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Are Your Employees ‘Doing Things Right’ or ‘Doing the Right Thing’?

February 23, 2016 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Picture yourself staying at a Disney resort. You’ve just completed your weeklong stay and are checking out at the front desk, when the Cast Member looks you in the eye and says with a smile, “Thank you for being our Guest this week.” How does hearing the word, “Guest,” make you feel? Since the opening of Disneyland in 1955, Cast Members at Disney theme parks and resorts have referred to our visitors as Guests. Does it matter?

Although using the word Guest is not necessarily unique to our organization today, there are important reasons behind why we encourage our Cast Members to do so. It provides a framework for understanding how we should interact with people - actually treating our visitors as if they are guests in our own homes.

As we have previously shared in our professional development training courses, and in our book, Be Our Guest: …words create images and corresponding assumptions in people’s minds. Take the word Guest. An unhappy Guest and an unhappy consumer create two very different images in an employee’s mind. Guests are welcome visitors, whom you host; consumers are statistics. If someone is your Guest, don’t you feel a greater obligation to ensure his or her happiness?” And, at Disney, happiness is the goal!

In fact, everything we do in terms of service design revolves around our guests and our common purpose—a simple statement that represents what we stand for and why we exist as an organization. This statement defines the expectations we have of ourselves as Cast Members and reads like this: "We create happiness by providing the finest in entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere." Striving to create happiness allows us to begin forging life-long relationships with our Guests.

So, how can an organization ensure that its employees are able to actually deliver on the purpose? We now return to the question at the opening, “How does hearing the word, ‘Guest,’ make you feel?” You would probably agree that, in general, the words alone are not sufficient. The behaviors – the eye contact and sincere smile – also matter a great deal.

In other words, we should consider our focus on “doing things right,” and “doing the right thing.”

“Doing Things Right”
This is critical for efficient, high-quality, and consistent delivery of the desired Guest experience. One method commonly used is providing scripts. By scripting transactions, you can help to ensure that employees have the tools to “do things right.”

“Doing the Right Thing”
On the other hand, providing a clear framework can help employees “do the right thing” on behalf of their Guests, rather than abdicate to the script alone or simply do what’s been done before. This unscripted approach empowers people to internalize and “own” the common purpose and then deliver the Guest-focused behaviors that bring that purpose to life.

In our Disney Institute training courses, we share that the key to our success lies in a holistic approach. You must give people purpose, not just rules. Once employees understand and internalize the common purpose, they can choose to go that extra mile because they have a heart for service, turning “customer service” into “Guest service.”

Want to learn more? Enroll in one of our upcoming Disney’s Approach to Quality Service coursesAvailable in 1-day and 3.5-day formats at both Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney Institute courses teach business professionals and other organizations how to transform the way they approach delivering quality service to their own customers. 

Think about it: Are your employees able to “do the right thing” on behalf of your customers, or must they focus solely on “doing things right?”

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, Quality Service, Customer Service, Customer Experience, Service Training, Employee Training, Employee Communication, Bruce Jones


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