Tag Archives: NACCM Live

Making Magic Every Day – Lessons from the Disney Institute

“Service is tough, ” so said Bruce Kimbrell our facilitator from the Disney Institute.

Yep. But the way Bruce talks about service makes it infinitely fascinating and fun!We got the basics on loyalty you would expect. Lifetime value. Know your markets. The relation of the employee’s satisfaction with the experience of the customer. But there was so much more…

Some takeaways from Bruce’s delightful talk:

  • “I just work here.” The enemy of customer loyalty is the company where “the rules” are a disincentive to customer satisfaction and the culture is “we just follow the rules.”
  • “What little bump does it take to notice service?” Disney pays attention to the details.
  • Loyal customers feel ownership of the brand, “it becomes part of how they send messages about themselves.”
  • “Seamless process – start to finish.” This is a favorite of mine. Thinking about what happens before, during, and after each individual transaction gets at the whole customer experience.
  • Why do customers leave? Bruce’s answer. It’s the “Yeah, what?”…the “you’re bothering me” look from a service person communicates “I don’t care.”
  • Then there was a real life letter from a customer with accompanying pictures of their stay in Disney World. “Thank you for adding magic to our stay.” Wow. A housekeeper moves Mickey around, posing him differently each day when she cleans the room and a grandchild experiences a vacation she will remember fondly – forever. You could hear the “awww’s” fromt he audience at the last photo of Mickey at the window…waiting for the family to return to the room.
  • The challenge? “Once you have bumped it, that becomes the new level, the new expectation.”
  • Identity – Value- Relationships…these in balance build great loyalty.
  • Experience Mapping – way cool. Disney uses these to break down the elements of value and see what drives the quality of every experience. For each they define what would meet and what would exceed expectations. The goal is to exceed.
  • “What do you want to be known for, then make that connection at every point.”
  • And there was that clip at the end with the girl dancing with a cast member. I teared up, more than just a bit. ‘We have the opportunity to make magic every day.’ Yep.

Thanks, Bruce, for an inspiring journey into the magic of Disney service.

We are off and running!

It’s great to be here at the NACCM Customer 1st Conference representing Fidelity Investments. Now, more than ever, we are aware how essential customer loyalty is to the continued success of our businesses.

Blogging will be a great way to share best observations and insights from sessions throughout the conference. Amanda just kicked us off so we are off and running…

Gregory North
Fidelity Investments

NACCM 2008: Off To The Races

Good morning everyone, we are live here from the 2008 NACCM: Customers 1st Conference. We’re very excited to bring to you regular updates from the conference that will include photos and interviews with many of the great speakers who are here presenting. Our goal over the next few days during the conference is to provide daily updates. You’ll be able to check back here and the event website and see the latest from the conference.

We’re off to a fast start with posts by our chairperson, JoAnna Brandi, CEO & Publisher, The Customer Care Coach, who has been regularly blogging in the weeks leading up to our conference. She joins us with a few early posts as she prepares for the conference to begin. And this morning she has some early thoughts for everyone getting ready to network and participate in some great presentations from a wide-range of companies and presentors.

Also, Becky Carroll of Customers Rock! is on hand and will be posting her own experiences during the conference. She gives us this great perspective to begin with. She will be actively updating everyone on twitter so be sure and follow her here.

Now I had the chance to quickly catch up with Amanda Powers, Conference Director of NACCM: Customers 1st. She had a few minutes to stop and share with us a little about what has gone into this year’s event as well as some details of what to expect during the next few days.

Finally, we are very proud to have The International Service Excellence Awards at this year’s conference. I had the opportunity to speak with Brett Whitford, Secretary-General, of the International Council of Customer Service Organizations and Christine Churchill, Executive Director of The Customer Service Institute of America who will be hosting the awards ceremony tonight. Hear from them as they tell us about these renowned service awards. Remember, if you are here, you can still purchase tickets to this great event.

Over these next few days there are so many people to meet, and great presentations to watch. We’ll be updating you throughout the conference, so be sure and subscribe to our feed to get our updates and check our website for even more detail from the conference.

Stay Beautiful

This is co-posted on JoAnna Brandi’s blog.

