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MouseStation 302 - The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney with Jeff Kober

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Show run time 0:37:27


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In today's show, Mark and Mike chat with MousePlanet columnist Jeff Kober about Disney customer service and the book that he wrote about it.

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Thanks to our sponsors

Today's show is sponsored by:

Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. A luxury hotel one mile from Walt Disney World, where special MousePlanet rates ALWAYS get you at least 15% off the normal rates available for the property, and right now you can get rates as low as $129 per night – that's about what you'd pay for a Disney moderate resort!

Advantage Vacation Homes. A great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

Feature: The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney

We started by talking about Jeff's history, how he started out with a great love of Disney – even writing to Ron Miller and getting a tour of the Dinsey Studios. Jeff later wrote his Master's thesis on Disney educational media and eventually ended up going to work at Disney. In his position helping to create training materials for Disney Professional Productions, Jeff had the opportunity to go to just about every corner of Walt Disney World Resort, watching Disney cast members do what they do best.

After leaving Disney to start his own business he decided that he still missed Disney, so writing for MousePlanet helped him to satisfy that need for connection. It also helped him to get into the habit of writing every other week, which eventually let to his book The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. Mark noted that he used some of Jeff's material in a professional development program that he participated in at his office. Jeff noted that his articles at MousePlanet focused on customer service in 2007-08, and in 2009 he has turned his focus to leadership.

Mark noted that the book focuses on two main areas – how to improve your own customer service and how Disney's customer service works, their core values and standard practices. Jeff talked about taking lessons from errors that have been made.

Jeff gave some examples of how Disney balances their key values of Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency and how Disney addresses them. He then noted some thoughts about using similar principles to guide your business.

Jeff's book is available directly from his Performance Journeys web site, as well as from Amazon.com.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Twitter/Facebook poll questions

We're continuing our new trial of spending the Thursday Listener Feedback time reviewing the responses to some questions that Mark was asking on Twitter and Facebook last week. If you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

When you need some Disney magic, what is it about Disney parks that your mind goes to?

Mike thinks of the walking out of the Oasis and catching sight of the Tree of Life, the sights and sounds of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Jeff's thoughts go to nighttime at the parks, either the twinkling lights at the Central Plaza in the Magic Kingdom, the neon of Disney's Hollywood Studios, or walking around World Showcase holding his wife's hand. Mark thinks of the background music in the parks, watching the smiling faces of people as they first arrive at that parks.

  • Illuminations. Hands down.
  • Epcot bush music.
  • IASW and thinking of the history behind it
  • I have to agree with Fred... fire up the .mp3 player and listen to Reflections of Earth
  • walking in the Magic Kingdom and seeing the castle first thing...
  • Illuminations
  • Reflections of Earth (with Mark conducting!), Fantasmic, Pirates.. :)
  • Just walking around DL where Walt walked, smelling the piped in smells:) takes me to my happy place!!
  • Illuminations and Fantasmic. I love the music of Illuminations and the show of Fantasmic
  • Disney soundtracks on my MP3 player. Which one depends on my mood.
  • Happy HalloWishes fireworks. I play the parade music all year.
  • The music to the Electric Lights Parade! Still my favorite and my kid's favorite now too! It's my ringtone on my cell now.
  • The sounds and smellls ahhhh there is no place like it.
  • I always listen to the Disney music I have, illuminations, soarin', Wishes!, Spectromagic, etc.
  • Entering Epcot and looking up at Spaceship Earth. For starters. Then the rest of Epcot. LOL
  • Wishes and the Splash Mountain drop. LOL
  • Music. ANy of it. All of it.
  • Nighttime and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
  • I'm with Sandra -- night time fireworks at MK -- I love strolling Epcot at night as well.
  • Tower of Terror for me, hubby says food at Epcot, dd says Mickey
  • Walking down Main St USA - the opening credits of a magic experience.
  • I think riding the train around the Magic Kingdom, I just love that!
  • for me it has to be slowly walking down Mainstreet, USA listening to the music and the smells from the popcorn, candy, and bakery.
  • If I need Disney magic in the Parks,I just head to Disneyland & stroll around the Park.Hearing the Abominable Snowman roar...HEAVEN!
  • Just being THERE!
  • My mind goes to meeting the characters and how they have fun with adults as much as kids (if if you have 0 kids)!
  • Music since that is how I remember and relive my favorite attractions.
  • For the magic, I go to the music. Not only is it one of the most intrinsic aspects of the experience but also I can access it @ home
  • When my mind wanders to Disney, I almost always end up either on Main Street or in Epcot looking up at Spaceship Earth.

What do you think?

Which Disney or Pixar film would you like to see brought to life in a new Disney theme park attraction?

Jeff is really excited about Carsland going in at DCA, but he would love to see a WALL-E attraction for Tomorrowland. Mike would really like to see a full attraction experience, based on the Chronicles of Narnia. However, Mike really just wants more Lion King. Mark is all over the map, and would like to see 20,000 Leagues come back, or maybe new attractions for Mary Poppins, WALL-E, Fantasia or anything else that's done well.

  • I would love to see a Wall-E dark ride in tommorowland. I think the upgrades in animatronic technology would put on a great show. I just hope they use fake roaches.
  • I agree Wall-E would be a cool to see made into a ride.
  • Mary Poppins -- hands down.
  • Oooooh, I like that Mary Poppins idea!!
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...oh wait...
  • I with them Mary {Poppins!!
  • Walle for sure. We could be on the axiom or something while walle and eve battle the bad robots.
  • Wall-E!!!!
  • The Incredibles - so many good overcomes evil story lines possibilities.
  • I think they should do a Beauty and the Beast dark ride--the part where the villagers are chasing you (the Beast) through the castle. But instead of using the technology of snow white, use the Dinosaur technology (the cars could be a horse drawn carriage or something). You can beat Gaston at the end and get Belle. Would appeal to the girls (princess) but have enough testosterone for the guys.
  • Up - They could replace the Soarin' over California film. Could you imagine that attraction in 3-D?
  • I have to agree with those that said Mary Poppins. Maybe a show like Beauty and the Beast at DHS.
  • I think Aladin would be cool. The ride vehicle could be a carpet like at Disney quest
  • i would like to see a fantasia and fantasia 2000 dark ride
  • I'd like to see a Wall*E trash land. Where kids can smash trash into cubes. Playground built from abandoned cars and broken glass.
  • Easy, I would like to see a ride based upon Fantasia. That would make a wonderful trippy dark ride with an incredible soundtrack.
  • The Incredibles! Arguably Pixar's best movie and yet grossly underrepresented! Enough Nemo already... an Incredibles ride could rock
  • a "Cars" roller coaster.
  • An Aladdin attraction would be interesting if done right. Maybe a flying carpet thrill ride.
  • wall-E, Mulan
  • Bolt or Wall-E would be a good choice IMHO.
  • Although its not my favorite Pixar film, I would love to see a Ratatouille attraction.
  • The Disney movie I'd like to see in a new attraction is Newsies. Wonderful turn-of-the-century NY setting & singing news boys. Fun!

Again, if you'd like to get in on answering these questions in the future, you can follow Mark on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

March of Dimes

Mark was recently named the top walker for the March of Dimes Northeastern New York region for 2008, and second overall in Upstate New York (above the counties of Westchester and Rockland). MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners helped Mark to raise over $5,000 for the worthy charity. We're looking to beat that this year and raise $6,000! Just go to Mark's fundraising page and help to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely.

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Wrapping up

We've left last year's listener survey open to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).