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  1. #16

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith11618 View Post
    Disney isn't there to educate, they are there to make as much a profit as they can, nothing more.
    Disney University was largely customer service education. In other words, how to make sure customers have the most "magical experience" possible, how to deal with difficult situations, appropriate responses, how to handle interactions with populations that might need to be treated with sensitivity, celebrities, etc. How to be a Disney Cast Member and not just a ride operator or restaurant server. Etc.

    When employees are dealing with the public, this sort of education is invaluable and a lot of companies invest in it. Good customer service interactions and employees that go the extra mile help inspire return visits, and that in turn makes Disney money.
    Last edited by Malina; 12-15-2012 at 01:56 PM.

  2. #17

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith11618 View Post
    Disney isn't there to educate, they are there to make as much a profit as they can, nothing more.
    According to your posts, Disney shouldn't be held accountable for its declining customer service standards because "standards have gone down in all industries," they should feel justified in paying fast food wages because "the union and employees agreed to it," they shouldn't train their employees because that's not what they're there to do, and they should focus on "making as much profit as they can, nothing more." All of which must be music to TDA's ears.

    And if Disney follows your prescription, you think they'll stay in business how long?
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 12-15-2012 at 02:05 PM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  3. #18

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    The union didn't make Disney turn the Disneyland University into a pathetic collection of cubizens who sit around figuring ways to keep themselves from getting bored before quitting time. The union didn't make Disney trash the moral-boosting employee traditions that had been established in the three decades before Eisner arrived. And the union didn't turn Disneyland's management culture into a politicized hierarchy of self-serving corporate climbers whose kneejerk reaction is to throw CMs under the bus at the first fake complaint from a guest.
    Yup,
    Disney corp. has only itself to blame with its decline by degrees predicament.
    When you expect little from your employees, do not adequately train, provide proper avenues for career growth.
    You are left with apathetic, employees who could care less about the customers.

    Of course there are special gems of Employees who above all odds, provide good service even with incompetent leadership. Sadly it usually is not long before the soul gets sucked out of those employees and they decide to leave. There is still time to turn things around. The parks division needs real leadership, beyond an executive just buying time till they get promoted to a higher paying position in the corporation.

    We need leadership who will demand improved training, standards and appropriate levels of compensation for there employees.
    Leadership who will give employees the ability to prove there worth and rise up the ranks in the company (if so desired) .
    Leadership who will realize that keeping employees motivated and focused on customer service, will only help increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

    We need Leadership who will stop taking customers for granted.
    One only needs to pop in a $35 dollar Blu ray release from Disney to see how they treat customers.
    This lack of customer respect by Disney Corp. is present across all the divisions.
    When I pop in the $35 blu ray I just purchased, I am forced to watch commercials for Disney products, which cannot be skipped.

    People who illegally download movies, are not forced to watch commercials.
    Why should I, a devoted customer who is spending good money on a product, be penalized for purchasing a product!?

    This is just a small insight into the mindset of the current executive management across the Disney enterprises.

  4. #19

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Four Seasons is primarily a hotel management company and has earned five-star ratings at many, many of its hotels. I recommend (again) "Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy" by its Canadian founder, Isadore Sharp.

    Here are some sentences from it:

    "Conceiving of a winning strategy of service has been relatively easy. . . we needed to get it down to the front line: clerks, bellstaff, bartenders, waiters . . . housekeepers. . .the lowest paid and, in most companies, the least motivated people, but the ones who would make or break a five-star service reputation. (p. 98)

    "We treated these frontline people as members of an elite team. We set challenging goals. . .the efforts they made in responding to mishaps beyond their control turned complaints into new service opportunities, so what the customer remembered not the complaint, but the outcome. . . Before opening the Four Seasons in Chicago we screened over 15,000 applicants for 500 jobs. And all of the prospects we picked were interviewed four or five times, the last time by the general manager personally." (p. 110-111)

    "I gave employee complaints as much attention as guest complaints. When we upgraded a hotel, we first upgraded employee facilities. When a survey of our London hotel showed dissatisfaction with workers' areas, we installed new floors, lockers, and showers within three months." (p. 112)

    "I wasn't hooked on momentum or quarterly results." (p. 130)

    "[Quoting UC business prof. Bill Ouchi with approval] '...among the fastest-growing, most profitable major American firms...profits are not regarded as an end in itself...but a reward for providing true value to its customers, helping employees grow, and behaving ethically as a corporate citizen.'" (p. 263)

    I wish Jay, Meg, Thomas, George, Bob & others would read Sharp's book, specifically for how Four Seasons employees are motivated to do their best because of how they are valued and respected by their supervisors, and I wish they'd study how the Oriental Land Company provides superior theme park customer service at Tokyo Disneyland.

  5. #20

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    This.

    Here's a game, if you have an AP: the next time you go to Disneyland, take note of the CMs you see. Now, the next time you go to the park, take note of how many of those same CMs are still there.

