In the mid-1980s, I was a field engineer working for ABB/Combustion Engineering.
One of our sales people was able to sell Disney a control system for their utilities that would replace their out of date technology.
At the time, we were providing MOD30 single loop controllers. These controllers could be put on a network for communication with each other and they would also communicate to a Zenith Z100 PC for operator control. The computing power of the controllers and the PC together was less than you likely have in your phone today, but at the time this was leading edge technology for control systems.
I was the startup engineer on the job which was phased in over several years. As a result, I had to make many trips to Disney and I almost always took my family.
I would work all day then after work I would go through the tunnels and pop up in the park to meet with my wife and kids. We would spend a couple more hours in the park then leave.
I was never much of a theme park person so this was the perfect arrangement for me. I have also been back many times over the years for sales meetings, training, and conferences. I always made sure I practiced almost the same routine on each visit except that I now had to pay to get in the parks instead of popping up from the tunnels.
Several years ago, I had a conference to attend and we took our oldest grandchild who was almost 3 at the time. On that trip I met up with my wife and grandchild back at the hotel each night. I didn’t even spend a minute in the park. I thought this was the best arrangement ever.
I say all this to give a little background before I go into my recent visit to Disney with my wife, daughter, son in-law, and our two grandchildren. After my many visits to Disney, it was to be the first time I would spend 2 full days in the parks.
I thought that it was going to be awful. I couldn’t sleep the night before just thinking about all the crowds of people I would be dealing with the next day.
Why had I agreed to this? Was I getting stupid in my old age?
Well, I actually had a great time. I was so impressed with the parks that I started to think about what makes Disney so successful.
Is it the technology that they employ to create all the magic? Is it the thought they put into designing something that will be enjoyable to all ages? Is it the marketing they do to promote the Disney name? Is it the service the employees provide?
While I’m sure that all of these are part of the success formula, but the one that stood out to me was the service the employees provided.
Not one single employee had a bad attitude. Not one.
They all seemed happy to be there and were focused on making your visit wonderful. From parking, to buying tickets and being scanned, to helping you navigate the park, to finding a place to eat, to getting you back to your car, they made everything easy and efficient.
The parks were spotless even though there were an enormous amount of people there. They had people picking up litter on every street and never was there a trash can that needed to be emptied. They even had bathroom attendees that were making sure that the bathrooms were clean.
Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t perfect. It was crowded and the lines for rides were long, but the employees and their service were great.
That takes me to another company that has been unbelievably successful.
Chick-fil-A is a very successful fast food chain that, in my opinion, really doesn’t have exceptional food. Yet, it seems that every time we go to a Chick-fil-A there is a line in the drive through that goes around the building and it is full inside.
They normally even have employees out in the drive-through lanes taking orders to make the lines move faster. These employees are out there in the cold, rain, snow, and heat. But they are always friendly and focused on trying to make your visit to Chick-fil-A as painless as possible.
All their employees young and old, inside and outside, seem to be several cuts above the normal fast food employees. I think that is why they are so successful.
So as you look at what your company provides, keep these two companies in mind. It is not just about the product that you have, it is more about the customer service that you provide. This starts at the first contact (web, phone call, event, meeting) to the day they stop using your products.
If you focus on the customer and provide the best service possible, you will be successful. This needs to be part of your company culture and should apply to all your employees.
At Salesnet, we consider customer focus the most important part of our culture. Sure we want to always have leading technology that helps you improve your sales and marketing effectiveness, but providing outstanding service to our customers is what makes us successful. Sign up for a free Salesnet CRM trial today and experience our commitment to outstanding service.