Creating a “world-class” customer service experience

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By Sonya M. Lowe, Member Support Specialist

As an association professional, I recently had the pleasure of attending a Disney Institute course on Disney’s Approach to Quality Service. It was quite enjoyable and unforgettable, especially for someone who had never visited a Disney theme park. Beyond that, however, I learned a great deal while receiving the full Disney experience in one eight-hour day!

A top takeaway is that attention to detail can be the difference between mediocre customer service and a world-class, memorable experience, which will drive repeat business.

Disney’s goal with this course is to share its time-tested strategies for quality service and inspire attendees to think differently. In this blog, I will touch on a few tips I learned while attending the workshop.

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE: Exceptional service is achievable for every organization because exceptional service is created from systems and processes that you control. You can create exceptional service within your organization by shifting the curve in the customer experience. Customers tend to receive poor, average or exceptional service. Organizations can shift the curve of service toward exceptional by continuously exceeding customer expectations. Usually, service is performed at an average level by just meeting customer expectations.

EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS: It is more powerful to connect with your customers on an emotional level rather than a rational level. A stronger bond is created between the organization and the customer when one understands how the customer feels about your organization.

Organizations can shift the curve of service toward exceptional by continuously exceeding customer expectations.”

This stronger bond can lead to a change in economic behavior. The customer will begin to connect emotionally with the service rendered, leading to their willingness to pay a premium for exceptional service, desire to return to your organization and recommending your organization to others.

Positive emotional connections will ultimately drive the length and frequency of this customer’s engagement with your organization.

CONSISTENTLY EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE: Some type of service is manifested everywhere that your organization touches the customer. Therefore, you must intentionally manage the service experience beyond the obvious customer touch points. In other words, service is experienced in a multitude of small customer moments over periods of time.

The initial impact of service on the customer is critical because it creates the customer’s first image of your organization. The customer can have experiences with your organization over a period of time that can extend over years and decades. There must be a balance of consistent customer experiences over that time frame. However, one must remember that the customer’s first experience becomes his or her complete vision of your organization (and can mean the loss of a customer if that first experience is poor).

Overall, my experience at Disney Institute’s Approach to Quality Service course was eye-opening. Receiving this information from the Disney perspective made me think differently about how one delivers service and how association professionals can improve their customer service relationships, both internally (within your organization) and externally (with your customers directly).

If you’re an association professional, I would recommend attending one of Disney Institute’s courses if offered the opportunity.