How do you build a company where every single employee, even those performing the most menial of tasks, is dedicated, motivated, creative, innovative, passionate, and thirsty for knowledge and success? You create an environment where those qualities are encouraged and fostered. Disney accomplished that feat with Disney University and the Walt Disney World College Program (WDWCP).
Walt Disney realized his dream and made his enterprise an unqualified success because he made people his brand. He was quoted as saying, “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” That certain goal was always, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.”
During my experience as a WDWCP student, I learned the 4 Bs of customer service. They have been applicable throughout my life and career spanning several industries.
- Be our guest. Every person who enters Disney property is important. Young or old, rich or poor, regardless of status or notoriety, every person is to be treated at all times with dignity and respect, as befitting an honored guest. Appearance and attention to detail are always important when entertaining guests, which is why the happiest place on earth is also one of the cleanest and most intricately constructed places on earth.
- Be a star. Disney does not interview employees. Disney auditions cast members, each uniquely suited to play his or her role in the production. It is show time every time a cast member comes in contact with a guest, and all cast members must aspire to give an award-winning performance, even when it is quite possible your head will explode at any moment after seven torturous hours of manning the ice cream cart at the exit of It’s a Small World.
- Be magical. Cast members strive to anticipate guest needs, exceed their expectations, and always be on the lookout for ways to create a WOW moment that transforms a guest’s experience. The star quality cast member does not answer the inevitable and oft repeated “what time is the 3:00 parade” question with the obvious. Instead, he or she tactfully and enthusiastically answers, “The parade starts promptly at 3:00, but it will pass by this area at 3:20, and under that shade tree right over there is one of the best vantage points.”
- Believe. Walt Disney said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” In order to attain success in any endeavor, you must believe. Believe in yourself, in your team, in your goal, in your dream, and in your product or service. Believe and you will succeed.
“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality.” —Walt Disney
Jeanna Knoll is an Associate Project Account Manager at ProEdit, likely to be the first person you speak with when you contact ProEdit. She is also the proud holder of a Ducktorate Degree in Management – Disney Style from Disney University.