Home NEWS Science How Disney Uses Spontaneity To Make Customers Feel Like True VIPs

How Disney Uses Spontaneity To Make Customers Feel Like True VIPs

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We’ve all heard the term V.I.P. (Very Important Person) before. But here at Disney, we have a different idea of what it means to be a V.I.P.

Every day at our parks and resorts across the globe, Cast Members strive to personalize Guest experiences and, in turn, make everyone feel special. We call this treating each Guest like a V.I.P., but in this case, V.I.P. stands for Very Individual Person.

Delivering exceptional service starts with knowing your customers and personalizing interactions in the service moment.

Walt realized the concept of treating Guests like individuals when designing Disneyland. He once said, “You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.” Walt understood with Disneyland that although most Guests may want to experience a certain level of overall happiness, joy and magic, each individual Guest may desire a service experience that looks very different in the moment.

At Disney Institute, we believe and teach business professionals a key business insight: Exceptional service, though carefully architected backstage, should look spontaneous and personalized on stage.

It’s important to recognize that a solid framework from which quality service can be consistently delivered should not prevent service delivery from also being personalized. In fact, we have seen that a key to delivering exceptional service is treating every Guest as a Very Individual Person and making sure to personalize every interaction to suit their unique needs.

Customers feel truly cared for when they perceive that the service they experience is delivered on the spot, just for them. This type of service delivery also allows employees to build strong emotional connections with customers, which customers often use to differentiate a good service experience from an exceptional one. Those on-the-spot, spontaneous interactions become the stories that validate your company’s brand promise and that customers will remember for years to come.

You may be wondering what this type of spontaneous, on-the-spot service delivery looks like? Well, here is a personal example I witnessed recently:

While visiting Magic Kingdom here at Walt Disney World Resort, I witnessed a Cast Member do something I’ve seen a million times before. A young Guest wanted to trade pins with a Cast Member, but he wasn’t tall enough to see the pins on the Cast Member’s lanyard. The Cast Member, without hesitation, knelt down to be at eye-level with the child so he could see the pins on the lanyard. The Cast Member asked the child about his favorite Disney character (who happened to be Buzz Lightyear), the best rides he’s experienced at Walt Disney World, and everything a young child would want to talk about.

After chatting for a few minutes, the child decided that he didn’t want to trade any of his pins with the Cast Member, but the Cast Member knew he had a few spare pins at his podium. So, he told the child to wait a moment while he went to get something. He came back with none other than … a Buzz Lightyear pin. He told the child that he had received special word from Star command that he was going to be at Magic Kingdom today, and that Buzz wanted him to have this special pin.

Although I’ve seen Cast Members kneel down to be at eye level with children many times before, this additional small act of on-the-spot service certainly made this child feel like a V.I.P. The Cast Member made every effort to personalize the experience for this young Guest and, in the process, he left a memorable impression on the child and his entire family that will likely last a lifetime.

If you’d like to learn more about providing extraordinary service to customers, check out our Disney’s Approach to Quality Service professional development course for individuals. Or, consider a private training initiative for your entire organization.

Think about it: What can you do to provide spontaneous and on-the-spot service moments for your customers?

For more information, visit DisneyInstitute.com.

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