    Good wages, working conditions and morale attract good workers. Taking those things away makes it hard to retain good employees.
    Um, I figure that's a pretty hard game to play considering how many CMs work there, how many you come in contact with, how many take sick/vacation days, how many are working different attractions/restaurants, etc. This game is in no way indicative of how successful Disney is at keeping their employees.

    I've never had a negative CM experience to my recollection. Which is quite odd considering bad experiences tend to be more memorable than the satisfactory or especially positive ones.

  6. #21

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jcruise86 View Post
    Four Seasons is primarily a hotel management company and has earned five-star ratings at many, many of its hotels. I recommend (again) "Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy" by its Canadian founder, Isadore Sharp.

    Here are some sentences from it:

    "Conceiving of a winning strategy of service has been relatively easy. . . we needed to get it down to the front line: clerks, bellstaff, bartenders, waiters . . . housekeepers. . .the lowest paid and, in most companies, the least motivated people, but the ones who would make or break a five-star service reputation. (p. 98)

    "We treated these frontline people as members of an elite team. We set challenging goals. . .the efforts they made in responding to mishaps beyond their control turned complaints into new service opportunities, so what the customer remembered not the complaint, but the outcome. . . Before opening the Four Seasons in Chicago we screened over 15,000 applicants for 500 jobs. And all of the prospects we picked were interviewed four or five times, the last time by the general manager personally." (p. 110-111)

    "I gave employee complaints as much attention as guest complaints. When we upgraded a hotel, we first upgraded employee facilities. When a survey of our London hotel showed dissatisfaction with workers' areas, we installed new floors, lockers, and showers within three months." (p. 112)

    "I wasn't hooked on momentum or quarterly results." (p. 130)

    "[Quoting UC business prof. Bill Ouchi with approval] '...among the fastest-growing, most profitable major American firms...profits are not regarded as an end in itself...but a reward for providing true value to its customers, helping employees grow, and behaving ethically as a corporate citizen.'" (p. 263)

    I wish Jay, Meg, Thomas, George, Bob & others would read Sharp's book, specifically for how Four Seasons employees are motivated to do their best because of how they are valued and respected by their supervisors, and I wish they'd study how the Oriental Land Company provides superior theme park customer service at Tokyo Disneyland.

    Fantastic post! I hope someone at Disney reads it!

  7. #22

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    Um, I figure that's a pretty hard game to play considering how many CMs work there, how many you come in contact with, how many take sick/vacation days, how many are working different attractions/restaurants, etc. This game is in no way indicative of how successful Disney is at keeping their employees.

    I've never had a negative CM experience to my recollection. Which is quite odd considering bad experiences tend to be more memorable than the satisfactory or especially positive ones.
    Here's another way to play, then: talk to as many CMs as you can, and ask them how long they've been at Disneyland. Ten to one, you will get far more "six months," "two months," "a year" responses than five, ten or fifteen years. Someone pointed out, a while ago, that Disney had to change the badges that CMs wore. It used to say "class of..." and show the year that the CM had started working at Disney. They changed it because so many employees left and there were so many newbies all the time.

    I've heard from more than one person that longterm retention rates at Disney are very low - which means they are losing the employees with experience, and that employees aren't inspired to commit to careers with Disney/are unable to move up the ladder.

    If you've never had a negative interaction with a CM, that's great. It doesn't mean that it hasn't happened to others, though. It's especially frustrating when you go out of your way to be a GOOD customer, be polite, etc. and the CMs snarl back at you...which has happened more than once when I've been at the park.

  8. #23

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Here's another way to play, then: talk to as many CMs as you can, and ask them how long they've been at Disneyland. Ten to one, you will get far more "six months," "two months," "a year" responses than five, ten or fifteen years. Someone pointed out, a while ago, that Disney had to change the badges that CMs wore. It used to say "class of..." and show the year that the CM had started working at Disney. They changed it because so many employees left and there were so many newbies all the time.

    I've heard from more than one person that longterm retention rates at Disney are very low - which means they are losing the employees with experience, and that employees aren't inspired to commit to careers with Disney/are unable to move up the ladder.
    Bingo. As techskip posted back in October, in a thread titled "Standards for Employee discipline and performance at Disneyland get lower and lower"...

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip
    In 98 when I first started a 5 year pin was a dime a dozen.... in 2004 it was a lot more difficult to find a 5 year pin. They were around, but not as common, and the 10 year service pin was an endangered species. In early 2005 Disney changed the nametag to say "class of" and the year you hired. By the end of 2005 so many people had left that they changed it to "hometown" because Disney was embarrassed by so many low numbers. Guests wouldn't respect the decision of the Lead if his nametag said 2004 or 2005. I think Al even did an article on that one!
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
    Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

    - Neil Gabler


  9. #24

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Here's another way to play, then: talk to as many CMs as you can, and ask them how long they've been at Disneyland. Ten to one, you will get far more "six months," "two months," "a year" responses than five, ten or fifteen years. Someone pointed out, a while ago, that Disney had to change the badges that CMs wore. It used to say "class of..." and show the year that the CM had started working at Disney. They changed it because so many employees left and there were so many newbies all the time.

