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  • [Other] Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
    It seems to me that when you charge a premium price for a product (in this case, premium priced park tickets and premium priced merchandise), folks expect the very best customer service. When Disney delivers, folks are willing to pay. And when Disney flubs, as they did in this case, folks are justified in being upset. After all, they paid for better . . . didn't they?!
    DustySage you make great points. The company has a serious problem, They are taking there best and most loyal customers for granted. Year by year I have witnessed a erosion of the "Disney Touch" It starts from the top, the Company leadership and the Parks Leadership. They have a serious top down problem when it comes to hiring, training and retaining employees. The employees are no longer held accountable to provide the highest class of customer service, the management no longer is held accountable by senior management.

    There is a sickness pervasive in the company, and unfortunately Disney Co.'s continued pace of buying out more and more studios and intellectual properties does nothing to solve the problems with there declining customer service track record. Granted Disney parks still does have better customer service then most other parks but that is not saying much when you we are comparing ourselves against a Six Flags type of corporation which never prided itself with customer service, and charges only a fraction of the cost to enter ($67 dollars for a non restricted annual pass!) vs Disneyland $650 dollars or up to a 1,000 dollars for a bi-coastal pass.

    The company has no problem paying billions of dollars into "Next Gen" initiatives since they will reap a gold mine of customer marketing data, which is quantifiable in the MBA's hearts and minds. Of course spending just .1% of that money into Employee training and re tension is obviously not a priority or a concern. As long as the park can fill the popcorn cart with a warm body, they don't care. Frankly, once the Next Gen initiative takes over, I would not be surprised to some day not so far off, see all the ODV carts go automated.

  • #2
    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

    Their service has gone down. I witnessed this first hand last weekend. Before that stupid candlelight thing started, and Main Street was a zoo, there were 4 workers standing around talking when they were supposed to be doing crowd control. What's worse is the location they chose to congregate was more of a hindrance to crowd flow than a help.

    Originally posted by CAspace View Post
    ...up to a 1,000 dollars for a bi-coastal pass.
    It's $850, not $1000.
    "Greetings, Starfighter! You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

      Originally posted by calsig31 View Post
      Their service has gone down. I witnessed this first hand last weekend. Before that stupid candlelight thing started, and Main Street was a zoo, there were 4 workers standing around talking when they were supposed to be doing crowd control. What's worse is the location they chose to congregate was more of a hindrance to crowd flow than a help.


      .
      Yes, I have also witnessed this in the Mickey and Friends Parking Strucutre where there are 10 Cast Members just standing around talking while one or two are actually doing their job and directing the cars. Those other cast members could be placed elsewhere where they are needed the most.



      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

        Thursday night I was trying to spend money, Disney's favorite thing, but just barely got the chance. I was trying to buy a Christmas decoration that I had seen in the Court of Angels just outside of the Pirates exit. It was breakable so I wanted to wait until I was ready to leave before I bought it. I figured it would be in other stores in the park since it was a Christmas item. Well, we were in DCA and were getting ready to leave so we started checking the stores on the way to the exit looking for this decoration. None of the stores had it so we went to World of Disney. It wasn't there either. So we went back to Disneyland to look at the stores on Main Street. No luck, and the store employees didn't know what I was talking about. So we fought the fireworks crowd all the way back to Court of Angels, get inside to pick up the item and a cast member says we can't buy it because the registers are closed. This is at 9:30 and the park closes at 10:00. So I explain I have been walking all over the place and this is the only store that has this item. He still says no. I ask if I can pay for it around the corner at the pirate store. He says no. I tell him that I am going to throw it through the window behind us because I am annoyed that he is so unhelpful. A female cast member comes over and tells him to take it to the pirate store, 20 steps away, so I can pay for it. With a snotty attitude he takes it over there and I pay for it. I'm thinking, was that really so difficult? And why are they closing the registers before the park closes? And the employee at the pirate store commented that we were smart to buy the item at the end of the day because it is very breakable. Very strange!!!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

          Customer Service in general has gone down in all industries, its not unique to Disney. Just a sign of the times.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

            Disney cares too much about other crap stuff than actually HIRING, PAYING, and KEEPING​ the best employees they can get.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

              Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
              Customer Service in general has gone down in all industries, its not unique to Disney. Just a sign of the times.
              Customer service has indeed gone down in all industries. But Disneyland is unique in having had a world-famous high standard of customer service for decades -- until new management took over and gutted its employee training program (formerly touted as a model for industries worldwide) and lowered its pay standards to fast food franchise rates. They did so deliberately, for the sole reason of raising profits to the double-digit figure demanded by its new CEO. A state of affairs which, like so many other Disneyland policies instigated by Eisner, continues today.

              At a time when Disney is raking in record profits, the corporate beancounters who run Disneyland continue to invest in employee training, pay and maintaining customer service standards at levels lower than your local burger joint.
              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
              designed to appeal to everyone."

