From my very first visit to Disney World I have always been fascinated by how Disney delivers a consistent customer experience. Disney World provides such a good experience that the number of repeat customers is high and demand continues to increase. However; things are often not perfect. Waits are often long, rides do break down and weather can be unpredictable. The success of Disney lies in its Four Keys to Service Standards.
The Four Keys to Disney Service Standards is taught to all new Cast Members at Disney University. In order of priority the 4 standards are:-
The 4 standards have remained constant since Disneyland opened in 1955.
It might seem odd that the most efficient of organisations puts efficiency as its lowest priority. I work for the NHS where efficiency is often taken to be the sign of high quality healthcare. I became interested in the Four Keys after reading the book If Disney Ran Your Hospital. The principles discussed in the book and several other books I have since read by the Disney Institute are why Disney maintain such a high guest satisfaction. The Four Keys are integral to this and if followed more widely by other sectors; including healthcare, I’m sure would lead to an improvement in standards.
So what do the Four Keys mean?
Placing guest safety, other cast members and your own safety as number 1 priority in everything you do.
Disney would not generate huge levels of guest satisfaction and repeat customers if guests did not feel safe. Poor safety damages efficiency.
Go beyond the level of expectation by treating every guest like a VIP.
Cast members are encouraged to be proactive and offer solutions. When staff don’t know an answer they find out so next time they know. More knowledgable, courteous staff creates efficiency.
Be show ready at all times.
Maintain the experience and keep it seamless. Examples of this include themed queuing areas and painting a theme throughout a resort.
Maintaining a great service as efficiently as possible BUT not compromising on the above 3 standards.
This is not just related to attractions but throughout the organisation e.g. Disney World restaurants are incredibly efficient but the above 3 standards are never compromised.
Disney could make things potentially more efficient but guest satisfaction would be damaged if the above deteriorates.
So that is how Disney do it with there Four Keys to Service Standards.
It seems simple?
This is why myself in healthcare and many other companies have failed to deliver the same.
Disney after all have practiced it since 1955.
I will blog more about how Disney achieves The Magic in coming weeks.