I once had a boyfriend who used to end every phone conversation and every email with the phrase, ‘Stay beautiful.’ At first I was delighted by it, but as time went on, I have to admit, occasionally it annoyed me. At that time in my life I was certainly not used to taking compliments gracefully (I’ve gotten over that) and there were many days where I felt far from anything that resembled beautiful. So one day I talked to him about it. I explained that it made me uncomfortable ‘ that I didn’t feel beautiful all the time (in fact I felt it rarely) and his saying it so often had the effect of me feeling ‘less than.’ Oh, I was so off base. ‘Beautiful,’ he explained from his perspective, was a state of being. It was a graceful way of interacting with the world. It was a consciousness, rather than a thing. The phrase, ‘Stay beautiful,’ was a reminder to put myself into that way of being and operate from there. Oh, that’s different. Time has gone by since he was here to remind me, but that phrase often comes to me as a reminder that I do have a choice how I show up in the world. I ask myself if I am creating beauty in my relationships, my work, my attitude. I think about my clients and the people I teach ‘ am I encouraging them to create a vision of what beauty, caring, and positive interaction can be in their organizations? What does it take, especially in tough times, to stay beautiful in the eyes of your customers? Today I’m in Disneyland, just hours away from premiering my latest workshop, The Positive Leader, at the NACCM Customer’s First conference. I’m in a restaurant surrounded by pictures of Walt Disney. Before sitting down I had a delightful conversation with 5 year old Tara who was dressed up as Cinderella. She’s been here for three days, and I suspect been wearing the dress just as long. The excitement in her voice and the twinkle in her eyes lead me to believe that Walt knew how to teach his ‘cast members’ the quality I know as ‘Stay Beautiful.’ Stay tuned this week to the NACCM website where we will be broadcasting live podcasts, and interviews with speakers and guests. http://www.iirusa.com/naccm/event-home.xml I’m the conference chairperson this year ‘ I’d love to know that all of you are getting to share in the excitement and the learning ‘ even if you can’t be here in person with us. Remember, stay beautiful.
Visit JoAnna Brandi’s blog and website.

Walk Like A Dancer

This post is cross posted on JoAnna Brandi’s blog.

I was schlepping myself and my luggage through the airport this week feeling tired and old when I heard my friend and teacher Scotty’s voice in my head. ‘Walk like a dancer JoAnna, walk like a dancer.’ I have to tell you that at that very moment I felt myself grow taller, I felt my gaze rise from the moving sidewalk to what passes for a horizon in an airport, I took a deeper breath, I lifted my head and heart and then exhaled. I thought of how a dancer might move her body through an airport pulling luggage. I figured it had to be different than the way I’d been doing it. So I made up, in my mind, a vision of how I thought a trained and graceful dancer would be moving herself through the tunnel between terminals A and B ‘ a mighty distance. Scotty, tries to teach me to dance, and once in a while succeeds. (That is, if I’m in town when he’s in town and there’s space in our schedules.) I’m a tough student. And if I never learn to dance that’s okay. Scotty taught me how to walk ‘ forward and backward ‘ across a stage, down the aisle forwards and backwards with confidence, poise and grace. I’m not sure of the score he would give me if he actually saw me work with an audience, but I know that I can continue to improve if I allow myself to keep hearing Scott’s voice in my head. ‘Walk like a dancer, JoAnna, walk like a dancer.’ What a beautiful reminder for me of a principle I teach (and sometimes forget to practice myself) Act ‘As if.’ I wrote about it in my first book ‘Winning at Customer Retention, 101 Ways to Keep ‘em Happy, Keep ‘em Loyal and Keep ‘em Coming Back’ Here’s an excerpt on that wonderful practice. ‘Service providers can’t be expected to be nice all the time, to be polite all the time, to care all the time, can they? No ‘not human ones, anyway. However, there’s a skill that’s easy to apply that can bridge the gap between the times you feel genuinely, positively involved in your interactions and those you don’t. I call it acting ‘as if.’ What if you’ve had a tough day? Can you act ‘as if’ you haven’t? Or, if you feel confused about solving a customer’s problem, ask yourself how you’d act if you weren’t confused. Suppose you’ve just heard some not-so-encouraging words from a supervisor about the status of your big project, and now you have to get on the phone with a customer. Can you act ‘as if’ the interaction with your supervisor didn’t take place, muster faith in your ability to overcome adversity, and go on to help the customer? You have a headache; can you act ‘as if’ you don’t? As a performer, [and you ARE] you’ll be called on to perform when you simply don’t feel like it. Skilled performers ‘ actors, speakers, service reps, and salespeople ‘ have developed great confidence in their ability to ‘do what they have to do.’ Many know the act ‘as if’ secret. As a performer and frequent traveler, I can assure you there are many times when a delayed flight, a night of fitful sleep in a hotel room, overwork, or a cold threatens my ability to do my best in front of an audience. But what are my options? Cancel the perfor??mance? Resign myself to giving a bad show? Beg the audience for forgiveness? I’ve never considered any of these acceptable alternatives. With faith in my ability to rise to the occasion, I act ‘as if’ ‘ as if I had a good night’s sleep, as if I were feeling terrific. Very often, I find myself starting to feel just that way. When I’m nervous, I remind myself how it feels to be at ease ‘how my voice sounds, how my face looks, how I stand. I try whatever I can to affect that other feeling. Very often, by changing something in my body, by acting ‘as if,’ my mood changes and then my attitude and state of mind follow suit. Begin right now to act ‘as if’ you have faith in your ability to succeed as a performance specialist and relationship expert. (Of course, this includes taking action, not just harboring positive thoughts.) Remember, if you act helpless, you’ll be helpless. If you act creatively, on the other hand, you’ll be creative. Acting resourcefully can make you resourceful. Cultivate the habit of acting like a first-rate, best-in-your-class customer-care expert, and it will be so.’ Well said, even if I say so myself. So there I was standing tall, breathing deeply, pulling my luggage through the strangely psychedelic underground tunnel in the Detroit airport, acting ‘as if’ I was one of those people on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ The experience was fun. It gave me energy, It stretched the muscles in my body and it put a smile on my face. It simply had to be healthier then schlepping through the airport with my head down and my shoulders bend. . ‘Act as if,’ is a simple and powerful concept used by people in all walks of life. When Billy Joel is struggling with writers block he puts on a particular set of clothing ‘ relaxed and easy ‘ goes down to the coffee shop where he has successfully written things before, buys the same kind of beverage, and takes out his old familiar notebook and pen. He puts himself in the same spot ‘ ‘as if’ the words and music were flowing from his fingertips. Because the body and the mind are so connected, he knows that when he puts his body in the same place, his mind will follow. Where will you find the opportunity this week to ‘Walk like a Dancer’ and act ‘As if’? May you have many opportunities to excel!

