“Disney believe that they can’t deliver an exceptional experience to their guests, until they deliver an exceptional service to each other. Great Employee Experience drives exceptional Customer Experience” 

Disney Institute

Lynn Baker recently returned from the Disney Customer Experience Summit held at Disneyland in California and the experience was everything and more than she ever dreamed it would be.

Having studied Customer Service with the Disney Institute in 2006, Lynn believed that as a professional speaker on customer experience trends, it was important to go back and find out how Disney have evolved from merely delivering customer service to driving customer experience.

The Customer Experience Summit took place over 3 days, with fascinating lectures from Disney Facilitators in the morning and fields trips into back of house Disneyland in the afternoon. Evenings were filled with trips into Disneyland Park, where summit participants got to experience dinners at an Ice Age themed venue where they got to meet Mickey & Minnie Mouse, the spectacular Disney fireworks display and the infamous Disney Parade down main street.

The learnings at the CX Summit were focused on Leadership, Employee Engagement and Service delivery. Here are just a couple of the insights Lynn gained from her time at the Disney Customer Experience Summit 2018.

The first insight was around Disney Leadership and where they focus their time and energy. It’s no wonder that Disney run such a smooth and seamless operation, as Disney management are mandated to spend between 70% – 75% of their time in the business and not on the business. Which means leaders / managers are expected to be on the streets of Disneyland, managing operations, motivating cast members (which is Disney speak for employees) and engaging with customers 75% of the time. This is a critical element of their success in hosting more than 20 million guests a year and managing over 30,000 cast members, just at Disneyland in California.

My next insight was around the positioning and importance of technology in the customer experience. Like many other people, I was under the impression that technology is the absolute driving force behind experience, but Disney taught me differently. Even though Disney spent $1bn on technology in 2014 to create the MyMagic+ wristband and mobile app to deliver a streamlined and efficient experience, they view technology merely an enabler of the experience and not the primary driver of an experience. The Disney primary focus is still on creating systems and processes that support employees in delivering an exceptional experience and cultivating a culture that contributes to an enhanced employee experience. Disney believe that they can’t deliver an exceptional experience to their guests, until they deliver an exceptional service to each other.

Following on from that, one of my final insights was around employee engagement. The one question that everyone wants to know the answer to is, how do Disney consistently get their employees to deliver exceptional experiences 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Well, unlike many other companies who have long and complicated vision and mission statements that no-one can remember, never mind repeat, Disney have a simple and memorable ‘Purpose statement’ that every single employee knows and buys into. That purpose statement is We create happiness by providing the finest entertainment for people of all ages, everywhere! Disney employees are very clear of what is expected of them and how to deliver it, they understand that their contribution to the Disney experience is to create magic and share happiness and their total focus is on delivering it.

In line with these insights, I created a keynote speech entitled ‘Customer Experience – Mind the Gap. The presentation content is designed to bridge the gap between the strategic intent of management and employee motivation to deliver on it. I have worked with so many management teams that have spent hundreds of hours developing customer experience strategies, only to find that their initiatives are failing to filter down to the people who are expected to deliver on them. It’s not that employees don’t want to deliver on cx, it’s often just that they don’t really understand it. Many employees believe that customer experience is just another marketing campaign or sales promotion that will end next week. The ‘Customer Experience – Mind the Gap’ presentation is designed to educate employees on what customer experience is and why they need to get involved in it.

There are 5 keys to increasing employee engagement in a cx strategy. Information – clearly explain the reason why for the cx campaign; Instruction – explain how employees are expected to deliver on it and how they will be measured on it; Inspire – employees by connecting them with the company vision, values and goals; Involve – employees as much as possible in the design, delivery and measurement of cx strategies; Incentivise – show employees the difference their contribution will make.

In line with the above, the presentation starts by explaining what customer experience is and the difference between customer service and customer experience. It goes on to explain the vital role that employees play in the customer journey and how critical it is that every employee get on board for the company to thrive in the future. To illustrate the value of a good customer experience, she shares fascinating stories and dynamic videos of how some of the best companies in the world including Disney, Amazon.com; The Ritz Carlton and others are using customer experience to drive sales, increase customer satisfaction and improve customer loyalty. More importantly, she challenges every member of the audience to consider the value that their role adds to the current customer journey and what they could do in future to add more value.

Just imagine how powerful the impact would be, if every one of your employees gave just 10% more attention to your customers; how sales would soar, customer retention would increase, and loyalty would improve.

Lynn Baker is proudly represented by Unique Speaker Bureau and she looks forward to speaking at your next event, to bridge the gap between customer experience strategy and employee delivery.

To book Lynn Baker at your next event or conference contact USB on +27 (0)11 074 9800/ paul@uniquespeakerbureau.com




Brooke Rabe

Marketing & Communications Manager

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