Do The Disney Thing

Did the Disney thing! My son loved the Star Wars themed weekends and my daughter was giddy to meet all of the princesses and of course, Mickey and Minnie. Don’t tell my wife, but the trip was partially a reconnaissance mission for me. And I was marveled again by the exemplary example Disney provides to the others of us in the travel/entertainment industry.

It probably helped that in April I had just heard about Customer Service “Disney Style” as part of NASC’s CSEE program. The speaker offered action plans to build loyalty in our offices, delivery systems that enhance service and service plans that promote quality. All great systems but really, it was some very simple things that amazed me – easy things we can “steal from Disney”, do every day and impact our operations and destinations.

Name Tags… I’m certainly not trying to infringe on the Name Tag Guy’s domain by mentioning Name Tags but man, everything Scott preaches about approachability is dead on at Disney with EVERY cast member wearing a name tag! It became very comfortable to call them by name, feeling like you knew them for years and guilty if you didn’t call them by name! I came back realizing name tags aren’t just for trade shows. It’s required wearing helping not just the visitors but your community partners feel they can approach you and be comfortable doing so.

Research… the gentleman that spoke in Greensboro at NASC’s Symposium shared how Disney had done research to learn the average person will walk 27 paces with a piece of trash before they throw it on the ground. Thus, there are trash cans every 25 paces through out Disney. And trust me, I counted. Not all of them but from time to time I would pace it off and sure enough, 24, 25, 24, 23, 25… How well do we know our visitors? Are you constantly collecting secondary research? Monitoring TTRA or USTA’s MOF… Are you collecting any primary research? Heck, pick one question you’re gonna ask every visitor that walks in your Welcome Center this summer. No it may not be absolutely scientific, but I’ll be you know how far your visitors will walk with that empty cup looking for a receptacle!

Speaking of Trash… the cleanliness of Disney parks are legendary. But the cleanliness is real! They’re spotless! Okay, there was a napkin or something from time to time but it was shocking to see anything on the ground. What I was impressed with was the managerial staff that walked around with the ‘trash pick up tools’, ‘garbage grabbers’, prongs, whatever they’re called. Trash wasn’t beneath anyone. Which leads me to wonder if picking up the can or paper or empty cup in the parking lot or on our downtown sidewalk is below us? It’s not just individual efforts either. Can our DMO’s organize a clean-up day before a major event in our community? Disney set the trash bar high. Any trash in our communities is less than what is expected by our visitors. Both the individual and group efforts might be contagious.

Three simple things we can steal from Disney. I’ll bet there’s more. Feel free to leave your suggestions or comments below.Thanks for reading!

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