Visit JoAnna Brandi’s blog and website.
This post is cross posted on JoAnna Brandi’s

Disney Service Discovery

This posting by conference blogger Becky Carroll is cross-posted both on the Customers 1st blog as well as on Becky’s blog Customers Rock!

Looking to learn more about what it takes to give great customer service? Look no further than Disney! I am here at the NACCM Customers 1st Conference being held at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, and today the event kicked-off in style. I chose the ‘Disney’s Service Challenge’ pre-conference workshop, led by Bruce Kimbrell of The Disney Institute. This workshop focused on teamwork and taking care of employees (a critical part of taking care of customers is to take care of employees!). Bruce is also the keynote speaker tomorrow at the Pre-Conference Summit talking about ‘Loyalty Disney Style’. Today, Bruce invited us to spend several hours discovering the service opportunities that Disney gives to their guests in ‘Pluto’s Pursuit’. I took the challenge, along with about 30 other attendees. Bruce started us off with a great ice-breaker activity, with the promise of a PPR (positive plastic reinforcer – in this case, a small plastic statuette of Pluto). He had seven of us get into a circle and toss a ball back and forth in a set pattern. He then kept adding balls to the mix until we finally fell apart, balls flying all over the room! It was a great way to start talking about teamwork as well as multitasking (something we obviously didn’t do well). We then talked about what the necessary ingredients are for a team; they included sharing a common goal, cooperation, and interdependence. (Customers Rock! note: great customer service organizations have highly efficient teams that operate on trust and work well together.) He also introduced the notion of different personal goals for different types of people one might find on a team, contrasting those who are motivated by achievement (goals – wanting to get to a ‘destination’ with the team) vs. those who are motivated by affiliation (friends and enjoying the journey to the goal). More on this later. We were then split up into teams and given a common goal to achieve in a 90-minute time period, a sort of ‘scavenger hunt’. We had to go into Disneyland Park and find answers to a long list of questions. Some of the questions had to do with cast member (Disney employee) behaviors; other questions were about signs it the park or park attractions. We also had 2 challenges we could attempt as a team (of the puzzle variety). Into the Park Off we went on our hunt, where we relied on each other to look for the details in everything from the cast members and their on-stage behaviors (no sitting or smoking while on-stage!), their uniforms (name badge, please, and be well groomed), as well as trivia questions (do you know how much the piece of petrified wood in Frontierland weighs?). We covered the entire theme park, from Fantasyland to Adventureland to New Orleans Square to Frontierland – and beyond! Interesting observation – we were so busy looking for our scavenger hunt items, we didn’t get to stop and enjoy the park. A few notes. All of the attendees at this conference are customer-focused, so when some of my teammates saw a woman at the park trying to navigate a curb with her stroller, four of them went over and helped her! That’s customer service. Also, Bruce is a veteran Disney guy; he has worked for them for nearly 30 years. As we were walking back to the conference from the theme park, he stopped and picked up every piece of trash he saw on the ground, throwing it away when he got the next trash can. He didn’t make a big deal of it; it just came naturally. I could see real pride in working at Disney. Team Success Factors When we returned, Bruce discussed more about the differences between the Destination teams and the Journey teams. We discovered that 3 of the 4 teams were ‘Destination’ teams and were all vying for the fabulous prizes offered. The fourth team was a ‘Journey’ team – they took their time, ate some food, did some shopping, and enjoyed their activity. One of the key areas we went over was employee rewards and recognitions. Bruce told a story about a long-time employee who had 32 years of perfect attendance. They decided to throw a big party for him to celebrate. He didn’t show up! Turns out he wasn’t comfortable with that kind of attention being showered on him, so he stayed home. The team had forgotten to find out what kind of recognition he might like; they just assumed he would want a party. Taking Care of Employees At Disney, they foster a culture of reward and recognition because that fosters other good things (like employee loyalty, which leads to great customer service). We need a little bit of that ‘destination’ mentality to get things done, but we need to balance it with the ‘journey’ mentality to make the job more fun! The Conference Nuggets Are Just Starting! I am blogging this conference, both on my blog Customers Rock! as well as on the Customers 1st Conference blog. During the sessions, I am not able to blog but will be updating you via Twitter; I am @bcarroll7, and the conference tag is #naccm. I am also posting any photos I take on the NACCM conference flickr group.