Just down the way from our corporate office is the Disneyland Park in Anaheim, celebrating its 60th anniversary this month. In Disney’s honor, we take a look at what the company is doing in the area of customer service to maintain its strong brand recognition and connection with the public.
Listed below are our top five Disney-inspired customer service tips you can apply to your business (we promise none of them involve wearing Mickey ears!)
1. Create a seamless experience. A recent LinkedIn post on customer service by Leadership Consultant Patrick Leddin, Phd., pointed out that when visiting a Disney park, every guest touchpoint reinforces its brand promise of having a magical and memorable experience. From the cleanliness of the park to the way each “land” carries out its theme to the helpfulness of every team member – nothing disrupts a guest’s magical experience.
As a business owner, Leddin asks, “what type of experience are you creating for your customers?” Is it consistent or fragmented? Are you staying true to your brand through the entire customer journey, and if not, how can you improve upon it?
2. Don’t be a one hit wonder. Leddin also pointed out that Walt Disney could have stopped at the creation of his first Disneyland Park in Anaheim in 1955 since he clearly had hit a home run with the public. Instead of settling, he gave his fans more in the way of bigger parks such as Disney World in Florida and others around the world. He also created California Adventure and branched out into feature films, sport channels and launched the Disney Cruise line.
What are some new services or products that you can offer to your customer base that leverages your past successes? Are you keeping an eye on industry trends and considering how these trends may hurt or help your business and adjusting your offerings accordingly?
3. Make every customer feel special. Forbes writer Carmine Gallo said in his article “Customer Service the Disney Way” that Disney employees are trained to have an active connection with their guests. For example, if a Disney team member sees a guest who looks like they are lost or struggling to take a group photo, he or she wouldn’t wait for the guest to ask for help, they would just approach the guest and offer it.
This behavior is what Disney refers to as being assertively friendly. Are you and your staff assertively friendly with your customers? Do you go out of your way to make sure their business and service needs are being met proactively? If not, what are ways you can do so?
4. Provide training in communications. Gallo also points out in his article that Disney provides every team member with communications training so each knows how to answer common guest questions and can provide information in an articulate manner. This helps to ensure the quality and consistency of each guest’s experience, as we mentioned in the first tip.
Are you and your staff members good communicators, and if not, how can you become better at it? For a little help, here are some tips we included in a previous article on boosting communication skills to help business.
5. Be social and engage with your customers. The Disney Company does a great job encouraging its fans to engage with them through social media, keeping their connection with Disney year round. For example, the company reaches out to mommy bloggers who post about Disney parks, asks fans to create videos for Vine (through contests) and keeps followers coming back on Instagram and YouTube by posting original and exclusive Disney branded content. Social media savvy companies know that when you hang out online where your customers hang out, it will help you build and reinforce customer relationships and make it easier to obtain authentic customer feedback.
What is your company doing in social media to stay connected to your audience? Are there other ways your customers can interact with you such as through a corporate blog or e-newsletter? What are ways you can make loyal customers into brand ambassadors for your company?