled out some advice about looking the interviewer in the eye and offering a firm handshake, and wished him luck before sending him on his way.

What makes this story remarkable is that this great service moment was not shared by the Target company itself—or even by the customer himself—but rather by another customer who happened to be shopping in the store that day. As the customer observed this moment and realized she was witnessing a heartfelt and genuine interaction between the worker and the young man, she snapped a few photos and shared them via her personal social media accounts. And, of course, the rest is history as the photos went viral and appeared on news media outlets worldwide.

So, what business lessons can we take from this? One insight we share with participants in our Quality Service professional development training course is that the power of service lies in its ability to create an emotional connection, rather than a purely rational connection. In the service moment cited above, the Target worker recognized the opportunity to turn a simple transaction (i.e. to help the customer find a tie), into an interaction, resulting in an emotional connection with the customer, and with other customers who were not even directly involved. To learn more on this, check out: Why Emotional Connections Are the Key to Exceptional Customer Service.

This story also demonstrates how social media can so quickly and easily become the vehicle through which customer interactions and service-delivery moments—both good and bad—can be shared worldwide. In other words, now more than ever, organizations must assume that their customer service experience is completely transparent to the public through social media.

Remember, customers will tend to talk about poor service, and they will tend to talk about exceptional service, and they are now using social media to do so in both cases. So, make sure your service is exceptional! And, if you’re curious to know how the young man fared in his interview after he left the Target store, click here to see how the story ends.

How are you ensuring that your Customer Experience is ‘Social-Media’ friendly?

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Disney Institute uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to provide relevant illustrations and engaging stories that help you deliver the type of long-term results your organization is capable of delivering. Ultimately, Disney Institute can help you operationalize and sustain business results through leadership, culture, service and more. Explore our solutions for a team or an organizational initiative by visiting Our Approach page. To learn more about options available for an individual, please explore our Scheduled Courses.

Photo source: ABCnews.com

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Posted in Quality Service | Tagged Service, Customer Service, Guest Service, Customer Experience, Service Delivery, Social Media, Quality Service, Customer Satisfaction, Bruce Jones

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