              - Walt Disney

              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
              - Michael Eisner

              "It's very symbiotic."
              - Bob Chapek

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                Originally posted by ratoncitaloca View Post
                I tell him that I am going to throw it through the window behind us because I am annoyed that he is so unhelpful.
                Customer service is a two-way transaction, between the consumer and the employee. If you lose your composure and threaten to damage property/merchandise, it is rather contradictory to state that service is then on the decline.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                  Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                  Customer service has indeed gone down in all industries. But Disneyland is unique in having had a world-famous high standard of customer service for decades -- until new management took over and gutted its employee training program (formerly touted as a model for industries worldwide) and lowered its pay standards to fast food franchise rates. They did so deliberately, for the sole reason of raising profits to the double-digit figure demanded by its new CEO. A state of affairs which, like so many other Disneyland policies instigated by Eisner, continues today.

                  At a time when Disney is raking in record profits, the corporate beancounters who run Disneyland continue to invest in employee training, pay and maintaining customer service standards at levels lower than your local burger joint.

                  When workers are union, can't blame the company solely for low wages, the union and employees had to agree to those wages.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                    I've never, ever encountered bad service in the parks. We've been there 12 days this year. More than the average tourist. We buy something everytime and its always an unusual item.

                    sorry you've had bad experiences.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                      Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
                      When workers are union, can't blame the company solely for low wages, the union and employees had to agree to those wages.
                      The union didn't make Disney turn the Disneyland University into a pathetic collection of cubizens who sit around figuring ways to keep themselves from getting bored before quitting time. The union didn't make Disney trash the moral-boosting employee traditions that had been established in the three decades before Eisner arrived. And the union didn't turn Disneyland's management culture into a politicized hierarchy of self-serving corporate climbers whose kneejerk reaction is to throw CMs under the bus at the first fake complaint from a guest.
                      "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                      it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                      together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                      designed to appeal to everyone."

                      - Walt Disney

                      "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                      - Michael Eisner

                      "It's very symbiotic."
                      - Bob Chapek

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                        Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                        The union didn't make Disney turn the Disneyland University into a pathetic collection of cubizens who sit around figuring ways to keep themselves from getting bored before quitting time. The union didn't make Disney trash the moral-boosting employee traditions that had been established in the three decades before Eisner arrived. And the union didn't turn Disneyland's management culture into a politicized hierarchy of self-serving corporate climbers whose kneejerk reaction is to throw CMs under the bus at the first fake complaint from a guest.
                        This.

                        Here's a game, if you have an AP: the next time you go to Disneyland, take note of the CMs you see. Now, the next time you go to the park, take note of how many of those same CMs are still there.

                        Good wages, working conditions and morale attract good workers. Taking those things away makes it hard to retain good employees.
                        Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                          Originally posted by drgonzo View Post
                          Customer service is a two-way transaction, between the consumer and the employee. If you lose your composure and threaten to damage property/merchandise, it is rather contradictory to state that service is then on the decline.
                          That's where the poster lost me, too. I'm sorry but even if a customer service interaction isn't going well, you don't threaten violence, or damage to merch/the store. The CM would have had just cause to call security at that point because there was an open threat.

                          In a case like that it's a lot better to get the CM's name and make a complaint. Or ask for a manager or lead on the spot.

                          I do agree that the CM in question should have just taken the darn ornament over to the pirates store to start, though.
                          Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                            Originally posted by Malina View Post
                            That's where the poster lost me, too. I'm sorry but even if a customer service interaction isn't going well, you don't threaten violence, or damage to merch/the store. The CM would have had just cause to call security at that point because there was an open threat.

                            In a case like that it's a lot better to get the CM's name and make a complaint. Or ask for a manager or lead on the spot.

                            I do agree that the CM in question should have just taken the darn ornament over to the pirates store to start, though.
                            That's where I think some CM's are reactionary now instead of proactive as in the past.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                              Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                              The union didn't make Disney turn the Disneyland University into a pathetic collection of cubizens who sit around figuring ways to keep themselves from getting bored before quitting time. The union didn't make Disney trash the moral-boosting employee traditions that had been established in the three decades before Eisner arrived. And the union didn't turn Disneyland's management culture into a politicized hierarchy of self-serving corporate climbers whose kneejerk reaction is to throw CMs under the bus at the first fake complaint from a guest.

                              For one, I said wages and nothing regarding the above, Dont put words in my mouth.

                              Disney isn't there to educate, they are there to make as much a profit as they can, nothing more.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                                Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
                                Disney isn't there to educate, they are there to make as much a profit as they can, nothing more.
                                Disney University was largely customer service education. In other words, how to make sure customers have the most "magical experience" possible, how to deal with difficult situations, appropriate responses, how to handle interactions with populations that might need to be treated with sensitivity, celebrities, etc. How to be a Disney Cast Member and not just a ride operator or restaurant server. Etc.

