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  1. #61

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

    I for one would love to see Disney as a whole take their place as the gold star example of how customer service is to be done, but I also feel like threads like this tend to paint all CM's with a bad Customer Service brush. So much so that we have board members arguing with honest to goodness CM’s, telling them that they are not being paid enough and that they should not be happy to work at Disneyland.

    Such an odd dichotomy…

  2. #62

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Meville View Post
    I for one would love to see Disney as a whole take their place as the gold star example of how customer service is to be done, but I also feel like threads like this tend to paint all CM's with a bad Customer Service brush. So much so that we have board members arguing with honest to goodness CM’s, telling them that they are not being paid enough and that they should not be happy to work at Disneyland.

    Such an odd dichotomy…
    Hmm, I am not sure I agree with you in regards to Board Members telling CM's that they should not be happy. But Perhaps that is your experience. I for one regularly encounter CM's who don't seem to want to be working. I also encounter quite of few of the "Old Timers" who provide above and beyond gold star service and who they themselves tell me Disney Corp. is trying to force them out.

    Disney Corp. as it stands now would rather have part time 0-1 year old Cast Members working less then 40 hours a week (To prevent benefit payments) Vs. A longer term full time employee who will "Cost" the company more money.

    Obviously there are scientific and mathematical formula's based on dollars and cents vs. "Showmanship" and well perceived customer service. The company has decided that the lower levels of customer service do not affect there short term bottom line and as such is not a issue to worry about. This philosophy as a whole permeates through much of the large corporation beholden to share holders and run by Executives with little to no actual experience working there way up a ladder as so many of the old timer successful executives in years past have, most notably Walt himself. Working there way up to leadership starting on the ground floor.

    If we had more executives who actually had started out at the parks working as a ticket seller and moving the ranks through attractions and then onto to management, I think we would have a more in touch executive staff.

    Currently the only experience the executives have with the "ground floor" operations is a one or two day "Shadowing" of a department. If that even happens at all.

  3. #63

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

    Quote Originally Posted by CAspace View Post
    Hmm, I am not sure I agree with you in regards to Board Members telling CM's that they should not be happy. But Perhaps that is your experience. I for one regularly encounter CM's who don't seem to want to be working. I also encounter quite of few of the "Old Timers" who provide above and beyond gold star service and who they themselves tell me Disney Corp. is trying to force them out.

    Disney Corp. as it stands now would rather have part time 0-1 year old Cast Members working less then 40 hours a week (To prevent benefit payments) Vs. A longer term full time employee who will "Cost" the company more money.

    Obviously there are scientific and mathematical formula's based on dollars and cents vs. "Showmanship" and well perceived customer service. The company has decided that the lower levels of customer service do not affect there short term bottom line and as such is not a issue to worry about. This philosophy as a whole permeates through much of the large corporation beholden to share holders and run by Executives with little to no actual experience working there way up a ladder as so many of the old timer successful executives in years past have, most notably Walt himself. Working there way up to leadership starting on the ground floor.

    If we had more executives who actually had started out at the parks working as a ticket seller and moving the ranks through attractions and then onto to management, I think we would have a more in touch executive staff.

    Currently the only experience the executives have with the "ground floor" operations is a one or two day "Shadowing" of a department. If that even happens at all.
    I agree with your post. Management could be doing many more things to improve the over all experiance and your suggestions would be a good start for sure. My comment about board members was aimed at this thread, more specifically between Mr. Wiggins and Ms. Monroe.

  4. #64

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I went to Knotts on Saturday and the customer service there was not any better or worse than the customer service I experienced at Disneyland. In fact I had a very nice conversation with one of the employees at Supreme Scream. She was so friendly - just as for as anything I've experienced at Disneyland.
    Agreed. I went to Knott's recently as well, and I would say the customer service I received was just as good if not better than at Disneyland.

    Obviously when you paint in broad strokes you leave out a lot of detail. I have no doubt there are still many hard working CM's with a good attitude at the park. But in general, I have to agree with the OP. Often in my interactions with CM's I just get a general attitude that ranges from indifference to outright surliness. It is not like I've experienced anything really horrible with regard to customer service. It just seems about on a par with my local Target. The trouble is, I expect more from Disneyland, or at least I used to.

  5. #65

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

    I've generally found the SeaWorld/Busch parks to have some of the best customer service. A simple snafoo with my pass renewal lead to a free lunch AND an extension of my pass by a few more months. I thought it was a little over-the-top for a simple double-payment charge that my Credit Card company had already declined, but they resolved it at the gate and went over the top.

