Customer Service Secrets from Disney

Where Customers Leave Feeling Like They Experienced Something Magical

by Sarah Barrett

Sure you can’t have Mickey greet each member who walks into the gym or a fireworks nighttime spectacular each night.  But you can provide legendary customer service and here’s how — straight from the Mouse himself.

Does excellent customer service really matter?  Isn’t average customer service good enough?  Harvard Business Review reports that 82% of lost clients go somewhere else because of a customer service issue!

“You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world…but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney

In other words, you can have a state-of-the-art gym that outshines the competition for miles, but if your staff is unfriendly, or even just indifferent, your bottom line will be affected.

Every new Disney employee must attend Traditions class on their first day on the job.  One of the first things you will learn in Traditions is “Our Common Goal” and the Disney Service Basics.

Our Common Goal

We create happiness by providing the finest entertainment for all people of all ages everywhere.”

Create happiness – wow, now that is a concept to think about.  Who wouldn’t be drawn to a place that creates happiness?

“We love to entertain kings and queens, but everyone here is a V.I.P.” Walt Disney

This week, I interviewed Todd Levine, Gold’s Gym owner in Rochester, NY who has been a gym owner for almost 30 years.  He will be featured in the May issue of The VoicE, and you will see how he has successfully differentiated his gym from the competitors in his area.  According to Todd, poor customer service is an epidemic.  He refers to the book “Raving Fans” that speaks of a sign in the window that reads “no worse than the rest.”  Todd challenges himself and his peers to step up our game and truly live a customer-centric operation.  “We’re good, but we can be better.  As a brand, we have a lot to give,” says Todd.


Disney Service Basics

I project a positive image and energy.

Look approachable
Look happy and interested
Model the Disney Look (guidelines for clothes and grooming)
Keep conversations positive

I am courteous and respectful to all Guests, including children.

Make eye contact and smile
Engage in Guest interaction
Treat Guests as individuals
Greet and welcome each Guest
Thank all Guests and invite them back

I stay in character and play the part.

Preserve and protect the magic
Provide excellent show quality and safety
Perform role efficiently by reducing hassles and inconveniences

I go above and beyond!

Anticipate needs and offer assistance
Create surprises and Magical Moments
Provide immediate service recovery


About GGFA

The Gold's Gym Franchisee Association is the independent voice of the Gold's Gym franchisees.
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