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Exceeding Guest Expectations: It's All in the Details

Learn how Disney's attention to detail helps differentiate the customer experience.
Exceeding Guest Expectations: It's All in the Details
Image credit: Courtesy Disney Institute
By Bruce Jones

Through our work training business professionals around the world, a common complaint we hear is that attention to detail is something that too often ranks low on the list of priorities, is easily overlooked, or worse yet, is completely forgotten in other organizations.

At Disney, attention to detail is something of an art form, stemming from our founder, Walt Disney. In our book, Be Our Guest, entire passages talk about this passion, which one could argue is at the very core of our company’s values: “Walt was famous for his eye for detail, and he made sure that everyone paid the same attention that he did.”

It’s this clever use of attention to detail that leads guests through the unique queue at the Haunted Mansion attraction in Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. As they are standing in line waiting to enter the attraction, Guests can interact with the queue in entertaining ways, including making their own spooky music and solving mysterious riddles. Along the way, guests might even experience a surprise or two that they weren’t expecting.

This kind of creativity and attention to detail is woven throughout the guest experience. From the signature “Have a Magical Day” that guests hear from our telephone agents, to the “Welcome foolish mortals,” they hear at the Haunted Mansion, these small but important touchpoints demonstrate our devotion to detail that lets guests (and our cast members) know that they’re worth the extra effort.  

At Disney Institute, we teach business professionals and other organizations that this same “eye for detail” can easily be translated from industry to industry—as a strategy to differentiate your business and your brand. We believe that any organization’s customer experience must be designed across all touchpoints, no matter how seemingly insignificant that touchpoint may seem.

Take a look around your organization and try to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Are there details that could be “plussed up”? Implementing even a small change can impact your customer in a positive way, and should be considered an investment in creating your own unique customer experience.

What small details in your organization can you begin to change or enhance to improve the customer experience?

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