                                When employees are dealing with the public, this sort of education is invaluable and a lot of companies invest in it. Good customer service interactions and employees that go the extra mile help inspire return visits, and that in turn makes Disney money.
                                Last edited by Malina; 12-15-2012, 12:56 PM.
                                Merida looks like this. Not a Barbie doll!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                                  Originally posted by jsmith11618 View Post
                                  Disney isn't there to educate, they are there to make as much a profit as they can, nothing more.
                                  According to your posts, Disney shouldn't be held accountable for its declining customer service standards because "standards have gone down in all industries," they should feel justified in paying fast food wages because "the union and employees agreed to it," they shouldn't train their employees because that's not what they're there to do, and they should focus on "making as much profit as they can, nothing more." All of which must be music to TDA's ears.

                                  And if Disney follows your prescription, you think they'll stay in business how long?
                                  Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 12-15-2012, 01:05 PM.
                                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                                  - Walt Disney

                                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                  - Michael Eisner

                                  "It's very symbiotic."
                                  - Bob Chapek

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                    The union didn't make Disney turn the Disneyland University into a pathetic collection of cubizens who sit around figuring ways to keep themselves from getting bored before quitting time. The union didn't make Disney trash the moral-boosting employee traditions that had been established in the three decades before Eisner arrived. And the union didn't turn Disneyland's management culture into a politicized hierarchy of self-serving corporate climbers whose kneejerk reaction is to throw CMs under the bus at the first fake complaint from a guest.
                                    Yup,
                                    Disney corp. has only itself to blame with its decline by degrees predicament.
                                    When you expect little from your employees, do not adequately train, provide proper avenues for career growth.
                                    You are left with apathetic, employees who could care less about the customers.

                                    Of course there are special gems of Employees who above all odds, provide good service even with incompetent leadership. Sadly it usually is not long before the soul gets sucked out of those employees and they decide to leave. There is still time to turn things around. The parks division needs real leadership, beyond an executive just buying time till they get promoted to a higher paying position in the corporation.

                                    We need leadership who will demand improved training, standards and appropriate levels of compensation for there employees.
                                    Leadership who will give employees the ability to prove there worth and rise up the ranks in the company (if so desired) .
                                    Leadership who will realize that keeping employees motivated and focused on customer service, will only help increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

                                    We need Leadership who will stop taking customers for granted.
                                    One only needs to pop in a $35 dollar Blu ray release from Disney to see how they treat customers.
                                    This lack of customer respect by Disney Corp. is present across all the divisions.
                                    When I pop in the $35 blu ray I just purchased, I am forced to watch commercials for Disney products, which cannot be skipped.

                                    People who illegally download movies, are not forced to watch commercials.
                                    Why should I, a devoted customer who is spending good money on a product, be penalized for purchasing a product!?

                                    This is just a small insight into the mindset of the current executive management across the Disney enterprises.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                                      Four Seasons is primarily a hotel management company and has earned :bow:five-star:bow: ratings at many, many of its hotels. I recommend (again) "Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy" by its Canadian founder, Isadore Sharp.

                                      Here are some sentences from it:

                                      "Conceiving of a winning strategy of service has been relatively easy. . . we needed to get it down to the front line: clerks, bellstaff, bartenders, waiters . . . housekeepers. . .the lowest paid and, in most companies, the least motivated people, but the ones who would make or break a five-star service reputation. (p. 98)

                                      "We treated these frontline people as members of an elite team. We set challenging goals. . .the efforts they made in responding to mishaps beyond their control turned complaints into new service opportunities, so what the customer remembered not the complaint, but the outcome. . . Before opening the Four Seasons in Chicago we screened over 15,000 applicants for 500 jobs. And all of the prospects we picked were interviewed four or five times, the last time by the general manager personally." (p. 110-111)

                                      "I gave employee complaints as much attention as guest complaints. When we upgraded a hotel, we first upgraded employee facilities. When a survey of our London hotel showed dissatisfaction with workers' areas, we installed new floors, lockers, and showers within three months." (p. 112)

                                      "I wasn't hooked on momentum or quarterly results." (p. 130)

                                      "[Quoting UC business prof. Bill Ouchi with approval] '...among the fastest-growing, most profitable major American firms...profits are not regarded as an end in itself...but a reward for providing true value to its customers, helping employees grow, and behaving ethically as a corporate citizen.'" (p. 263)

                                      I wish Jay, Meg, Thomas, George, Bob & others would read Sharp's book, specifically for how Four Seasons employees are motivated to do their best because of how they are valued and respected by their supervisors, and I wish they'd study how the Oriental Land Company provides superior theme park customer service at Tokyo Disneyland.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Disney's decline of Customer Service and taking guests for granted.

                                        Originally posted by Malina View Post
                                        This.

                                        Here's a game, if you have an AP: the next time you go to Disneyland, take note of the CMs you see. Now, the next time you go to the park, take note of how many of those same CMs are still there.

                                        Good wages, working conditions and morale attract good workers. Taking those things away makes it hard to retain good employees.
                                        Um, I figure that's a pretty hard game to play considering how many CMs work there, how many you come in contact with, how many take sick/vacation days, how many are working different attractions/restaurants, etc. This game is in no way indicative of how successful Disney is at keeping their employees.

                                        I've never had a negative CM experience to my recollection. Which is quite odd considering bad experiences tend to be more memorable than the satisfactory or especially positive ones.

                                        Comment

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