SERVICE MAGIC by Scott Brown
I’;ve worked in the family entertainment business for many years. And whenever my profession came up in conversation, people would always remark, "how much fun it must be to work at an amusement park." And they were right. It was fun.
But it always struck me how few people realized how much work was done behind the scenes to make our park fun. This environment of fun and customer service magic didn’;t just happen. It had to be planned and created long before our guests ever walked through the gates. From keeping the lines short, to friendly, helpful employees to clean bathrooms – it was all part of the plan. Guests weren’;t interested in the "plan," they just liked what they were experiencing.
And although I take pride in what we accomplished, when it comes to the entertainment business, no one’;s name is brought up more often than Disney’;s when it comes to creating Service Magic. Growing up, my parents took me to Disney many times with each visit creating more great memories than the previous. And now, with my family, I’;ve gone back several times and more than once I’;ve thought to myself, "how much fun it must be to work here." (Hmmm, where have I heard that before?) Whenever you, as a customer, are the beneficiary of a great experience, remember a lot of work went into the creation of that moment for you. It probably didn’;t happen accidentally.
So consider it a great compliment if your customers tell you that it must be fun to work where you work. What they’;re really saying is that your business is filled with friendly, happy people and a positive atmosphere. Unfortunately, finding a business with friendly, happy people can be a rare occurrence, so that in it itself is a major accomplishment. It certainly doesn’;t have to be an amusement park to be fun. It can be an office, a factory, a bank or a restaurant – it doesn’;t matter. When people appear to enjoy what they’;re doing, customer service scores shoot up dramatically and Service Magic is the standard. Rest assured that even if you’;re a dysfunctional family behind the scenes, you’;re putting on a good show in the front. So you’;re doing something right!
No matter what industry you’;re in, you can create your own Service Magic at the levels of Disney, the Ritz-Carlton, or any other customer service mega-power. You simply need to change the way you think about it.
The important thing to remember is that the service that we’;ve created at our park or that I’;ve experienced at Disney, or any number of great places, isn’;t magic at all. It has all been very carefully scripted and modified year after year to create something memorable. It’;s a culmination of hard work and an intense, relentless focus on a vision.
Have you ever seen a magician on TV or in person, doing absolutely mind-boggling things during his show? If you simply ask yourself, how could that sword go right through his chest? Or, how could he be cut in half like that? You’;re asking the wrong questions. You’;re treating it like it’;s real magic. There’;s no explanation for real magic – IT’;S MAGIC!
Awe inspiring – yes. But, even if we enjoy the show, we realize we’;re not witnessing miracles. We know there are usually simple explanations for what we think we’;re seeing. (Even if we can’;t figure it out on our own.)
A magician’;s magic, just like customer service magic happens, because of pre-planning and processes, physics or mechanics and even sometimes slight of hand. Service magic happens much the same way. To our customer a pleasant exchange with one of our employees was just that. But we know that it happened because we took the time to hire, train, reward and develop quality employees. Service Magic occurs when we take control of a situation before it happens, so when the customer experiences it – it appears seamless and natural and even pleasantly unexpected. Voila! You’;ve just created Service Magic.
Plan for your service greatness. Build Service Magic into everything you do. If you don’;t, well, I guess you’;re just hoping for a miracle.