Disney and Our Most Superior Customer Service Experience Ever

What’s the best customer service you’ve ever experienced?  Maybe it was with an online retailer, in your favorite technology store, or at a high-end department store.  Maybe it was at a local steakhouse or at a top-notch hotel.  Maybe it was even on an airline (just kidding).  I don’t know about you, but my family’s best customer service experience was at Walt Disney World.

It was 2008, and our family decided to vacation in Walt Disney World in Florida.  It wasn’t our first visit to Disney but I have to say it was the visit that redefined exceptional customer service for us.  How you ask?  Let me set the stage.

A few weeks before we headed to Disney, our daughter Ashley went to the orthodontist to have her braces removed and to get top and bottom retainers for her teeth.  We told her, “We pay for the first set of retainers, but you pay for the second set…don’t lose ’em.”  That seemed like a fair deal until we arrived at Walt Disney World.

It was dinner time and our family was ready for a good meal.  So we headed to a restaurant in our hotel, enjoyed dinner together, and then returned to our room.  That’s when the trauma began.  Ashley suddenly realized that she left her retainers wrapped in a napkin on the table.  Immediately we rushed back to the restaurant asking if they found a set of retainers at our table.  It was too late.  The table was cleared and the retainers were nowhere to be found.

The Disney staff apologized and we returned to our room.  Ashley knew exactly what this meant…she just kissed $225 goodbye.  Nothing like a big, dark rain cloud to spoil an evening at “The Happiest Place on Earth.”  But that’s when everything changed.  About an hour after returning to our room, there was a knock at our door.  When we answered, there were two cast members (Disney speak for employees).  They entered our room with a silver platter.  When they removed the lid, there they were: Two sterilized retainers and a Mickey Mouse doll.

We couldn’t believe it.  In fact, we were utterly shocked.  They literally dug through the trash for more than 20 minutes, found both of the retainers, carefully sterilized them, and hand delivered them to our room.  I don’t know any company anywhere that digs through the trash to meet a customer’s need.

So there it is…our best customer service experience ever.  Disney at its best!  In my next post, I’ll share with you how Disney creates a system that delivers consistent, exceptional customer service.

Question:  Where was your greatest customer service experience?