Service With a Smile – The Disney Way

Walt thought these streetcars with real horses was so important he paid for them out of his own pocket – he was right.

Walt Disney once said that the kind of people who should be employed by his company would be “people who give, who like to bring delight to other people, and therefore gain pleasure and satisfaction for themselves.”  Disney knew that the key to good service was to have a heart for others and that those who delighted in bringing happiness to others would be key people in developing the kind of place he wanted.  As a result, Disneyland developed a “Code of Guest Service” that they train every cast member to embody.  SERVICE is an acronym for:

Smile – every interaction begins with a positive attitude

Eye Contact / Body Language – our body language and our willingness to maintain eye contact tell a lot about our willingness to serve

Respect and Welcome – treating others the way we would like to be treated and showing them hospitality is vital

Value the Magic – people come to Disneyland because they believe in the magic, don’t take that away from them

Initiate Guest Contact – be the one to initiate contact, don’t wait for others to come to you

Create Service Solutions – the word “no” isn’t in our vocabulary

End with a Thank You – always remember who we are here to serve

I was at a training seminar given by the Disney Institute where they talked about the complete dedication that the entire company had toward guest service and why this was vital to their success.  When you create an atmosphere where service is the first thing on your mind, others feel loved, appreciated, and special.  In other words, they feel the “magic.”  And that’s really the key.  In everything from how they clean the restrooms (VERY often by the way) to how they staff the park, everything is centered on the EXPERIENCE.  One time when my family was there, my wife Cassie mentioned how impressed she was by the number of people they had to service the guests because they didn’t staff the minimum needed as many businesses do.  They went above and beyond.  But none of those people were idle.  They were cleaning or serving others or stocking shelves and in every way making sure your needs (and wants) were met.

Service isn’t just important at Disneyland but in every aspect of our lives.  Service is a way of living for Christians and one we need to embody.  If we treated everyone in this way, we would be able to help bring the Kingdom of God into reality here and now!  Imagine what a world that would be.

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