Smile, even when it’s raining

It is common knowledge Disney is famous for its customer service (among other things, of course), which is a reason I, for one, enjoy going to Disneyland. It’s clean and well maintained, and the people are generally happy. Slap on one of the park’s free “happy birthday” buttons, and every cast member in the park will tell you “Happy birthday!” when they greet you. It’s genius.

I visited Disneyland and Disney California Adventure on a recent rainy weekend and came away with more of an appreciation for the employees and the energy it takes to do their jobs. When people pay the prices they do for Disneyland tickets, a rainy day can be seen as a downer. People are, in this case, cold and wet and desperately seeking warmth and magic. When the weather is rough, it’s up to the employees to bring the sunshine.

Smiles were plentiful, from the ride operators to those sweeping the leaves and making sure water drained properly. Three employees made up a dance to entertain passing guests, while others created Mickey Mouse ears with the leaves on the ground.

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Disney photographers made the effort to help guests create memorable experiences. Photographers also worked overtime to make sure guests enjoyed their photo-taking experiences with fun poses and energy. With technology today, most people have a camera, but unless you want a whole vacation’s worth of selfies, having someone who knows how to properly take a photo — especially fun ones — can make a difference between buying those photos and never looking at the blurry selfie on your phone again. Marketing masters.

Although rain is one of my favorite Disneyland weather forecasts, I noticed some grumpy faces quickly turn into smiles at each of these instances.

While this could be chalked up to Disney’s good customer service training, every one of these actions continues the brand Disneyland has set for itself over the last 60 years. It’s common knowledge they have good customer service, because it’s consistent. Forbes contributor Carmine Gallo wrote about it in 2011. Fast Company called Disney’s customer service “the gold standard for every business.” The list can go on.

The take away: Look for ways to always present good customer service and, more importantly, make sure it remains consistent. The way you treat people will become a part of your brand, whether you plan it that way or not. You may as well make it as positive as possible. Personal referrals from clients are currency, and the best way to get people to talk about you is to provide a good experience. Case in point? You just read it.

Tiffannie Bond is a media relations specialist and the company photographer at Imagine Communications as well as a life-long Disney nerd.

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