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Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service

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Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service. During the last twenty-five years, thousands of professionals from more than thirty-five countries and more than forty industries have attended business programs at Disney Institute and learned how to adapt the Disney approach for their own organizations.


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Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, in honor of the tenth anniversary of the original Be Our Guest, the Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, is revealing even more of the business behind the magic of quality service. During the last twenty-five years, thousands of professionals from more than thirty-five countries and more than forty industries have attended business programs at Disney Institute and learned how to adapt the Disney approach for their own organizations.

30 review for Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service

  1. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Tseng

    Why you should read this book: You're looking for a short, fun inspiration towards customer obsession....Or if you're looking for an excuse to visit a Disney Park for "career development". Why you should not read this book: If you haven't visited a Disney park before and experienced the magic yourself. Honestly think that it might ruin the magic the first time, and the book might end up sounding like classic corporate BS. Summary [Disclaimer: I read this simultaneously with Onward by Howard Schult Why you should read this book: You're looking for a short, fun inspiration towards customer obsession....Or if you're looking for an excuse to visit a Disney Park for "career development". Why you should not read this book: If you haven't visited a Disney park before and experienced the magic yourself. Honestly think that it might ruin the magic the first time, and the book might end up sounding like classic corporate BS. Summary [Disclaimer: I read this simultaneously with Onward by Howard Schultz, so it's impossible not to compare, which I'll refer to below. If you're looking for customer obsession, read this book before Onward.] A well-organized, clear, and concise book, Be Our Guest was a fun, breezy read that communicates the philosophy and culture of a customer-obsessed company. In addition to using case studies from the Disney parks, the book references companies in other industries to help users visualize concrete examples for other industries. Readers familiar with Disney parks will recognize many of the examples, and the previously-unknown Easter Eggs are delightful to learn about, particularly the less visible or operational examples (such as the thoughtful placement of garbage cans). One underrated aspect that other similar books seem to underemphasize is the iterative nature of continual improvement, especially as consumers change and entering new markets. It's so easy to negligently assume a static characterization of our "customers", which is how companies get left in the dust by disruptors, and it was eye-opening to see how Disney parks have evolved since opening. Even more so, this book is a bit dated and doesn't include some of the new magical experiences at Disney (amazing smartphone app, for example), which is additional testament to the continual improvement and proactivity by the company. Many ideas and concepts in the book may seem like traditional corporate culture (having company-specific language, putting the customer first, attention to detail, etc), but it's obvious that Disney rises above most corporations in almost all categories from the consumer perspective. It seems to me that to achieve this transformation executives need to put their money where their mouth is, particularly with valuing their cast members (aka employees). For example, from an outsider, it seems that harnessing employee ideas is more central to Disney's operations than it is to Starbucks, despite the lip service to it. This is a 4 star book, but gets +1 stars because of the conciseness, one of the most underrated aspect of books nowadays. Like they said in the book, magical experiences aren't only created by what guests see and hear, it's also the things that they don't see (in Disney, trash in the park; in this book - extra filler pages!)! [Helpful summary page : https://lifeclub.org/books/be-our-gue...]

  2. 5 out of 5

    DALE Sabo

    Accessible and interesting. A nice broad overview of a framework and ethos to deliver superior service. Woven throughout is viewing the customer as our guest and that delivering excellence is repeatable and enjoyable.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey Lambert

    Wow...this book really pulls back the curtain to show you how the magic happens. A lot of great stuff that can be scaled for any type of business.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    As someone who is passionate about Disney and business, this was right up my alley. Interesting, less-known facts about Disney sprinkled amongst applicable strategies Disney uses in their organization to create the magic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Stanifer

