The team that studies together, grows. I’m a huge advocate of finding books that your team can read, review, and take action from.
Inside the Magic Kingdom offers business wisdom from a company I consider to be the gold standard of outstanding customer experience. While you may or may not want to visit the theme parks, few would argue that Disney runs a world-class operation that millions fondly refer to as the Happiest Place on Earth.
This book, Inside the Magic Kingdom, by Tom Connellan, reveals seven lessons through a fictional meeting of people coming from all different walks of business, gathered at a seminar conducted onsite at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park.
The lesson concepts can be covered over the course of several team meetings – three to four chapters a week, for example, to allow for productive conversation and choices on actions to take as a result of the learning.
Lesson 1: The competition is anyone the customer compares you with.
Well, that certainly ups the game, doesn’t it? We tend to think only about our direct competitors, those who offer the same products or services we do. In reality, anyone providing a customer experience is your competition. In today’s world, where Amazon offers its Prime members free two-day shipping on most items, our expectations have certainly gone up.
Lesson 2: Pay fantastic attention to detail.
Want to compete with Amazon, Disney, and Nordstrom’s? Start reviewing every detail of what your customer experiences, from the first point of introduction all the way through and beyond the close of sale. How can you improve what you do? Small things matter.
Lesson 3: Everyone walks the talk.
I remember part of The Ritz-Carlton’s creed: he who receives the complaint, owns it. If everyone walks the talk, then instead of hoping someone else takes care of something, each one of us jumps in when we see a need and ensures it gets taken care of. If there’s a piece of trash in the parking lot, pick it up.
Lesson 4: Everything walks the talk.
The book brings attention to the “behind-the-scenes” details that most of the general public would never notice. But the fact that the staff does matters. If you tell customers you care about materials quality, and then you allow your desks and equipment in your office to fall into poor repair, your office is not walking the talk.
Lesson 5: Customers are best heard through many ears.
When and how do you ask for feedback from customers? Immediately after the point of sale, with a third-party survey? You’re missing opportunities all along the way to get feedback and potentially improve the experience.
If you’ve listed someone’s house for sale, ask for feedback as soon as the property goes in the multiple listing service. Maybe they’d like their property description to read differently. Has your server at a restaurant ever asked if you need anything else when they bring your food? Another chance to improve.
Lesson 6: Reward, recognize, and celebrate.
This one’s pretty straightforward and surprisingly overlooked. What does your company do to acknowledge the team for providing a great experience to clients? This isn’t about year-end bonuses; this is about pats on the back and rewards along the way.
Lesson 7: Xvxryonx makxs a diffxrxncx.
This one makes its point in its appearance. The letter “e” has been replaced with “x” throughout this sentence. 26 letters in the alphabet, and you can instantly see what a difference one letter makes. Look around your team. Do they know that they all make a difference? How does that change their sense of responsibility and commitment?
One bonus of this read is that it includes a “tool kit” in the back to help you work through the lessons as a team.
Let us know how your team responds to the lessons!
(Lessons adapted from the book Inside the Magic Kingdom and used with the permission of the publisher.)
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