Disney’s Customer Service Genius

The Happiest Place on Earth may have earned its name from the way it treats its employees, not just its visitors. For years, Disney has been upheld as the gold standard for customer service, and credited for its success in keeping staff members as enthusiastic as the park visitors themselves. Under the Disney model, employee engagement and care take precedence, with the company pouring time and resources into each of its Cast Members. Their hiring process is long and intensive, resulting in employees being placed in roles they are suited for and passionate about, an investment that has resoundingly paid off.

A recent survey of 96,000 Disney employees found “87 percent of employees [are] are proud to work for The Walt Disney Company.” That’s a whopping return in favor of this service model, and high rates of satisfaction and engagement are reflected in the consumer response. Disney’s Cast members sell with positive energy and proactivity, to which the customer responds with not only in the moment satisfaction, but an increased likelihood that 1) they will return and 2)are three times more likely to recommend their experience to their friends and peers.

The effectiveness of the Disney staff is bolstered by their department leaders, who administer surveys, take suggestions, and generally “demonstrate commitment to Cast Members.” Many Disney leaders take the time to walk through the park and talk to the staff on the job, listen to their concerns, and look over areas that would benefit from improvements. A combination of innovation and devotion pitches these teams forward, consistently putting Disney at the pinnacle of service and satisfaction.

Most top companies don’t employ upwards of 90,000 people, and most aren’t theme parks, but there’s still plenty that can be learned from Disney’s customer service model. Carmine Gallo at Forbes has a great, concise article on adapting some of Disney’s standards to other businesses if you only have a few moments; the Happiest Place on Earth has plenty of ideas worth your time.

Find more information on how Disney goes above and beyond here.


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