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Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” – Walt Disney

Customer service is crucial in determining the level of success that your company will reach. Some of the most influential companies in the world have thrived directly as a result of their excellent customer service. Quality customer service will make your company, while a lack of customer service will surely break it. In order to create an atmosphere that will bring customers back to your company, you must break out of the stereotypes that your industry has. Break the mold, be the exception, not the expectation.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a session held by Austin Brock, Engagement Manager at the Disney Institute. In this session, Austin discussed the concept of customer service, and how Disney has mastered the customer experience. Mrs. Brock spoke on some of the small details that Disney pays attention to, and the effect that they have on those who visit their theme parks. Disney employees are taught to seek out the real needs and wants of their guests and to go above and beyond in reaching these needs. From the scent of vanilla and cinnamon on Main Street USA, to the interactive games in the waiting line of Space Mountain, Disney puts the customer experience before anything else. Disney searches for any minor inconvenience within their company, and they find a way to counteract it.

As I sat in the audience, listening to what Austin had to say, I could not help but think about my experience at Disney over a decade prior.

I was 10 years old, and was traveling with my family to Disney World for the very first time. Like many kids my age, I was Disney obsessed. Although I had seen all of the movies, and knew all of the songs, I had yet to experience any of the parks. You see, growing up my family was not as financially stable as they are now.

This was a big deal.

We were staying for three days in a Disney hotel, and going to Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Disney’s MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) and Epcot.
My aunt, uncle, three cousins and I were more than excited. Unfortunately, things took a turn when my cousins and I begin to feel very ill after our first trip to the Animal Kingdom. I remember waking up in the early morning hours feeling violently sick, and, like a domino effect, each of my cousins soon got sick.

It seemed as if our one and only Disney trip was going to be a complete disaster. I can only assume the disappointment that my aunt and uncle must have felt after spending several hundred dollars on this trip. I myself was upset, as I was unsure if we would feel well enough to even see the castle, and walk down Main Street.

A few hours later, after my aunt had managed to take the sheets off of our beds and put them out for the maid service, we heard a knock at the door. The employees of the Disney resort that we were staying at had made us chicken noodle soup. They had Mickey Mouse call the room and tell us good morning as well. Between a night’s sleep and some of the best soup that I have ever had, we were able to go out and go to each park. I had my first Dole Whip (a milestone for any true Disney fan) and I stared in amazement at the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle that night.

My first Disney weekend is one of my favorite childhood memories.

If you do not have a great customer experience, you don’t have anything.

Today, I am still a huge Disney buff. Regardless of the setbacks of the company, I firmly believe that there is no other theme park that comes remotely close to touching what the Disney Corporation has managed to create. The atmosphere, the warm feelings when you walk into the park, the music and movies, and characters and beauty.

Customer service should be the number one job of each and every employee, in each and every business, in each and every industry.

Customer service is the backbone that creates the magic of Disney World.

It is what sets them apart from the rest, and what will set you apart, too.