Wednesday, May 25, 2011

People Management, Disney Style

Today while on the NACCM Customer's 1st facebook page I came across this white paper from our Facebook friends Disney Institute on the popular topic of People Management.

The paper is very interesting in that it tracks how Disney sets expectations for employees from even before day one, and then follows through with training, reinforcement and rewards to keep the "cast" operating smoothly. For example, in describing the hiring processes at Disney, they acknowledge that the company culture may not be for everyone, and that it is in fact better to give potential employees the chance to self-select out before entering into the company
"Early in the process, candidates can view a film depicting what it is like to work at Disney. The film also communicates conditions of employment. After viewing it, a small percentage of candidates self–select out of the process. This is a good thing, since those candidates might not be "right fit" for the culture—and Disney might not be right–fit for them. This process not only saves time and money, but it leaves the applicants feeling good about themselves and our company."
Another great quote that struck me from the article was the following "When your staff sees the big picture, they also see how vital their roles are in the business." Indeed communicating the importance of small roles to the larger goals of the company can both motivate employees towards exceptional service, and inspire greater teamwork and compliance with company policies.

So what does all this say about customer service? Generally, Disney Institute has found that happy, inspired employees are more likely to provide great customer experiences.
"We’ve found over and over that if an employee feels truly valued in his or her job, if they understand what is expected of them and feel they are contributing, they will go above and beyond to deliver great service."
It's all about setting expectations, training, and finally recognizing and rewarding excellence. Read the whole paper here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Your Customer is Your Priority:

Your business is only as strong as your consumer allows it to be. Today, most companies use the term customer centricity often, but saying it is the easy part. Taking the concept of what it means and applying it to your business, day in and day out, that part can be difficult. states, “Properly executed, customer-centric strategies can transform service into engagement, information into excitement, satisfaction into inspiration and otherwise passive shoppers into ambassadors for your brand.” Sometimes a business will focus so much on a product, that they tend to lose sight of what’s really important, the consumer.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to remain in constant contact with a customer is through technology. Twitter, Facebook, any type of social media, can be used for informing a customer, and also for feedback. Sometimes it’s as simple as clicking the word ‘like’. And with so many different forms of communication you can tailor it to each one of your client’s needs.

The foundation for building and maintaining excellent customer service comes from within a company. Setting the precedent for your employees not only in the beginning, but also daily will help ensure the best quality service for your clients. reports, “Research has shown on numerous occasions that companies with effective face-to-face communication (defined as communication sessions with leaders who are trained in leadership communication skills) are up to twice as likely to be more engaged and deliver better customer service, both internally and externally.” The more internal communication, and education, a company has the better.

Many companies have the resources to carry out these tasks, just not the strategies to execute them. The business world is constantly evolving so it’s up to the leaders of the company to bridge the communication gap between the future of their business and their employees.