    Whatever else one might think of Disney, it's hard to argue with their recipe for customer service. Much of this book feels like it ought to be common sense . . . but when you look at how things too often play out in reality, it really isn't so common after all. It honestly made me want to go to one of the Disney parks and see if they really live up to what's contained in these pages. My guess is, for the most part, they do. Even if you're not normally into business books, this is intriguing for i Whatever else one might think of Disney, it's hard to argue with their recipe for customer service. Much of this book feels like it ought to be common sense . . . but when you look at how things too often play out in reality, it really isn't so common after all. It honestly made me want to go to one of the Disney parks and see if they really live up to what's contained in these pages. My guess is, for the most part, they do. Even if you're not normally into business books, this is intriguing for its look into the history of Disney's theme parks and how they've evolved over the years. Some may find Disney's vocabulary--such as calling employees "cast members" and customers "guests"--to be an affectation, but really . . . they're onto something. Who says going to a theme park, a restaurant, or even a grocery store has to feel like an ordinary experience?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Candi

    Great insight to the Disney experience and the quality of what guests see. I love the amount of research that goes into understanding guests. Would be nice to dive into the types of questions and methods they use. You can’t do just any type of research since it’s depends on your methods and context. This is definitely a point of view from a huge company with possible funds to do things such as the magic bands. Some advice can be relevant to the other professions but not always. I’m sure the audi Great insight to the Disney experience and the quality of what guests see. I love the amount of research that goes into understanding guests. Would be nice to dive into the types of questions and methods they use. You can’t do just any type of research since it’s depends on your methods and context. This is definitely a point of view from a huge company with possible funds to do things such as the magic bands. Some advice can be relevant to the other professions but not always. I’m sure the audience aren’t all running an amusement park or entertainment business. This book had some interesting moments but nothing that necessarily wow’d me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Augustin

    Great book. People who are interested in having their own business or people who have their own business already and would like to expand it should definitely read this book. The author gives a lot of great tips about how to attract customers and what to do to make them keep coming back. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the fact that the author kept saying the same thing over and over again which was kinda boring sometimes. As someone who’s getting her MHA degree and planning on Great book. People who are interested in having their own business or people who have their own business already and would like to expand it should definitely read this book. The author gives a lot of great tips about how to attract customers and what to do to make them keep coming back. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was the fact that the author kept saying the same thing over and over again which was kinda boring sometimes. As someone who’s getting her MHA degree and planning on going to med school I’m glad I came across this book 📖 I can’t wait to start applying the knowledge and skills that I’ve acquired in this book to my own practice.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Keith McShan

    *Audiobook Review* This book gave great insight on how best to give customers the Disney experience. In this book we got to lean about: the processes, the setting, story-boarding the cast and safety standards that go into the Disney brand. I think all companies whether big or small could gain insight on how to better the way they go about offering their product and services. The book can have some dry material at times and the chapters drag on. The book does give you a sense of being an executive *Audiobook Review* This book gave great insight on how best to give customers the Disney experience. In this book we got to lean about: the processes, the setting, story-boarding the cast and safety standards that go into the Disney brand. I think all companies whether big or small could gain insight on how to better the way they go about offering their product and services. The book can have some dry material at times and the chapters drag on. The book does give you a sense of being an executive at Disney and makes you feel a part of that magic.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    This book has some great details on how Disney thinks about their magical experiences. It's focused on the parks and resorts (has very little on the rest of the large Disney empire) but that's probably appropriate because they are probably best in their parks and resorts. The specifics are cool, but the overall model is generic (e.g. use people, processes and customer feedback). But I learned a few new things and I've been studying Disney for years (including doing some Disney Institute sessions This book has some great details on how Disney thinks about their magical experiences. It's focused on the parks and resorts (has very little on the rest of the large Disney empire) but that's probably appropriate because they are probably best in their parks and resorts. The specifics are cool, but the overall model is generic (e.g. use people, processes and customer feedback). But I learned a few new things and I've been studying Disney for years (including doing some Disney Institute sessions).

