Lessons Learned from a Few Humans & a Mouse

CUSTOMER SERVICE! We hear it over and over again. Companies like Disney and Southwest are well-known for their level of customer service and are considered the gold standard. 

How do we make our conference staff live up to that level of service? How do we "go above and beyond"? 

In my career, I have been lucky enough to experience a wide range of customer service methodologies. While in college I worked with Conference Services at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in three different roles. While there, I stumbled across a Hospitality 101 course and it quickly became my major and my passion. After earning my degree in hospitality, I went on to work for The Walt Disney Company in their Disneyland Resort Hotels in both Front Desk and Guest Services roles. 

Watch Our Customer Service Webinar

Below are 3 take-aways from my experience that I continue to apply to my work today.

Every employee with The Disney Company had one purpose, regardless of our role.Hiring the Right People

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it is the foundation.

Walt Disney once said, “You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

Think of the pool of student workers you hired last summer. Do you wish there was a way you would have seen red flags before offering that position? What if you could see what their characteristics were ahead of time? What if you could tell who was sleepy, happy, grumpy, or dopey before they were hired?

There are companies and organizations, such as The Walt Disney Company, that require a ‘Customer Service Assessment’ as the first step of the interview process. It helps the companies determine how the individuals would interact with their customers and whether they would be a great fit.

Large corporations aren’t the only ones using this process. The Conference Services Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is researching, developing and implementing a similar model when hiring their summer staff!

Buy In, Believe In

At UNL I was a "red polo".Customer service’s second step is having your employees buy in and believe in what they are doing.

To go above and beyond, your employees need to believe in their purpose and ability to make a difference. They WANT to make a difference! 

During my time working for the Disney Company, it was taught to us that every employee had one purpose, and that is “to create happiness and make dreams come true.”


Now how you create that happiness is based on the role you were hired for and your daily tasks, but everyone has the same goal. Man, did I believe it! I was granting wishes like I was the fairy godmother of check-ins!

Staff Empowerment

You have the right people. Your employees are convinced in their role and believe they can make a difference. NOW GIVE THEM THE TOOLS TO DO SO.

When issues or questions come their way, let staff make small decisions rather than always looking for a supervisor. This boosts morale while making the staff feel valued and in a position of authority. Give them the tools and power to improve customer satisfaction. 

A word of caution: create empowerment guidelines. Make sure the guidelines can be tracked and monitored by your management staff to ensure it is being implemented appropriately.

Time to Learn More

Ready to get down and dirty with more customer service techniques?

We hosted a free webinar where we took customer service to a deeper discussion. We looked at common customer service topics such as teaching the right mindset, phrases staff members use with customers, handing over issues, and the 4 As of customer service recovery.

Click on the link below to watch a recording of the webinar so you can take these tips back to your campus!

Watch Our Customer Service Webinar

Let’s work to make “above and beyond” your customer service standard.

Kirstin Taylor

Written by Kirstin Taylor

Subscribe to Our Blog

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts