Debrief on Meeting with the Mouse
Posted by Becky Carroll on January 30, 2007
I just went to Disneyland (one of my favorite places!) with my kids at the end of last week, and I promised to report back any customer service observations I gleaned. Disney is always a great place to find great customer service. Cast members (Disney-speak for employees) are friendly, and they usually take the time to make kids happy or do something special. My sister was treated like royalty this past summer when we went to Disneyland for her birthday; that “It’s My Birthday” sticker they give you to wear, with your name written on it, is a nice tip-off for cast members (Disney-speak for employees) to make an extra effort.
I would say that weekdays in the month of January are very quiet at the Magic Kingdom. On Thursday, there weren’t any lines to speak of, we could easily walk through the parks without getting caught up in crowds, and most of the attractions were operating (except for my favorite, “Small World”, which was down for renovation/removal of Christmas decorations). We had a blast.
There was only one thing missing – the enthusiasm of the cast members! We didn’t see many smiles, there weren’t many “how is your day going” comments, and there wasn’t much conversation in general from cast members. I was a bit surprised, as I had expected we might get even more attention since there weren’t very many people at the parks. No problem, though, as we had a fabulous day going on all the popular rides several times over. (Mental note – go again in January!)
On Friday, the action started to pick up at The Happiest Place on Earth. Lines were longer, and towards the end of the day, there was a fair-sized crowd. As the number of guests (Disney-speak for customers) increased, so did the enthusiasm of the cast members! We heard a lot more singing, more joking around, and in general, we had better customer service on Friday. We even asked a few cast members about this. Answer: “We get bored when there aren’t many people here.”
I guess we (the guests) get so involved in the magic of the Disney experience that we forget how the parks must look to the people who do the same thing, day after day, as they deal with the public. I understand boredom. I just don’t expect to see it at Disneyland. Funny how noticeable it is when the famous Disney attitude is missing. We don’t notice what is wrong when things go well; it is only when expectations are not met that we see something is awry. Guests have high expectations for Disneyland.
What do you do for your customer service employees to keep them happy? Some of them have the hardest jobs of all — dealing with customer complaints, day after day. Yet this is the touch point that most customers experience. Are you helping create the best customer experience by taking care of your employee’s experience?
At the end of the day, it’s the people who make the difference.
(Photo credit: http://www.disneyland.com)