Lessons from the Mouse is an easy read but well worth the time. Jill’s boss, Principal Ben Ford, gave a copy to all of the Payson High School employees and asked them to read it. Therefore, I decided to give it a read myself. The author listed and discussed ten principles that, if followed, would increase customer satisfaction a hundred-fold. This book is not just for businesses and employees. We all have customers, as it were, as far as I am concerned… spouses, children, bosses, students, etc., basically everyone. Implementing and practicing these ten principles–they are not new ideas–will improve our relationships with others and be of great benefit to ourselves and the society we live.
Quotes cited from “Lessons from the Mouse” follow this format: (Page Number).
The Customer is Always Right
1. Our stated philosophy was this: our guests may not always be right, but they will always be our guests. One of my Disney colleagues, Jim Cunningham, put it even better when he said, “The guests may not always be right, but let’s allow them to be wrong with dignity.” Either way, the rule was never to make a guest feel stupid. (17)
Comment: This is an idea that I need to work on with everyone around me… I do get patronizing and condescending at times.
Empathy and Dignity
2. Regardless of role or level, employees can respond to “seemingly dumb questions” in one or two ways. They can respond in a sarcastic and condescending way, or they can listen for the need behind the question, empathize, and answer in a way that preserves the customer’s dignity (while still having a secret chuckle). (18)
Comment: I enjoy sarcasm myself… but, you have to use it with people whom you know very well and understand “where you’re coming from.”
3. … our customers are not stupid. If we are going to create or sustain customer loyalty, we have to look at every situation through the eyes of the customer. When we look through the eyes of customers, we see lights, colors, spinning rides, and dancing characters. We realize how they may not see the castle in front of them or the obvious sign for the restroom. We empathize. And as we employees empathize with our customers, important changes happen inside us. Our demeanors brighten. The jobs we are doing seem more important to us. We want to help. Most important of all, we never ever need to make a customer feel stupid. (20, 22)
Comment: This is timeless advice. Always try to see the world as others see it so as to be more sympathetic and empathetic to their point of view.
Creating Unforgettable Experiences
4. Putting yourself in the customers’ shoes is one of the great secrets to creating unforgettable experiences for them and generating positive word of mouth for your business. (22)
Comment: I need to remember and practice this when dealing with some of the parents of my students!
Know Your Business
5. Know your products and services inside out. Learn everything you can about your job and your company, and then learn some more. (32)
Comment: This is a WOW moment for me when a salesperson is trying to sell me something. If they are really, really good, I’ll usually buy it even if I don’t need it.
Just Be Happy
6. Just by acting happy, we became happy, and (tah-dah) the job became fun (most of the time). (38)
Comment: This idea works! I strive to be in a constant and present state of joy and gratitude and when I do “tah-dah” it works. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change.
The Golden Rule
7. Treat each customer as the only one and as an interesting, dignified person. View each interaction as a chance to connect with another person. The idea is simple, but it works. (59)
Comment: This thought applies to everyone we come in contact. Practicing this concept is an important key in exercising love towards our fellow man.
Guilt is Pride in Disguise
8. Occasionally, I was in a hurry and wanted to ignore that empty soda cup or candy wrapper as I passed by. But the guilt factor would surface, and I’d inevitably trace back, reach down, and pick up the garbage. Guilt, I discovered over time, was actually pride in disguise. When it kicked in, it was fairly clear that some inner value was at play… (79)
Comment: Like most people, I suppose, I have struggled with guilt my entire life. But, I have never considered it to be pride in disguise… that is an interesting concept, and I now see the truth of it.
9. Never ever say, “That’s Not My Job.” Don’t Even Think It! (86)
Comment: Those who have and practice this attitude in their jobs don’t even have a clue. Yes, I learned this the hard way and am still trying to master it!
Just Show Up
10. I love the old Woody Allen quote, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up.” I don’t know if the percentage is right, but the sentiment sure is. (130)
Comment: I have learned from many years of personal experience that this is a universal truth and one that has made a big difference in my life… just show up!
Images – Post image: “Mickey Mouse | Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel” by ?? (nagi) licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Quotes – Snow, D. (2010). Lessons from the Mouse. Orlando, Florida: Snow & Associates, Inc.