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Be the Disney of Your Industry

Lessons from Disney to Improve Your Customer and Employee Experiences

Shep Hyken interviews Teri Yanovitch. They discuss her experience as a Disney employee, their hiring process, and the customer service takeaways that can be applied to any organization in any industry.

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Top Takeaways:

  • It’s neither luck nor magic that creates success (though those can certainly help)—it’s hard work. Any and every company is capable of putting in hard work.
  • Give potential employees a taste of your company’s culture right away. Be upfront about the requirements of the position and the expectations for success. This will help eliminate candidates who may not be the best fit.
  • During the candidate’s interview, don’t ask all the questions. Allow the applicant to ask questions about you and your company. This helps them feel they are a part of the company and the culture from day one.
  • Be transparent as you describe the job. New employee orientation should reinforce all the information applicants already heard during the hiring process. This is a way of further introducing them to the company culture and holds them accountable for previously established expectations.
  • Details are what create value for customers, especially throughout multiple points of contact. Paying attention to detail throughout every stage of the customer journey is what will ultimately amaze them.
  • Think through the entire customer experience from every angle. More companies need to consider the customer journey in its entirety.
  • Leadership must demonstrate the behaviors they want to see in their employees. Even for something as simple as picking up trash. When leadership models behavior, it spreads throughout the entire organization.
  • Don’t forget that there is an internal customer experience. This is also known as the employee experience, and it is just as important as the external customer experience. Happy employees create happy customers.
  • Create your company’s “Service Standards.” Then, ensure that these standards are consistent across every location and every individual. That will create amazement for the customer.
  • Never stop training, even on “the basics.” It is the consistency that creates the magic.


“The key to success is recognizing that there is a ripple or domino effect to internal service. Happy employees create happy customers.”

“Any organization can apply these Disney lessons by paying attention to the details. Recognize that internal service is just as important as external service. And, make sure that everybody knows the expectations. Start sharing those expectations in the interview process and reinforcing them in your orientation.”

“You don’t have to be a theme park or have characters in order to be immensely successful. You, too, can be a successful organization in your industry.”


Teri Yanovitch is a dynamic speaker, author, trainer, and consultant. Her passion is helping organizations create a culture of service excellence.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I be the Disney of my industry?
  2. How can I create magic for my guests/customers?
  3. What does it mean to have transparency in the hiring process?
  4. How can I find the best employees for my company?
  5. How does the employee experience relate to the customer experience?

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