    Universal for me has been great at Hollywood, and a mixed bag at Orlando. Hollywood really seems to go out of their way to ensure that people are happy, and demands a little more perfection. Orlando has been worse for me lately, because of their terrible "must cancel FlexPay within 30 days BY MAIL" and a bad experience with Guest Relations buying tickets for Horror Nights.

    Knott's is doing better, and employees seem to have some better service going on. There's some real pride showing in the park. Had great customer service experiences at Ghost Town Grill, but I also haven't really had any problems there.

    Disneyland has really been a mixed bag for me over the last few years. Overall, Attractions, and the Ticket Booths seem to be doing really good. Foods and Merchandise seems like it's declining at Customer Service. For foods, the inconsistant refill policy at self-serve beverage stations (two different answers at Pizza Port within 7 days), and hostile food replacement seems to be a normal thing now.

    My favorite Disneyland merchandise bad service story is how a legal name ends up leading to a manager. My favorite example of this has to be when I wanted my middle name embroidered on a pair of Mickey ears (about a year ago). My legal middle name is "Lucky", and for one CM at the Mad Hatter, she really didn't want to do it. Even showing my ID with it printed on it, it ended up getting escalated through the lead ("Better call the manager just in case."), to the manager. Manager tells me "We can't print non-standard nicknames on ears. It must be your legal name or an acceptable nickname." without even checking my ID! Manager had no idea why I was annoyed and upset at this customer service situation, and didn't understand that if my middle name had been "Steve", they would have done it no problem. You can't challenge someone because of their legal name. That's was terrible CS, assuming that I was pulling something on the CM.

    Overall, I think most theme parks are a mixed bag when it comes to customer service. I think that Disney in general had better policies than the other parks, but they are improving - raising the bar. Disney does a good job, but I'm not sure they were the leader they were before.
    -Monorail Man

  6. #66

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorail Man View Post
    I've generally found the SeaWorld/Busch parks to have some of the best customer service. A simple snafoo with my pass renewal lead to a free lunch AND an extension of my pass by a few more months. I thought it was a little over-the-top for a simple double-payment charge that my Credit Card company had already declined, but they resolved it at the gate and went over the top.

    Universal for me has been great at Hollywood, and a mixed bag at Orlando. Hollywood really seems to go out of their way to ensure that people are happy, and demands a little more perfection. Orlando has been worse for me lately, because of their terrible "must cancel FlexPay within 30 days BY MAIL" and a bad experience with Guest Relations buying tickets for Horror Nights.

    Knott's is doing better, and employees seem to have some better service going on. There's some real pride showing in the park. Had great customer service experiences at Ghost Town Grill, but I also haven't really had any problems there.

    Disneyland has really been a mixed bag for me over the last few years. Overall, Attractions, and the Ticket Booths seem to be doing really good. Foods and Merchandise seems like it's declining at Customer Service. For foods, the inconsistant refill policy at self-serve beverage stations (two different answers at Pizza Port within 7 days), and hostile food replacement seems to be a normal thing now.

    My favorite Disneyland merchandise bad service story is how a legal name ends up leading to a manager. My favorite example of this has to be when I wanted my middle name embroidered on a pair of Mickey ears (about a year ago). My legal middle name is "Lucky", and for one CM at the Mad Hatter, she really didn't want to do it. Even showing my ID with it printed on it, it ended up getting escalated through the lead ("Better call the manager just in case."), to the manager. Manager tells me "We can't print non-standard nicknames on ears. It must be your legal name or an acceptable nickname." without even checking my ID! Manager had no idea why I was annoyed and upset at this customer service situation, and didn't understand that if my middle name had been "Steve", they would have done it no problem. You can't challenge someone because of their legal name. That's was terrible CS, assuming that I was pulling something on the CM.

    Overall, I think most theme parks are a mixed bag when it comes to customer service. I think that Disney in general had better policies than the other parks, but they are improving - raising the bar. Disney does a good job, but I'm not sure they were the leader they were before.

