My three key learning points from the excellent podcast series by Dan Cockerell and Jody Maberry, “Come Rain or Shine”, during which he deep dives into the Disney Guest Experience Keys. Previously, I focused on the critical key of Safety. The next blog put the Courtesy key in the spotlight. For this blog, I’m sharing my thoughts on Dan’s episode on the 3rd key “Show”.

My three key takeaways:

  1. Everything speaks. In a nutshell, this refers to the importance of making sure that everything comes together in a way that provides the customer (or Guest as Disney calls them) with an integrated experience. Disney is putting on a “show” and therefore everything from the set, costumes, lighting, sound and, of course, the lines that the people say, all count when you’re delivering an immersive and memorable experience. One small example of this is taking the time to consider what an appropriate greeting would be from Cast Members to Guests who venture into Frontierland (“Howdy! rather than “Hello” or “Greetings Space Ranger” when embarking on the Buzz Lightyear ride) so that it fits the theme you’re trying to create and sustain.
  2. Keep talking to your customers. Ask your customer about the experience they want to have with your brand. Just delivering on these wants does NOT make it an exceptional experience though as this just gives people what they’re expecting. The challenge is to go beyond this, providing small but surprising moments of delight which people won’t forget (and will most likely want to share). One example shared in the episode, was of a dentist who installed TVs on the ceilings in their surgeries so that they would distract and engage children as they sat for their dental check-ups. How many dentists do you know that have gone to this level to provide patients with a better experience?!
  3. Everything Matters. Consider your infrastructure (such as the car park – is it clean?) and ensuring signage is accurate, easy to read and not damaged or peeling off. Work out what plants or flowers will fit in with your theme or brand, and what aromas and smells would help convey the atmosphere that you’re striving for (as odour is the most powerful memory trigger). Every aspect is on show to your customer. Take the time to consider what these should be and then set them in place as quality standards that you intend to be known for. And once you know what you stand for, make clear what you won’t stand for!

Ultimately, these elements matter because when one of them is missing they distract – like a blown light bulb in the middle of an illuminated sign or the one missing piece of a jigsaw – and immediately detracts from the wider picture and experience you’re working hard to deliver.

Everything speaks because Everything Matters!