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