By Mark Bowser
Why do people go back to the Disney Parks over and over again, year after year? Is it the fun rides? Is it the awesome shows? Yes and no. Yes, the shows are incredible and the rides are tremendous fun. But, that is not what brings people back. Walt Disney World is the most traveled to vacation destination in the world for one reason and one reason alone.
Walt Disney said, “The first year [at Disneyland] I leased out the parking concession, brought in the usual security guards—things like that—but soon realized my mistake. I couldn’t have outside help and still get over my idea of hospitality. So now we recruit and train every one of our employees. I tell the security police, for instance, that they are never to consider themselves cops. They are there to help people. The visitors are our guests. It’s like running a fine restaurant. Once you get the policy going, it grows.”
People go back again and again to Disney because of the service. Or, what Walt called “Hospitality.” Disney makes people feel good. They make us feel special. They give us a magical experience. Someone who is not part of your official team should never be on the front lines servicing your customers. In other words, outside vendors or contractors will never be able to do as good of job as front line team members in servicing your customers. Why? Because you can’t control their training and the odds are they aren’t sold on your business philosophy. It is more likely a job to them. A paycheck…not a passion for the organization.
On the other hand, you will discover what Walt did if you adopt three action principles.
1. Be picky on who you hire. You are not looking for a warm body. You are looking for the right person. Hire nice people. Happy people. Compassionate people. Or, as Jim Collins said in his runaway bestselling book, you need to get “the right people on the bus.”
2. Train them well. Create policies and procedures with actionable steps to perform extraordinary customer service.
3. Reward your team well.
That is it! Great business success isn’t that difficult. We just have to live by simple principles like Walt…and take action on them every single day.
*Mark Bowser is the author of several books including “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris), and inspirational books such as “Jesus, Take the Wheel.”