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>Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

December 17, 2005

>Customer service can make or break your organization. People will pay a premium just to be treated extra-ordinary and they will continue to utilize your service for this treatment. At the end of the day, customers can always find another company willing to provide them with the products and services they are looking for, it is up to us to provide them with this extra-ordinary service to keep them using our products and services.

Disney, 1982

My family is originally from Aruba, and every year, our parents would take us to Disney World. Back then, my most favorite cartoon character had been Donald Duck, I always loved his feisty attitude. Before we left to go on this trip, I had set out to contact Donald Duck and tell him I was his biggest fan so I preceded to write a letter to hand him in the grand parade at Disney. Five days later, the time has come, I am sitting on the curb in the magical place called Disney World, watching my childhood fantasies dance before my eyes in the magical Disney parade, just waiting for Donald Duck to dance by so I can hand him my carefully crafted letter. Then across the street, there he his, the one and only Donald Duck. I yelled, “Donald” to no avail, he was not able to hear me. This was a crushing blow to a 6 year old, as I sat down with my head in my hands, then, out of no where, a loyal Disney employee that walks the parade with a broom and a dustpan, picking up garbage and such. He asked me what was the matter and I told him I had a special letter for Donald Duck, he told me to give it to him and he would make sure that he got it straight to Donald Duck.

One month past and I was back in Aruba, wondering if Donal Duck ever got my letter when my mother called me into the house, “Wayne, come in, you have mail!” So I went inside and was greeted with a large envelope that was addressed to “Mr. Wayne Johnson” coming from Orlando, FL, but not mentioning on the envelope, exactly who send it. I opened it and behold, it was a letter from Donald Duck, and an autograph picture.

AMAZING! An employee who took pride in the company he worked for, whose job was to walk through the park and pick up garbage, made a lifetime memory for a kid. And that kid is now using that example in training others on how to provide extra-ordinary customer service. That janator knew what it took, and Disney back then knew what kind of culture to create that type of commitment.

  • What can your company do to foster that type of environment?
  • Do you go the extra mile, performing tasks that might not neccesirally be “your job”, simply to provide an extra-ordinary experience for your customers?

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