I just got back from Disneyland. I took my five and eight year old for their first visit. While I enjoyed the magic and wonder through my children's eyes, I mostly experienced it this time through a marketer and business person's eyes.
From the moment we walked up to the gates of the magic kingdom, I observed the 'cast members' and how they approached the guests visiting the park.
The person who checked our napsacks smiled at us and welcomed us. My son said, 'it's our first time!', and without skipping a beat, the bag checker said, 'Great! Welcome, be sure to go to City Hall right inside the gates to get a button that says, '1st Visit'. You'll get some special attention!'
My son then also mentioned that the next day was his birthday. Again, without skipping a beat, the bag checker said, 'Go back to City Hall inside tomorrow and you'll get a button that states it's your birthday. That's load of fun too.' All was said with a genuine smile on her face.
I was blown away at the customer service the bag checker had delivered without hesitation. From then on, I watched every cast member I came in contact with to see if they held the same attitude. And they did. Each one, no matter their job. Towards the middle of the first day, I started thinking, 'what job would I want if I worked at Disneyland.'
I thought of the experience they were giving the park's guests. The only people who presented sour attitudes were the guests themselves, often becoming disgruntled for instances such as the park shutting down a ride down due to safety concerns, or the lines were too long.
Not once did a cast member break their positive attitude. I think I was mostly shocked at the approach each one had because I was comparing it to the usual poor customer service received outside the magic kingdom.
I did some research on Disney and their employment practices. I discovered that it is a lengthy process to become employed by Disney. Disney wants to make sure that the cast member wants to work there as much as Disney wants them to work there. Once hired, cast members are trained for at least two weeks before appearing in front of guests. Amazing!
After we had left Disneyland and stepped back into life outside the magic kingdom, I continued to think about the amazing attitudes of the cast members there.
When I returned home, I attended to some errands with thoughts of how awesome the experience of Disneyland customer service was. My first stop was the bank. I was painfully disappointed with the poor customer service I, and other customers received, with one teller at the bank greeting a customer by saying, 'hey, how's it going.' Not once did she smile.
The next stop was at a bix box store, informing them that I was charged twice for a product. I was told the store would have to do a full inventory on the product to make sure that over charge was correct. Basically, insinuating that I was lying about a $12 over charge.
When my son's watch that he had purchased at Disneyland stopped working, I emailed the company Disney. I received an email within 24 hours with an apology, and directions on how to send the product back for either a refund or replacement, and to be sure I included the shipping costs so I could get reimbursed for that as well.
BIG difference, don't you agree?
I tell you all of this, so you know that your customer, client, or prospect's experience of you will make all the difference in the world. If there is a choice between two distributors with the same company, I will always go with the person that is willing to offer me the best experience. No question.
Start offering the best experience to people. Step up and your business will explode.
I'd love to hear examples of great customer service that you've experienced! The more we share, the more people will realize just how important it is!