Announcing The New 2nd Edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney

2nd Edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service by J. Jeff Kober.
2nd Edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service by J. Jeff Kober.

I’m very excited to announce the 2nd Edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney.

When the first edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney came out, my rationale for writing the book came from the fact that I didn’t feel anyone was really telling people what customer service was really all about at Disney. I had developed the customer service curriculum that was to be the foundation in the development of the Be Our Guest book Disney released. That book had a forward by Michael Eisner. I doubt that Michael ever read the final draft once it was finally written, but he did decide who was going to author it. While we thought it made sense for people at The Disney Institute to write it, we were told he wanted to go outside of the organization to have it written. Being responsible for customer service programming at the Disney Institute, I disappointingly relinquished all of the materials I had written to the author. I never met the author, and after a year went by, nothing came of it. We inquired and begged for the opportunity to write the book ourselves. Eisner still didn’t want the book written by anyone at The Disney Institute and chose another ghost writer to do the book. I again sent the individual a copy of my materials, but never met the person. It was all too disappointing. Not that long thereafter, I moved on when a new opportunity became available.

But I didn’t leave behind the ideas that were at the heart of providing a great guest experience at Disney, and when Be Our Guest came out, I was determined someone had to tell the story–not only the truth of what works and what doesn’t at Disney–but how to make the experience come alive in one’s own company, whether it was a hospital, an airport, or an insurance firm.

The result was my first edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. I was pleased with the response–especially since my copies didn’t get space on a shelf at the Emporium. It was truly one of the proudest things I have done in my career. It has literally been read by thousands of people who have implemented its ideas into their own workplace.

The only challenge is that Disney is constantly changing. How they approach customer service is ever evolving, and I felt like I needed to address those changes. In particular, there were three areas I especially focused on in this new edition:

1. Disney’s Service Behaviors. Back when I wrote the first edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney, the company was trying to move away from its original Seven Service Guidelines to more practical behaviors. Since then it has nailed down a really solid set of behaviors expected not only of every Cast Member at Disney, but of leaders as well. We address both.

Cast Members greeting Guests into the park. It's part of the service behaviors discussed in The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
Cast Members greeting Guests into the park. It’s part of the service behaviors discussed in The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

2. Making Guests Feel Special. I wanted to provide some clearer ideas about the ways Disney creates interactions as opposed to transactions. New stories in this second edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney really press upon the way that guests experience something truly magical as a part of their stay at Disney.

This story of Wilderness Explorer Kalah and my son is an example of interacting with every one of your guests--even until the end of your shift. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
The story of Wilderness Explorer Kalah and my son is an example of interacting with every one of your guests–even until the end of your shift. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

3. High Tech/High Experience. With the addition of MyMagic+, FastPass+ and MagicBands, Disney has done some innovative things to address the biggest complaint guests have about their experience at Disney–waiting in line. This is why I waited as long as I did to do a new edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. I needed to evaluate how Disney is creating a more interactive, more high-tech experience.

New high-tech turnstiles are just the beginning of the High Tech Magic discussed in the Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.
New high-tech turnstiles are just the beginning of the High Tech Magic discussed in The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

That’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the changes. Every chapter was touched upon with new stories and ideas, and some chapters were substantially changed. Also, I re-did the order of the book so as to make it easy for people to take The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney and adapt it to their own organization.

What I didn’t change was the cover. It still hearkens back to the early days of the Wonderful World of Disney show when everything seemed to come alive on your old TV set as you watched as a family on Sunday evenings. Those same traditions of excellence, great service, and magic are still a part of this book as well.

Please check it out, and let us know what you think. We’re excited for this new edition of The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney.

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