Be Happy and Don't Be Dopey

My new book Creating Magic…10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies From a Life at Disney is now available everywhere books are sold.

The Basics Are What Make the Difference!

In my new book, Creating Magic there is complete review of the  7 Guest Service Guidelines. As a leader you should make sure that you are observing your staff performing their roles to ensure that they are doing a great job. . . and then do them a big favor and coach them so they can be great! The basics are so important.

The 7 Guest Service Guidelines are really simple, as long as you teach each and every employee how to perform them for your customers.Tell them:

  •       WHY you have each guideline.
  •       WHAT it means for your customer satisfaction.
  •       HOW it fits into who you are and what you are famous for in your business.

These guidelines are based on the Seven Dwarfs.

No. 1:  Be Happy . . .
Make Eye Contact and Smile!

This is a way to acknowledge Guests and to make them feel special and to send the message that you know they are there.  This is the perfect way to have a “one second” interaction with your customers.  Looking a customer in the eye and smiling is a positive interaction.  If this happens hundreds of times a day, your customers are WOWED.

No. 2:  Be Like Sneezy . . .
Greet and Welcome Each and Every Guest!

Spread the spirit of hospitality . . . It’s contagious!  You are in business to take great care of  your customers.  Smile! And become  famous for courtesy and friendliness.  Walt said, “Keep it clean and friendly, and everything will work out just fine even after Disney” (meaning himself).  He was right!

No. 3:  Don’t Be Bashful . . .
Seek Out Customer Contact!

Look for opportunities to approach customers.  They will appreciate you approaching them. Share your knowledge with them and go all the way to help them. 

No. 4:  Be Like Doc . . .
Provide Immediate Service Recovery!

Find a way to make the situation better when something goes wrong.  Be sincere.   Say you are sorry and mean it.  Don’t be sarcastic, rude, or defensive, as this is not part of your role.  Look for some alternatives.  Ask your leader for assistance.  Don’t say “no” until you have tried everything else; and then it should be the leader who says “no” as the last resort.  These are your customers; and by the way, mistakes are made in any organization from time to time. We just need to fix the problem so our customers come back again.

No. 5:  Don’t Be Grumpy . . .
Always Display Appropriate Body Language!

Don’t lean.  Smile and look happy, as this is a big part of any job description.  Don’t be preoccupied.  Focus on your customers.  Have a pleasant look on your face.  As far as customers are concerned, we are always happy because this is big part of any job.

No. 6:  Be Like Sleepy . . .
Create Dreams and Preserve the “Magical” Guest Experience!

Don’t become unprofessional, ever!  Be courteous, friendly, and helpful—even under pressure.  Be professional at all times, no matter what.  We, as leaders, need to stay in role as well—which means always be professional. 

Never get defensive or rude with customers.  The louder they get, the quieter and calmer you get.  Don’t take it personally, because they don’t even know you.  They are usually upset because we have not delivered on their expectation, whether it is reasonable in your mind or not. 

Are some Guests going to try and take advantage of you to get something free?  Yes, they are; but they really are the exception.  So let’s not start out by treating people as if they were dishonest.  Someday, the dishonest ones will have to answer to a higher leader than us.

It’s not the customers fault that sometimes something does not go well.  Treat them as you would a cherished friend, and that is what they will become.  This is what will set your organization apart from the rest of the world.  Remember that the “moment of truth” is when your customers come in contact with your employees and your product.

No. 7:  Don’t Be Dopey . . .
Thank Each and Every Guest!

This is a common courtesy that is not so common in the world anymore, and it really is appreciated by everyone.  Do it with sincerity and a smile.


So, there you are.  Always tell people why you want them to do something, and the chances of their doing it go up dramatically.  Constantly remind your employees of your expectations for following these guidelines.  Just Be Clear!   . . .Lee

  1. Lee – I have been a customer of Disney for a couple of years now and visit the park in Florida each year. As an HR leader I was always amazed about the engagement of ALL Disney employees.

    Your book was a surprise gift to me from my wife, who just about had enough of me asking the question “but how do they keep their employees engaged and with great customer focus?”.


  2. Tim…..they work….Lee

    I’m going to start adopting these philosophies in my next training manual revision.

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