    Not really anything to say re Disney CS, just want to say that I think "Lucky" is one of the coolest middle names I've ever heard of !
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

  7. #67

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Monorail Man View Post
    My favorite Disneyland merchandise bad service story is how a legal name ends up leading to a manager. My favorite example of this has to be when I wanted my middle name embroidered on a pair of Mickey ears (about a year ago). My legal middle name is "Lucky", and for one CM at the Mad Hatter, she really didn't want to do it. Even showing my ID with it printed on it, it ended up getting escalated through the lead ("Better call the manager just in case."), to the manager. Manager tells me "We can't print non-standard nicknames on ears. It must be your legal name or an acceptable nickname." without even checking my ID! Manager had no idea why I was annoyed and upset at this customer service situation, and didn't understand that if my middle name had been "Steve", they would have done it no problem. You can't challenge someone because of their legal name. That's was terrible CS, assuming that I was pulling something on the CM..
    As a sidenote, this was against policy on Disney's part. 'Lucky' is not inappropriate, offensive, derogatory, Disney or a 3rd party copyrighted name. Sounds like everyone involved should have looked at their personalization guidelines more closely.

    Really this should not have been elevated to a manager situation at all. At all.
    "If we cut the budget are you going to be the one standing at the exit explaining to guests why the ride they just rode is a piece of crap?" - - John Lasseter

  8. #68

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

    I do want to say that I certainly don't think all CMs are bad, or even a majority of them. Every time I go to the park I see CMs who are trying hard to create that Disney magic and enjoy their jobs. I have a policy of going to City Hall or sending an email after every visit to COMPLIMENT, not complain, about the good CMs I see. It can be rough to work hard and never get positive feedback so I hope that the CMs do hear the good things we say.

    On the other hand, I've seen enough indifferent, or negative CMs, to make me wonder what is going on. There were the ones at the Halloween Party in 2011 who were openly hostile, as in, muttering under their breath and rolling their eyes (for the record, all I'd said to them was "thank you"). There was an incident a few months ago on a ride. And so on. And I have to wonder if these bad apples are indicative of Disney's inability to keep their most enthusiastic, positive CMs on staff because those staff members find other pastures more amenable. Or if those CMs started out happy and enthusiastic, and were crushed by the corporate policies in place.

  9. #69

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

    Quote Originally Posted by stevek View Post
    Yes, that's us. After 12 years with AP's, we're done but only because of the price increases. That being said, nobody will notice unless there are masses of AP's not renewing. Not going to happen for awhile.
    I really think Disney wants to reduce the number of APs attending their west coast park and bring it closer inline with what's happening out on the east coast. They'll probably continue to raise prices until they get to the mix that works best for them.

    As for customer service, I don't think it's an employee problem. I really do think that a lot of other businesses that had bad customer service have become so much better, so in comparison, Disney doesn't look as good.

  10. #70

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post
    Or if those CMs started out happy and enthusiastic, and were crushed by the corporate policies in place.
    This. From experience I might add.

    I will also add that high expectations play a big part. First and foremast, guest assistant concerns are rampant. For some reason, a majority of guest assistance users expect to be treated above the non-gac users. I know people will hate that statement, but its true.

    I worked leap day. I worked at an attraction that stopped distributing fastpasses after a return window of 8pm. At 11pm, the standby line was barely moving, and not because of fastpass, but because of a non-stop demand from groups with guest assistant cards. This angered the entire standby line. I was told i'm incompetent, stupid, and didnt know how to do my job. My name was written down multiple times. Complaints were filed. I was doing my job. Try putting up with situations like that daily for years with no backing from a management team. Try only hearing what you're doing wrong (there's always something your doing wrong by the way).

    Getting screamed at from an overweight AP in their rented electric scooter about how she's waited 45 minutes to ride an attraction, and yet the normal line is over an hour. She tells you that she's never waited this long, so therefore she shouldnt wait long this time either. Explain that to her, and she takes your name to City Hall.

    None of you will ever know how frustrating it is. Some of you may work in customer service jobs, but Disney is different. The bar is higher (as it should be), yet it's so high that it's impossible to reach. Years ago, people would understand that *stuff* happens. Attractions break, height requirements must be adheared to, etc. Attractions didn't have station gates, parents watched their kids. Personal responsibility existed. People accepted those things years ago. Not today. It's always someone else's fault. Now, people always ask for a manager. They'll do that until they get what they want.

    So don't blame Disney, don't blame its Cast Members. Blame society.

    Don't agree? Go apply, get hired, and work there for at least one year (though 4 months would likely suffice). Then rethink your position.

    That's the honest truth....it really is. Let's see how long this post lasts.

  11. #71

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ratoncitaloca View Post
    I tell him that I am going to throw it through the window behind us because I am annoyed that he is so unhelpful.
    You should have..then you would have been sitting in a cell wondering why you chose to lose your temper over an ornament instead of just walking away. If threats to person's or merchandise start to happen, they should have called security on you. All you had to do was grab another CM, which ended up happening, and ask them. Or go over to the other register. Your threat to merchandise and possibly guests from shattering glass was inappropriate.