    I've heard from more than one person that longterm retention rates at Disney are very low - which means they are losing the employees with experience, and that employees aren't inspired to commit to careers with Disney/are unable to move up the ladder.

    If you've never had a negative interaction with a CM, that's great. It doesn't mean that it hasn't happened to others, though. It's especially frustrating when you go out of your way to be a GOOD customer, be polite, etc. and the CMs snarl back at you...which has happened more than once when I've been at the park.
    Another hard game considering the low pay that CMs get--which I think is part of your argument, so you do have me there. Being a Disneyland cast member was a lot easier years ago when the cost of living wasn't as high as it is now (says the college student with relatively little life experience) so it shouldn't be surprising that there aren't too many who stay with the company. With little room to move up or earn more, it's a tough sell to convince someone to stay for anything more than a few years. This is not going to change unless the entire economy is going to lighten up--and it won't. Not really possible for Disney to raise wages every year (or so).

    Yes, I'm sure that it does happen, but I feel like the negative experiences are mostly isolated cases and aren't that big of an issue...yet?

  10. #25

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    The "candlelight thing" is not stupid.

  11. #26

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsmith11618 View Post
    Customer Service in general has gone down in all industries, its not unique to Disney. Just a sign of the times.
    I find this to be true because despite the drop in customer service the resort still beats Knott's and Magic Mountain handily. I can't really speak for Universal as I haven't been back there since 2005 but back then I would say that the service level was still about as good at Disneyland's but was just starting to go downhill especially the studio tours.
    Many Bothans died to bring you these fastpasses.

  12. #27

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    Another hard game considering the low pay that CMs get--which I think is part of your argument, so you do have me there. Being a Disneyland cast member was a lot easier years ago when the cost of living wasn't as high as it is now (says the college student with relatively little life experience) so it shouldn't be surprising that there aren't too many who stay with the company. With little room to move up or earn more, it's a tough sell to convince someone to stay for anything more than a few years. This is not going to change unless the entire economy is going to lighten up--and it won't. Not really possible for Disney to raise wages every year (or so).

    Yes, I'm sure that it does happen, but I feel like the negative experiences are mostly isolated cases and aren't that big of an issue...yet?
    The low wages come into play - but so do things like benefits (or lack thereof), flexibility in scheduling (which Disney notoriously doesn't have, so college students, etc. can find it hard to use as a part-time job), and the overall treatment of employees. Employees are no longer seeing Disney as a viable longterm career choice and that wasn't always the case.

    My local Trader Joe's and Costco, in contrast, have staff members who have been there for years and years. The same is true with the Hard Rock Cafe - they have servers who stick around for decades. By all accounts, it's a very fast-paced environment, there isn't a lot of upward mobility (same as Disney), the employees are on their feet all day (again) and you're not going to be able to buy a Porsche with your wages, to say the very least. Why do employees hang around in those low-paying jobs? Perhaps it's because both companies are routinely voted as being great places to work, and have benefits that outstrip Disney's by quite a lot.

  13. #28

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Just a reminder, when you do see a castmember performing above and beyound their customer service, enterinment, ect. Place a report with thier leads or with people at city hall/guest relations. The report will be truly welcomed. I have had my turn with cms who did not have great service but I have learned to show a little concern/understanding towards the cms because they have to not only walk into work but they are coming from the same world we do and have simular problems but they not only have to work a job but they have to be the very best (on stage level) the moment they walk on. I think they need to increase the level of customer service training to all cms that walk on.

  14. #29

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Honestly I cannot say that I have ever experienced bad customer service from a CM. Every time a mistake happens a CM has gone above and beyond my expectation to solve the issue! The CMs I have encountered really care about the guests experience and so when one goes above and beyond we always leave a good comment at Guest Relations

  15. #30

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    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Quote Originally Posted by ohmyjustin View Post
    Another hard game considering the low pay that CMs get--which I think is part of your argument, so you do have me there. Being a Disneyland cast member was a lot easier years ago when the cost of living wasn't as high as it is now (says the college student with relatively little life experience) so it shouldn't be surprising that there aren't too many who stay with the company. With little room to move up or earn more, it's a tough sell to convince someone to stay for anything more than a few years. This is not going to change unless the entire economy is going to lighten up--and it won't. Not really possible for Disney to raise wages every year (or so).

    Yes, I'm sure that it does happen, but I feel like the negative experiences are mostly isolated cases and aren't that big of an issue...yet?
    You also have to consider that people want to work at Disneyland. Some people dream about it, but then they get there, and the job just isn't worth it.
    "What single word is the name of a magazine, a cereal, a board game, and a never-ending series of soul-crushing disappointments which slowly leech away your hope and idealism until you are nothing more than a bitter husk of a man?"

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