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Four Ways Leaders Can Positively Influence Service Delivery

August 11, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

In 2015, we explored The Role Of Positive Peer Pressure In Workplace Culture—the idea that healthy peer-to-peer relationships contribute to a healthy workplace culture where individuals at all levels are comfortable holding each other accountable. In other words, it is possible to create a service culture where everyone leads by example.

Why is this important? Because the delivery of exceptional service cannot be limited to front line employees alone!

In fact, in our Disney’s Approach to Quality Service training course we teach business leaders this key insight: however complete your overall service program, your efforts will collapse if managers do not reinforce the right behaviors.

What do we mean by “reinforcing the right behaviors?” It is not just telling others when they are doing things correctly (or incorrectly). Rather, we have found that when leaders also reinforce the right behaviors through their own actions, it sets the tone for high expectations throughout the entire organization and establishes a degree of accountability at all levels.

The good news is that, this is both achievable and sustainable.

Here are four ways to help leaders reinforce the right behaviors and support exceptional customer service:

  1. Build enough time into schedules for leaders to practice “management by wandering around.” Simply being present in the operation allows leaders to both model service behaviors and proactively engage with the people and processes at the heart of the organization.
  2. Enable leaders to “walk in the shoes” of employees. One way to do this is with what we refer to at Disney as “cross-utilization” shifts, where leaders have an opportunity during peak periods to fill a front-line shift, serving Guests in an operating area. Leaders who do this invariably come back with stories of positive interactions with Guests and fellow Cast Members.
  3. Encourage leaders to intentionally look for opportunities to “catch” others – leaders and front-line employees alike -  “doing it right,” and provide them with the freedom and resources to reward great customer service when and where it occurs.
  4. Ensure that leaders actively participate in regular training events that reinforce the organization’s values and update service guidelines. Playing an active role in training sends a massive signal to the organization about what leaders truly value. 


Learn more by enrolling in Disney’s Approach to Quality Service - an exclusive professional development training course available at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California. Available in 1-day or 3.5-day format, this course showcases time-tested Disney insights that can be adapt and applied to any organization or industry, ultimately helping business professionals positively impact the organizations they serve.

Tell us – How do leaders positively impact the delivery of quality service in your organization?  

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


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 Leadership Excellence | Tagged Customer Service, Customer Service Techniques, Quality Service, Customer Experience, Service Recovery, Leadership, Leadership Skills, Bruce Jones


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