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Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Exceeding Guest Expectations: Go Beyond the Obvious

February 16, 2016 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

At Disney, we strive to go beyond the obvious in order to surprise and delight our Guests. In our book, Be Our Guest, the “magic of setting” is discussed as a key aspect of creating this customer experience: “As you watch Disney films, board its ships, shop in its stores, and visit its parks, look closely at the details of the environment you’ve entered. You will find a surprising level of depth and coherence. Think about how this enhances your experience.”

At Disney Institute, we believe service is manifested everywhere your organization touches the customer; therefore, you must intentionally manage the service experience beyond the obvious customer touchpoints.

Before a Guest enters one of our parks, they will have already encountered a variety of touchpoints (defined broadly as any medium that engages with the customer). Once inside a Disney Park, a touchpoint can be anything from a personal interaction with one of our Cast Members, to functional items such as a park map or directional signage, to the specific architecture and background music used to create the setting.

Where possible, our goal is to turn what might be an ordinary transaction into a more memorable, immersive experience—for example, when we “plus up” an attraction’s queue area to create an engaging experience for our Guests while they wait.

The queue area for our popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction at Magic Kingdom Park is a great example of this. There, we have transformed the experience of waiting in line into an entertaining experience, offering Guests the opportunity to play a series of interactive games as they wait. At the first interactive station in the attraction queue, Guests can partake in the jewel washing game. As the jewels flow by in a wooden trough, guests touch and drag them into a tray on the side, matching them by color and shape.

Take a look around your organization and try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. Are there some not-so-obvious touchpoints that could be “plussed” up? Implementing even small changes can impact your customers in a positive way, and can combine to make a solid investment towards creating your own unique customer experience and differentiating your brand.

Want to learn more? Consider enrolling in our Disney’s Approach to Quality Service professional development training course, which offers participants the chance to learn how to assess what signals their touchpoints are sending to their customers, and how these touchpoints play an integral role in their overall customer experience strategy. 

Think about it – What not-so-obvious touchpoints can you “plus up” to create an even stronger customer experience?


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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, Touchpoints, Service Strategy, Bruce Jones


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