Your Customer Compass: Are You Headed in the Right Direction?
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This post was originally featured on The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here:Taking Direction From Disney’s Customer-Care Philosophy

Last month, we held our first Celebrity Expert Marketing Academy. And, because ourDicks + Nanton Agencyis located in Orlando, we knew we didnt have to travel far to give our clients the best (and most productive) experience possible. We just took them all over to our neighbors place, which has plenty of room.

And were not kidding when we say that. It covers over 30,000 acres and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 24 themed resorts, two spas and fitness centers, and five golf courses.

Our neighbor, of course, isDisney World, the worlds most visited entertainment resort. And, no, we didnt go there to ride the flying elephants at the Dumbo ride (we have plenty of time to do that on our own). Instead, we went with our clients to learn some of the special secrets that have made Disney the incredible success its been for over 80 years. Fortunately, the corporation has set upThe Disney Instituteto enable all of us not wearing mouse ears to get some inside business tips.

Many of those tips focus on providing the customer with the best experience possible. The fact is that Disneys customer service isthe gold standard for every business–because their management understands that if you dont treat your paying patrons as you should, youre going in the wrong direction.

So lets talk about how to go in therightdirection–with the help of a very special compass.

Walt Disney evidently loved compasses. Youll find whats called theCompass Rosein front of the walking area in front of and in back of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. Not only that, but it wasCompass East Corporationthat began buying land in the Orlando area in the mid-1960s. That company was a cover for the Disney organization, which was snatching up property left and right for what would becomeDisney World; they hid their name from the transactions because, of course, sellers would have demanded more than the fair market price if they had known who was really after the transaction.

The compass, to this day, figures prominently in the Disney philosophy of customer service. For instance, we learned about the four points of The Disney Compass when it comes to how to treat a customer (an area of study Disney calls Guestology). Wed like to share these four profitable and productive directions with you here:

N – Needs
W – Wants
S – Stereotypes
E Emotions

Lets take these in turn and see how they impact your relationships with your clients or customers.

When we discuss a customersneeds, were talking about the basics. If a person goes to the doctor, they might need medicine to get well. If someone goes to a CPA, they might need someone to do their taxes. Its about meeting the minimum requirements of your business, whatever they might be.

Wantsallow you the opportunity to kick it up a notch or two. For example, the person going to the CPA may also want new strategies to save on their taxes. When you provide that extra optional level of service,you differentiate yourselfand give people more reason to come back to you, as well as refer you to other people.

Stereotypesrequire you to overcome negative impressions a customer might have of you or your business. For example, a stereotype of doctors might be that they only care about money and dont care how long they make you cool your heels in the waiting area. If you are an MD, you can overcome that stereotype by attempting to minimize a patients waiting time and maximizing the one-on-one consultation time with you.

Finally, its common knowledge thatemotionsare often more powerful than logicwhen it comes to buying decisions. Thats why its always important to tap into what makes your customers or clients feel good about buying from you and focus on that in your delivery and fulfillment systems.

The Disney Institute is full of simple concepts like the above that enable you to bring a clear, yet sophisticated approach to doing business in the best possible way. We love to deliver those kinds of concepts to our clients (as well as ourselves, because we find they work like gangbusters), and were happy to share this one with you here.

With that in mind, well leave you with seven more big ideasfrom seven rather small guysthat will enable you to serve your clientele at the highest level possible.

1. BeHappymake eye contact and smile!

2. Be likeSneezygreet and welcome each and every client. Spread the spirit of Hospitalityits contagious!

3. Dont beBashfulseek out client contact.

4. Be likeDocprovide immediate service recovery.

5. Dont beGrumpyalways display appropriate body language at all times.

6. Be likeSleepycreate dreams and preserve the magical client experience.

7. Dont beDopeythank each and every customer!

Keep those seven principles in mind and youre sure to dwarf the competition.