The Disney Company believes customers will tell others about their experiences at the Disney parks when Disney’s “cast members” exceed customer expectations. If Disney only meets expectations, customers will not have a story to tell. So, here I am to tell you about one of my “wow moments” a few years ago at Disney when more than one of their cast members went above and beyond.
It was just past midnight, on a warm Sunday, when we got off the Disney bus and began walking to the hotel after a long day. My younger son suddenly realized he left his iPhone on the bus, no surprises here. We sprinted back to the bus stop, but there was no bus. While weighing our options, a new bus arrived at the stop. After the passengers disembarked, I asked the driver what we could do to retrieve the missing phone.
Courteously, the driver called the transportation center on his radio to get the number of the bus that was in front of him. He got the number, and he was further told that the bus had just pulled into the center. The driver told the dispatcher about our phone, and he agreed to retrieve it. Our wonderful driver asked us to get on the bus to take us directly to the transportation center. He switched his bus sign to “Out of Service”, just for us!
Upon arriving there, we found out from the dispatcher that the bus where the cell phone was had taken off on a different route before he got a chance to retrieve it. However, the dispatcher had spoken to the driver and he had the phone in his possession, which he will drop off right at our hotel!
Well, we still needed to get out of the transportation center and make it to a bus stop where we can get the right bus and head for our hotel. Our same driver then took us to the Magic Kingdom still bearing an “Out of Service” sign. Upon arriving, the driver checked with the on-site dispatcher to get his new route. The dispatcher then realized we are in “Out of Service” bus and inquires about our presence. Upon learning about our story, the dispatcher re-routed the bus back to our destination (even though this bus was scheduled for a different route), so we would not have to get off and wait for another bus.
This is what I called a customer-centric organization!
I have shared this story with every team I have ever worked since that time. Disney is right. We will tell others when our expectations are exceeded. This is a powerful marketing tool.
As ambassadors of the GA TELESIS brand, this is what we should strive for every day. Along with the quality of our work, customer service is what differentiates GA TELESIS in the marketplace. Customer experience begins with the quote process and does not end with the delivery of our products and services. We want to set the industry pace; we want our competitors to imitate us because our customers are telling them about the great experiences they have with us. To accomplish this, we need to understand each customer expectation and their idiosyncrasies. When we go above and beyond for an airline, the airplane departs on time — the passenger arrives at their destination on time — therefore, we make our customer’s customer happy. Additionally, we need to move, motivate, and empower our teams to exceed expectations. This can only be accomplished by executing real actions that get the reactions we want: stories, multiple stories.
The impact of these actions is a multiplier on our financials. As we exceed expectations and become the industry leader, more customers will want to deal with us. This translates into a larger market share, a higher price on product and services, and ultimately a healthier bottom line. When we accomplish this, we are securing our jobs.
All in all, we were back to our hotel within 30 minutes after boarding the bus for the transportation center. The iPhone was at the front desk waiting for us. I sent a note to Disney describing our experience and to thank Brian (our bus driver) for exceeding our expectations.
I doubt that Brian will read this, but a big thank you for going out of your way, creating magic, and more importantly, teaching me the value of exceeding customer expectations.