Friday, April 30, 2010

Who did you meet today?

Who did you meet today? I met a guy picking up trash.

I recently attended some training with the Disney Institute. I was part of their Quality Service program at the Walt Disney World Resort. One of our field experiences included a trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

After completing our assignment, (yes it wasn't all fun and rides) we were making our way back to our rendezvous point when we observed a few in our group along with one of our facilitators talking with a cast member. I recognized him as a cast member because he had one of those trash grabbers in his hand and he was dressed business casual. When we got to the group I overheard this cast member talking and I recognized his voice. Tom, our facilitator, introduced us. As it turns out, he was from a small town in west Alabama. When I mentioned I was from Alabama he gave me a big "Roll Tide" and a huge smile while shaking my hand. Immediate connection. . .

Then it hit me! HARD! This guy who was working trash detail was none other than Rilous Carter. Who is Rilous Carter? Well, for those that don't know him, I have put in his picture below.

Nice picture, huh? He's a cool guy. And to save you the time of looking him up on Google or Wikipedia, I'll clue you in on who he is.

Rilous Carter is the Vice President of Disney's Hollywood Studios. He's pretty much the head cheese, second in line only to the boss, Mickey Mouse.

So, pretty neat that the head of the park was on trash duty that morning. But, did you know that everyone is on trash duty? As part of our training on Quality Service, we were asked how many employees there were in Disney's central Florida operation. Between seasonal, part-time and full-time cast members, there are over 60,000 cast members. Of that number we were then asked how many we thought were janitors in charge of picking up trash around the hotels, restaurants and theme parks. The answer is equal to the number of cast members - over 60,000. Every single cast member is responsible for picking up trash. It's in every job description.

In your job, is there anything beneath you? When your customers leave, are they going to share the same kind of story? Give them such an experience so when they leave, they want to tell everyone, "Guess who I met today?"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Three R's of Success - Referrals

This is the second in a series on the three R's of success. If you missed the first entry on Relationships click here for the article.

How many times have you shared a story about an experience you had at a shop, restaurant or attraction? This could be a good story about a positive experience or it could be bad, something that prevents you from ever going back. Chances are you have and you might not even know you did it.

Did you know there is a marketing strategy that is built solely on referrals? What would you do differently if you knew your income depended entirely on referral business? If your business model did not rely on repeat business but on referral business, it would be fair to say you would approach most customers and most transactions in a totally different way than you currently are.

There are multiple times during customer interaction where asking for a referral is timely and acceptable. You could ask for a referral after the sale, after exceeding the customer's expectations, or any time during your interaction. The key to successful referral marketing isn't necessarily when you ask, but that you ask proactively in the first place. We are not accustomed to asking for referrals. But, if you know you just hit a home run with your level of service ask your customer to tell others. It could be a family member, a neighbor or someone in their circle of friends that shares their same issue.

Whatever the reason, just ask. That referral might be THE customer that makes your day, your week or your year. And all you had to do was ask. Do you know how much that costs? Just a few words and a few seconds of your time. Isn't it worth the investment?