Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Customer Service 101: Four Ways to Make Your Customers Happier This Holiday Season

November 17, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Guests shopping at Disney SpringsAt Disney, the holidays are an exceptionally exciting and busy time for our diverse businesses – from resorts, to theme parks, to cruise ships, to dining and retail operations worldwide. By observing some of these selected operations and meeting with leaders in our professional development courses, business professionals have come to understand that, regardless of industry, volume or scale, exceptional customer service is achievable for every organization because the service experience is “architected” from systems and processes they control.

To get your organization ready for the fast-approaching (and fast-moving!) holiday season, here are four ways to make your customers happier this holiday season:

  • Build relationships
    Satisfaction can be dangerous. Why? Because, a customer who is merely “satisfied” is still likely up for grabs in the marketplace and may be seeking better experiences from your competitors.So, what can organizations do to turn an ordinary (satisfactory) customer experience into an extraordinary experience? One simple approach is to show employees how to turn transactions into interactions, and then into relationships. To get started, share this with your employees: Why Satisfaction Is Dangerous
  • Be “on-purpose”
    Here at Disney, one of the little “wows” that continually surprises our guests is resolving their problems before they have to think about asking for help. We take the time and effort to study our guests’ needs, wants, and expectations, and then we train and empower our Cast Members to proactively look for these unique customer service opportunities. Remember, effective empowerment requires a governing rule.  Learn more about our governing rule: “purpose trumps task,” which means it is OK to be off-task if you are on-purpose.
  • Listen beyond the obvious
    The weeks leading up to the winter holidays can be stressful for customers who might be feeling overwhelmed or rushed to check everything off their list in a short amount of time. It’s times like these when an organization can truly differentiate themselves from their competition by listening carefully to what customers are asking. How? Begin by understanding your organization’s potential “Three o’clock Parade” question, and then training employees to genuinelyseek to understand each individual customer’s needs and wants, and be able to respond accordingly in the service moment.
  • Resolve issues quickly
    When something does go wrong or a customer is unhappy, we believe speed is critical to service recovery, and is best achieved by the maximum possible delegation of authority.Therefore, it’s essential that employees are empowered and equipped with tools to enable them to quickly resolve as many issues as possible on their own. Here are three guidelines to share with employees to help them resolve customer service issues quickly, along with what to do when you can’t give a customer what they want.

Want to learn more? Consider enrolling in Disney’s Approach to Quality Service professional development training course. Available in 1-day and 3.5-day formats at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, this course offers participants the chance to learn how to differentiate their organization’s service and how to recover effectively from a service failure and turn it into an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships.

Think about it: As you begin making improvements in these areas, which one will make the biggest impact for your organization, and why?

We’d love to hear from you! 
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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, Customer Service, Quality Service, Service Recovery, Bruce Jones

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