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    It was OK. Outlined some methods the Disney Institute uses to help other companies solve their problems. I think the points are relevant. I wish they had more detailed and modern examples (latest example from what I recall is 2005 with the Hong Kong Disneyland). It was interesting to see that so much thought goes into managing Disney theme parks, however I don't think the book really conveys *how* it's done. It's too much generalization and not enough detail, so, I can't imagine another company It was OK. Outlined some methods the Disney Institute uses to help other companies solve their problems. I think the points are relevant. I wish they had more detailed and modern examples (latest example from what I recall is 2005 with the Hong Kong Disneyland). It was interesting to see that so much thought goes into managing Disney theme parks, however I don't think the book really conveys *how* it's done. It's too much generalization and not enough detail, so, I can't imagine another company really getting much use from the book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Boye

    I’m a huge Disney fan and work in product development. I didn’t think this book would be Earth shattering at all but did think it would be so dull. It is essential a business management 101 text book told with Disney and, inexplicably, hospital examples. It was a quick and easy read. It was also a waste of life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    The Disney business model! Not 100% applicable to education, but found so many great ideas! The art of not only meeting expectations, but superseding them is a great way to form positive connections and relationships. Plus, it is a fascinating look at the behind the scenes culture for any Disney fanatic!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very interesting look into to Disney! Covering much more than customer service. Taking a very specific look at how even the smallest of details impact the customer experience... my favorite detail was the popcorn smell as you enter the park to trigger the nostalgia of entering a movie theater!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric Mayle

    Disney, warts-and-all, is the gold standard in terms of providing the absolute best service experience. If you can find a way to think of what you do as “service,” this book will help you do it better. Guaran-damn-tee.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Paul Oneill

    I was super impressed when I visit Disney world by the customer service and this book gave me some insights into a world class organisation. Slightly lacking in detail but some Pearls of wisdom which are very useful. Worth a read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian Coloma

    Neat Read. If you're just curious about Disney and their customer service this will probably be closer to 3 stars. Looking at the applications and comparing it to your current workplace would probably drive it up to a 4. Neat Read. If you're just curious about Disney and their customer service this will probably be closer to 3 stars. Looking at the applications and comparing it to your current workplace would probably drive it up to a 4.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Larry Claussen

    Fantastic book. I read this book for work and found it to help me focus on the most important parts of my work. I am amazed at the culture Disney has put together and how everything has detail and importance. This is an excellent book for anyone to read. It will benefit your life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Funny, few weeks after I finished this book, I’m suddenly swamped with research on service quality— lemme tell you, service quality in regular old companies suck in comparison to Disney service quality. Disney is so good at creating positive perceptions about their company to the point that I wish I can write about their SERVQUAL practices instead.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ignacio Cordoba

    It is repetitive, but interesting

  20. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    No one does customer service better than Disney--and there is something to learn here for everyone, regardless of industry or profession.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I found some of these facts interesting. I have been to both parks in the states, and it was cool to see "behind the scenes" on the running of Disney. I found some of these facts interesting. I have been to both parks in the states, and it was cool to see "behind the scenes" on the running of Disney.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Evan Morgan

    As someone who is obsessed with creating a great experience for customers/guests, this book was a delight. It really delves into the standards that Disney itself establishes at its parks and how companies from hospitals to car dealerships can implement them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jesus Garcia

    Loved this book! Who better than Disney to provide insight as to how to better service and "wow" customers... Loved this book! Who better than Disney to provide insight as to how to better service and "wow" customers...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I had hoped it would be a little more detailed. And it's probably time to take the section praising Toys R Us out! I had hoped it would be a little more detailed. And it's probably time to take the section praising Toys R Us out!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I cannot wait to have a position where I can start to apply this!!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Great read with simple concepts in place to ensure quality service to customers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Adams

    Disney is constant innovation and attention to detail. Good short read on improving the experience for your customers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara Katherine

    I think this is a 3.5. Not groundbreaking, but certainly I sticky-noted several places or concepts I want to discuss with my manager for improving things where we are.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Graham

    Attention to detail is everything.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I work in the customer service industry and my boss recommended the book. Definitely a lot of insight and food for thought. Hopefully will start implementing some changes at the start of 2021!

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