Yesterday, in our interview with Disney Cast Member Annie Phillips about their amazing College Program, Annie mentioned that Disney has four keys to delighting guests. She wasn’t sure if they were proprietary and top-secret, but I did some research and found them available throughout Disney’s customer service training website, Disney Institute:
Each observation is rooted in one of, what Disney refers to as, the four keys — company-wide service basics for providing an outstanding customer experience. Safety, courtesy, show, and efficiency (in that order) guide the Disney service culture, each with actionable lessons for providing outstanding service experiences.
Why these four? Why this specific order? Having studied guest/customer delight and disappointment intensely for the past few years, I can speculate:
Safety first. It goes without saying, right? Until someone doesn’t say it… then companies start taking things for granted… and accidents and tragedies occur. Disney understands that for families to get the most out of adventures of lifetimes, they must first feel safe, protected, and inside a magical snowglobe of awesome. By constantly, relentlessly putting safety above all else, no cast member takes it for granted.
Courtesy is more than manners. It’s more than doing simply what’s necessary. Courtesy – in the Disney universe – means going above and beyond what’s simply necessary and looking for opportunities to delight guests. It means cast members practice mindfulness – always being aware of guests around them and reacting to someone in need. Disney not only measures but rewards courtesy among its cast members. Whether its through guest comment cards or Take 5s, Disney knows you can only improve what you measure AND reward.
The play’s the thing. The properties and the cast members must remain in character at all times. People travel here to get away from reality. Disney requires cast members to consistently commit to their roles – whether that role is playing Mickey Mouse or cooking in the bakery. It also lends itself well to the consistent commitment to pick up trash throughout the park. It’s a guest’s privilege to walk freely through a clean park. Clean = Magic. That’s why you’ll never see a piece of trash on the ground for more than five minutes on a Disney property.
Disney constantly challenges its cast members to evaluate how they can make it easier for guests to have the most magical time of their lives. Cast members learn and keep mindful how to quickly solve problems and turn lemons into lemonade. Disney management has worked hard to eliminate levels of bureaucracy and friction when it comes to guest frustrations.
That’s it. Those are the only four keys to customer delight for the most magical place on earth.
Simple, right? It doesn’t mean they’re easy, though.
QUESTION: How can you use these four keys in your company to improve systems, policies and procedures to delight customers. Why not ask your employees today? Why not have a contest to see who can come up with the best plans? Why not make the grand prize a trip to Walt Disney World?
ANOTHER QUESTION: If you don’t plan to ask your employees this question, why not? What does it say about you that you’re not willing to do this? Hmm… if you’d like to do it, but you don’t know how or what you’d do with the answers, we know some people who can help.