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  • Kelli Sue Pettigrew

Creating Magical Customer Experiences - a lesson from Walt Disney and the Mouse

I just read a great post on LinkedIn from Gregory Ciotti at HelpScout about Walt Disney and how Disneyworld works to create magical customer experiences for their guests. (see bottom of post for full link to the story).

The most compelling point of this story is to FOCUS on the experience from the CLIENT PERSPECTIVE. Wow. Sounds commonplace; almost routine. Certainly over-stated in SO many sales, marketing, brand or industry perspectives - but RARELY EXECUTED WELL. Yes, I am using ALL CAPS because I think this is fundanmentally important (much to the chagrin of every English teacher or journalism teacher I have ever had).

But let's examine Walt's key legacy points:

- Optimizing magic out of the mundane. For an organization that processes over 1,000 customer service calls each month from end consumers, dealers, distributors, prospects - adding the same enthusiastic level of customer service to EACH call - whether it be a product question or inquiry, shipping question, order request or inquiry - every customer service call deserves to be treated with the same level of enthusiasm, interest and respect.

- Ending the experience strong. We all are aware that not every interaction is going to go as planned. Whether it is a customer experience, a casual meeting or introduction, a job search process - not everything ends "happily ever after". How we REACT to the situation and how we leave the person at the other end of the experience makes ALL the difference. Anyone can be a strong performer out of the gate - it is how you END the performance - win, lose or draw - that really showcases the kind of person you are and your integrity.

- Fulfilling Unique Needs. Whether we sell 50 or 10,000 waste receptacles this month, every client we come into contact with will have some subtle nuance or unique need and our job is to uncover that unique need and address it.

- The Importance of Tone - I am a fairly driven "A" type personality so this is an area I work on daily. I ask myself, "how did that come out of my mouth? What did it sound like to the person on the other end?" Tone is key. Everyone wants and deserves respect and whether we know the answer to the question, have answered it ten times before for the same person, or just are distracted with other things - our Tone sets the stage for ending the experience strong. If we do not use the right tone when communicating with people - whether its good news or not good news - we leave a negative impression and legacy. Patience and tone are key to successful interactions.

This article and the Be Our Guest book from Disney has many more important customer service and magical experience lessons for us all - in every walk of business and every walk of life - but the last one I want to share is Your Front Line is your Bottom Line.

We are only as good as the people we have representing us. Every employee and team member is important - customer facing or not. Each person interacts with multiple people per day, month, year and leaves an impression or indelible footprint about your organization. I have watched many businesses focus on cost reduction, control, expenses to the detriment of the Customer Experience and the Lasting Impression.

Thanks Walt, for the lessons and principles of over almost a century of wisdom, creativity, common sense and magic. And thanks for the Mouse and appealing to the kid in all of us.

Greg's full article can be read at:

#leadership #customerexperience #customerservice #magicalexperiences #waltdisney #disneyworld #womeninleadership #tone #patience

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