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingboy View Post
    In fact, I was in the park on Saturday for the first time in a long time (on a weekend at least). The Candlelight Processional was going on and it was one of the biggest clustermucks I have ever seen at the park. There was one sliver of walkway from the entrance around to Main Street and through to the hub. It was similar to when an accident happens on the freeway and it's in the shoulder lane and everyone stops and rubbernecks. It reminded me why I avoid the Resort like the plague during the holidays.
    I was there Saturday as well. I was stuck on Main Street just before the 5:30 show. It was VERY congested. But that was because they were not allowing people to walk on the street, only the sidewalk. I made it through though. It wasn't to big of a deal to me. After Main Street, it opened up nicely.

    Someone else also mentioned this but I've NEVER had a bad experience with a CM. Well once I did but they ended being told they were wrong by another CM but other than that...NEVER. And I've been going there for almost 9 years with an AP.

    In fact, I have an example of a CM going above an beyond for me just recently. I was in the candy store on BVS and in the coffee mug/tea section and I was looing at the black Alice in Wonderland tea pot and noticed that there were no matching tea cups like I had noticed in the past. The CM at the register called World of Disney and Emporium to see if they had it. And while we were waiting, another male CM came up and played trivia with my son and gave him a sticker for getting all the Dumbo trivia questions right. It was a great experience.

    And they have all been pretty much like that when I've interacted with any CM. I have honestly never seen a scowling and growling CM ever...and believe me, thinking I was nuts, I have started looking for a scowling CM and have yet to see one.

    Just my experiences.

  12. #72

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

    MonorailMan, that story about "Lucky" was either hilarious or sad. I can't decide which. I hope you got your "Lucky" ears.


    A harsh truth some can't seem to come to is that both of these are correct.

    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Disneymike View Post
    Disney cares too much about other crap stuff than actually HIRING, PAYING, and KEEPING​ the best employees they can get.
    The day the members of this board can get it through their heads that the result is of a combination of effects and not from one single side being the cause is the day we will finally see both sides of the same coin. Until then, it's still the same coin.


    Quote Originally Posted by disney4me2001 View Post
    Hopefully I can shed some light on this- I worked in Parking this summer in the Disney College Program. The reason why there are so many CMs just standing there while only a couple CMs are directing/parking cars is because the other CMs standing around are there to take care of the next parking rows that will be filled after the current one.
    Thank you, Disney4me2001. I'm glad someone addressed this. I used to work in law enforcement and there were times the public would call in and complain about "all those officers just standing around" but they didn't know WHY we were there. They didn't know that each officer who was "just standing" was performing a specific duty. One was looking for persons matching a given description who might be lingering in the crowd, admiring the handiwork of their crime. Others were watching for oncoming traffic. One is co-ordinating everything by radio and telling everyone else where to redeploy to fit the scene as things developed. To the public eye they're always just "standing around on coffee break." Ha. As if. It looks like the CMs in the parking garage are in a similar position.

    I was parking in the big garage two weeks ago and despite there being a dozen CMs, I didn't think one was being lazy. Each one of them had their heads on a swivel and their eyes constantly assessing everything as it came and went, constantly on the lookout for that one driver who just can't seem to recognize the patterns of traffic and follow directions. Good job to you guys, it's a thankless job.

  13. #73

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

    Quote Originally Posted by clara View Post
    I was there Saturday as well. I was stuck on Main Street just before the 5:30 show. It was VERY congested. But that was because they were not allowing people to walk on the street, only the sidewalk. I made it through though. It wasn't to big of a deal to me. After Main Street, it opened up nicely.
    That was not the case for me. Although, it was the same show. I came through as the show was going on, so every person walking through was stopping and looking adding to the crawl..

  14. #74

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

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingboy View Post
    That was not the case for me. Although, it was the same show. I came through as the show was going on, so every person walking through was stopping and looking adding to the crawl..

    I can believe that. I was walking through just as they were starting to seat guests so it hadn't started so I was lucky to be out of that area before the crowd began.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by explodingboy View Post
    That was not the case for me. Although, it was the same show. I came through as the show was going on, so every person walking through was stopping and looking adding to the crawl..
    and that happens! it happens with Parades, Fantasmic, Fireworks.. it happens at Disneyland. I have never had a instance where the CM was not doing their job,and i do not feel Disney CS takes it's guests for granted.

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