The livid woman stood outside the restaurant. Much to the embarrassment of her sister, the lady raged to everyone in shouting distance. Something horrific had transpired during the birthday dinner of a young child.
The proud aunt had intended a presentation during the fireworks display. She yelled out to anyone who would listen that her server had failed to notify her of the impending event. Her sister, the mother, cringed in humiliation, and the “victim” of this event, a three-year-old girl, somehow slept through the festivities.
Oddly, none of this happened in a place where Disney personnel could hear any of it, only bemused onlookers. An angry customer was literally shouting into the dark, rendering her behavior as pointless as it was…well, insane. As I watched, I couldn’t help but think about how futile the exercise was. Disney customer service is the gold standard among Fortune 500 companies.
Had this frustrated aunt simply relayed her disappointment to a manager on duty, the cast member would have done everything possible to make good on the situation. To avoid potentially similar frustrations to our readers, let’s take this opportunity to discuss Disney guest relations. Here are several tips on receiving customer service from The Walt Disney Company.
Tip #1: Have some self-awareness
Disney executives understand the difficulties of a theme park visit. With tens of thousands of people swarming the parks each day, a lot can and does go wrong. Cast members are sympathetic to the plights of frustrated park guests. They want everyone to have the best time possible at the Happiest Place on Earth. Still, attitude matters.
No matter how terrible a slight you feel you’ve received during your visit, understand that the cast member has seen worse. What’s horrible to you isn’t exactly mundane to them, but a long-tenured theme park worker has seen a lot over the years. Your story will have to end in bloodshed or x-rays to stand out from the crowd…and in that case, no Internet guide will help you. It’s probably better to consult with a doctor and/or lawyer instead.
Tip #2: You’ll catch more flies with honey
Keeping this in mind, the way you approach Disney matters. Don’t act entitled and try not to demonize an employee. Sure, a cast member sometimes screws up or behaves in an unseemly manner. It’s the extreme exception to be certain, but it does happen. Even in such instances, maintain neutrality and fairness in relaying your issue to Disney. Otherwise, you’ll come across poorly, reducing the problem solver’s desire to aid you.
Remember that the person you’re most likely to contact deals with irate Disney customers all day. That’s a grueling job without a lot of happiness to it. Try not to make their day worse by being a jerk. You’re asking for an act of kindness. Display that behavior on your side, and you’re more likely to find reciprocation.
While I have never worked for Disney, I did work in customer service crisis support during college. One of my job duties was trying to satisfy disgruntled honeymooners who had room problems on their wedding nights. You can imagine the emotional fury these customers felt when they arrived at the hotel, only to discover that their room had been given away, leaving them with nothing.
I hated every second of that job. Still, I tried my best to help every single person. I went out of my way, however, when people acted reasonably with me. The ones who were particularly unselfish are, perhaps ironically, the customers I tried the hardest to satisfy. Disney employees are no different. They’re human, and they respond better to kindness than to open hostility or threats.