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You are always on stage

December 8th, 2007 · 11 Comments · Branding, Customers/Clients, Magic of Disney

Disneytag_3 I pulled into a Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed.  The guys had the bay doors closes to keep out the wind. 

Just as I was about to knock on the window, I heard the very annoyed manager ripping into the employee standing next to him, "I don’t give a %$#* if you need to…"

He then turned, saw me and came out with a big smile on his face.  A little late for that. 

He had forgotten (or never learned) a key business lesson.

You are always on stage.

If you were to get a job at Disney World, you’d go through three days of "The Disney Way" training.  It doesn’t matter if you are sweeping up popcorn, running an attraction or putting on the Goofy costume.  Everyone goes through the training.  And one of the core lessons taught to the cast members is….you are always on stage.

If a customer can hear, see, touch, smell or taste you (okay the last two are probably not as likely) then you are on stage.  You should behave as though the most important customer in the world is right there. 

Because it might be true.

Related posts:

Hey customer, thanks for calling.  You’re fired.
Silence kills a relationship
Good customer service can be MAGIC!

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Karin H.

    Hi Drew

    So true, even on the phone. If I call a company and the person answering my call in the middle of a conversation she/he’s having with a colleague that’s not a good starter.
    I mean, if you don’t have the decency to simple dedicate your attention to a phone call how much guarantee do I have you’re dedicated to other issues, like making sure my order leaves on time and complete?

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  • Jeanne Dininni

    Drew,

    How very true this is; yet there’s another component to it, as well: This manager shouldn’t treat employees this way even when customers aren’t around!

    He displayed a very poor grasp–not only of employee/company image, but of effective management principles! As you say, he either forgot these principles in the heat of the moment or never learned them to begin with. But either way, the effect is the same: a restrictive, morale-lowering, and uninspiring environment for employees and an unimpressive, unfriendly, and uncomfortable atmosphere for customers (who may quickly become former customers). This manager is badly in need of some training or retraining!

    Jeanne Dininni

  • Jerad Kaliher

    As simple as the message is, this is oh so true. Maybe it’s me being an avid Disney fan, but I couldn’t help but to make the link. Every business model is compared to my childhood notion of how Disney manifested magic in front of my eyes.

  • Piotr Jakubowski

    Definitely an important point here Drew, and I remember learning this the hard way.

    Being a proponent of the brand called You, You are always sending messages to other people, whether you want to or not.

  • Drew McLellan

    Karin,

    great addition – thank you. You are so right about the phone thing. People can sense your mood and attitude in a heartbeat.

    I hate being on the phone with someone who makes me feel like I am bothering them. Odds are I will be calling their competitor next time!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Jeanne,

    You will get no argument from me on that one. No one deserves to be treated that way. My guess is the guy was a good mechanic, so he got promoted without any training or support in terms of dealing with employees.

    Usually managers get trained (or not) by their own employees! Which, as this example proves, is not ideal.

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Jerad,

    We have the Disney tie in common. They do it better than just about any one.

    Creating magic is what Disney’s brand does best. Lots of lessons for all of us within the parks!

    Drew

  • Drew McLellan

    Piotr,

    I think most people have a painful lesson memory when it comes to being on stage. It’s one of those truths that you sort of have to trip over to really absorb.

    Drew

  • Blog Angel Team (Joanna)

    Hi Drew, thanks for the Disney reminder. I might add “read” you to the criteria for being on stage – including reading your words anywhere on the net. So many people forget that their words here are indelible, and all say something about your brand.

    Joanna

    PS I’m intrigued by the smell and taste idea… if a customer could taste our brand – what would it taste like?

  • Jeanne Dininni

    Drew,

    You are so right! It isn’t fair for a fledgling manager to be required to figure out for himself, through trial and error, all the principles of effective management that have already been practiced, perfected, and set down by those who came before him. They are there to be learned from, and his employer is responsible for seeing that he has access to them for the good of the company.

    Jeanne

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