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A Customer Service Fantasyland

February 27, 2013

Ross, Jerry “A Customer Service Fantasyland” Posted on February 25 2013, Retrieved on February 27, 2013

A Customer Service Fantasyland

Theme-park sized customer service lessons for any small business. 

The theme park experience is a fantasyland, a way for individuals and families alike to escape and enjoy. It is an immersion in fun, however, on a recent family visit to Disneyworld, I found time to admire a critical element my experience: the flawless execution of first-class customer service.  It was as impressive and overwhelming as the entertainment itself.

When you consider all the people who visit a theme park in one day, many of whom are very tired kids who have reached stimulus overload, it is difficult to imagine how they can consistently deliver five-star customer service… but they do.  It got me thinking about the three lessons applicable to any size business, and what I could take away from it.


It starts with anticipation.  From past experience, Disney has trained their staff to already know the questions you have as a park guest.  Every time I started to hatch the beginnings of a question in my brain, there was a well-placed sign, a sound recording coming out of a bush, or a member of staff strategically placed to answer the question that was still forming in my brain.  “Which way? What time?  Where?” were all patiently answered with a knowing smile and a caring attitude that made me glad to be there!  I was not an interruption in their day; I was treated as a guest in their home.


As I observed Disney’s customer service miracle being played out throughout the day, I noticed that the staff trusted each other to execute and deliver on their respective roles. From logistics, to mechanical operations, the execution of each staff member made it possible to move thousands of people through the park, and appear effortless!  The transportation trams arrived on time, left on time, and operated smoothly.  The waiting times were clearly communicated and the rides ran on time too!   Stop right now and consider all the things that could go wrong in an operation like Walt Disney World…and that is just one of several theme parks that they own.  I have a hard time just getting myself to work on time and this place was running like a finely tuned engine, with employees focused on pleasing the customer, and counting on each other.

When I did happen upon one ride that happened to be  “out of service,” there were two cast members stationed at the entrance re-directing people to other options and explaining, “they were experiencing some rough waters” (after all this was the pirate ride!).  Well done, well thought out, and well received by our group, smiles included.


Lastly, I was impressed by the caring and patient attitude that I experienced from every cast member I encountered. Every member of the team that I encountered transmitted a genuine concern and caring.  Now, you may be able to fake that kind of response for a while, but these folks did it all day long… I watched!  I felt the love, and I saw others feel the love too! From young children and frazzled parents to seniors in wheelchairs, the staff greeted, laughed, hugged and delivered the Disney magic with each encounter.  I was in awe of the level of caring and love that was delivered consistently to thousands of guests, making each one seem important and special.  I wanted to take them home with me!

It was a day of absolute fun and also an inspiring lesson in what customer service can create.  I was even a little sad to be leaving my newfound Disney friends, however, as I left the park, I was warmly greeted by an older gentleman who gave me a big smile, thanked me for coming, and pointed me to the correct tram. Then with a wink he asked me to come back and visit him again soon… and I am sure I will.


Do your clients feel that way when they leave your business? Lessons from the theme park reminds us that in any size business, we must anticipate, execute and genuinely care for our customers, or we’ll soon find ourselves with non! Customer service doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, but it can provide priceless result: loyal customers!

…Till next time!

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