Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar, who retired in 2009 as the only Disney cast member to have participated in the opening of all eleven theme parks around the world, is noted for many things, but one of the most cherished has to be his creation of “Mickey’s Ten Commandments.”
During his 54-year career, Sklar was involved in all facets of the theme parks – from concepts to design to operations. Along the way, he developed, refined and practiced key principles of leadership based on what he learned from Walt Disney and other Disney Legends, especially designer John Hench. He crystallized these “learnings” into the first of what he called Mickey’s Ten Commandments.
On the tenth day of Christmas Guest Experiences, your Guest Experience peers give to you:
Mickey’s Ten Commandments
- Know your audience – Identify the prime audience for your attraction or show before you begin design
- Wear your Guests’ shoes – Insist that your team members experience your creation just the way Guests do
- Organize the flow of people and ideas – Make sure there is a logic and sequence in our stories and the way Guests experience them
- Create a wienie (visual magnet) – Create visual “targets” that will lead Guests clearly and logically through your facility
- Communicate with visual literacy – Make good use of color, shape form, texture – all the nonverbal ways of communication
- Avoid overload – create turn-ons – Resist the temptation to overload your audience with too much information and too many objects
- Tell one story at a time – Stick to the story line; good stories are clear, logical, and consistent
- Avoid contradictions – maintain identity – Details in design or content that contradict one another confuse an audience about your story or the time period it takes place in
- For every once of treatment, provide a ton of treat – Walt Disney said you can educate people, but don’t tell them you’re doing it. Make it fun!
- Keep it up! (Maintain it) – In a Disney park or resort, everything must work. Poor maintenance is poor show!
Exceeding Guests’ expectations is Disney’s Guest Service strategy, and paying attention to every detail is the tactic by which it is accomplished.
inspired by and adapted from Dream It, Do It: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, by Marty Sklar
The greatest symbol of a Guest Experience is a smile.
A great deal of research has been done on why smiling matters. A journey through neuroscience, anthropology, sociology and psychology has helped uncover the untapped powers of the smile.
A smile is a simple and surprisingly powerful way to significantly improve your own life and the lives of others.
On the eleventh day of Christmas Guest Experiences, your Guest Experience peers give to you:
11 Reasons to Smile
A genuine smile:
- Makes us more attractive.
- Helps us to change our mood.
- Makes you look good and feel good.
- Helps us stay more positive.
- Releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers.
- Makes us look younger.
- Releases a warmer vocal tone.
- Becomes contagious with others.
- Relieves our stress.
- Triggers certain hormones that lower heart rate and steady breathing.
- Eases the tension in a tense moment.
Having a smile is part of what makes Disney legendary. For years making eye contact and a smile were the first of Disney’s Seven Service Guidelines. Under Disney’s current Service Basics, Smiling is listed as the first way to project a positive image and energy. It’s been a heritage of Disney’s to have their Cast Members greet others with a smile. – J. Jeff Kober
inspired by and adapted from The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney
In a little over two weeks it will be Christmas Eve. Many churches will hold special services, or will be adding to their regular worship on the Sunday before. Often, these services are among the top 3 largest services in the church year – with many new faces of family and friends in the audience.
What have you done to get ready for them?
With a wink and a nod to the holiday classic, here are the 12 Days of Christmas Guest Experiences for your church. Enjoy, yes, but even more importantly – learn.
On the twelfth day of Christmas Guest Experiences, your Guest Experience peers give to you:
12 Principles of Guest Experience Leadership
- Provide the quality and value that Guests expect
- Focus strategy on the key drivers of Guest satisfaction
- Provide the setting that Guests expect
- Define and sustain a total Guest culture
- Discover and retain people who love to serve
- Train your teams, and train them some more
- Recognize, motivate, and empower your teams
- Glue the Guest experience together with information
- Deliver seamless Guest experiences
- Pursue perfection relentlessly
- Don’t fail the Guest twice
- Lead your teams to excel
Organizations that deliver exceptional Guest Experiences understand the fundamental concept that everything the organization does should focus on the Guest. These organizations lead from the outside in by starting with the Guests.
These organizations study their Guests endlessly; they know what they want, need, value, expect, and actually do. Having understood their Guests, these organizations can focus everyone on how to do a better job of exceeding Guest expectations.
inspired by and adapted from Managing Quality Service in Hospitality
The Twelve Days of Christmas is an English carol that has its origins in the tradition of continuing to celebrate Christmas for 12 days after the day itself.
With a little Guestology license, I want to borrow the concept and turn it into 12 helpful reminders for church leaders and their Guest Services teams as they make final preparations for their Christmas worship services.
Two weeks from Sunday will be the Sunday before Christmas. Many churches will be adding to their regular worship on that Sunday, or will be holding special services on Christmas Eve. Often, these services are among the top 3 largest services in the church year – with many new faces of family and friends in the audience.
What have you done to get ready for them?
With a wink and a nod to the holiday classic, beginning Monday December 8: 12 Days of Christmas Guest Experiences for your church.
Enjoy, yes, but even more importantly – learn.