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Tips to keep your customers satisfied

Guidelines for Great Customer Service

Disney's Guest Service Guidelines provide some inspiration for maintaining excellent customer service.
8 min read

Working in Walt Disney World gave me a real flavour of what it’s like to provide excellent customer service. Essentially, it’s absolutely critical to anyone providing an interaction with a prospective client, customer or ‘guest’ as they’re known in Disney, no matter how long or how short the interaction is.

Each ‘cast member’ or employee was given a two-week training period where we were taught a number of customer service techniques and when we went ‘onstage’ in front of guests we had to bring into play these customer facing strategies — all in a bid to preserve the ‘magic’ and to make the customers have the best possible experience.

The same can be said for the online world — you have to maintain the great customer experience online as well.

What are the Disney Guest Service Guidelines?

Here’s an overview of the Guest Service Guidelines (be prepared for a large serving of cheese):

  1. Be HAPPY … make eye contact and smile!
  2. Be like SNEEZY … greet every guest, spread hospitality – it’s contagious!
  3. Don’t be BASHFUL … seek out guest contact.
  4. Be like DOC … provide immediate service recovery.
  5. Don’t be GRUMPY … always display appropriate body language at all times.
  6. Be like SLEEPY… create dreams and preserve the magical experience.
  7. Don’t be DOPEY … thank each and every guest.
Disney Guest Service Guidelines

OK … so these guidelines may not match your brand’s tone of voice but, generally, your online customer service should reflect your offline customer service.

How do you do this online using the IRP?

Let me take the Disney Guest Service Guidelines and show you how…

Be HAPPY … make eye contact and smile!

People are very visual and imagery can tell a story in a matter of seconds. Think about the banners you use on your home page — Are the people smiling? Is the product displayed in an appealing way?

Making your imagery appealing from the first second someone lands on your website will help convey a feeling of content.

Be like SNEEZY … greet every guest, spread hospitality – it’s contagious!

The welcome message on your website is really important. People tend to read from left to right and pay attention to your logo first, so greeting people who come to your website with a simple ‘Welcome’ note is really effective. So is the language you use. Think about this:

Welcome to MyStore! Your Favourite Online Something Store
MyStore – Leading Online Something Store

Which statement has more sentiment? We think it’s the one that’s a little more personal using words like ‘welcome’ and ‘your’ giving the reader a little sense of belonging. It’s a small change, but it can subconsciously make the customer a little more trusting of your brand, especially if they’re a first-time visitor.

Don’t be BASHFUL … seek out guest contact

Let your customers know your contact details and make them easy to find and obvious. Use the ‘Below Logo’ banner on the IRP to show your contact phone number or use some icons like a phone, a pin drop or an email symbol to show your visitors that you’re available for a conversation. Live Support and Interventions are also great tools which enable easy communications with your customers when they’re on your website.

  • Live Support Example: Hi! What can we help you with today?
  • Interventions Example: We are your number 1 Something Store. Contact us today using Live Support, Email or give us a Call if you have any questions about our products. We are experts in [fishing/pet grooming/jewellery] and are here to help! > Contact Us > > >

Be like DOC … provide immediate service recovery

If your customers are having an issue with any of your products and they’re returning to your website to enquire about how to return an item, make it as simple as possible for them to find out how to return or contact you, similar to the above point.

Why not use the IRP to create a Custom Content Page which displays all relevant information on returns, on warranties, on money back guarantees?

This is a really easy way for your customers to remain happy with the service you provide and will give them confidence in your brand, encouraging them to repurchase with you.

Don’t be GRUMPY … always display appropriate body language at all times

Think of the language you use across the website — is your tone of voice appropriate and warm? Use positive language and avoid any negative connotations in your messaging.

For example, if you have particular brands that you can’t sell in certain countries due to restrictions, try and refrain from promoting this brand via imagery and use the country-specific restrictions that are available throughout the IRP.

Think about reviewing your small and large translations too on the IRP. You want to use a warmer tone in some areas on the website or change the messaging to match your brand.

Be like SLEEPY… create dreams and preserve the magical experience

Make the experience and customer journey as easy and as streamlined as possible.

Use the IRP navigation to your advantage on both mobile and desktop. Make it easy for the client to find your products and also to find similar items or alternatives using the Application Settings in the IRP.

These small changes to the settings allow you to display these items on the same model page and enable the customer journey to be seamless.

Don’t be DOPEY … thank each and every guest

When a customer has completed an order, be sure to thank them and encourage them to return. For example, review the content in your system emails — is it friendly and engaging? Communicating with the customer through every step of the shipping journey is also a great way to maintain contact as well as to ensure your brand is front of the customer’s mind.

How do you do this for your business and your employees?

We would really recommend taking inspiration from the above Guest Service Guidelines. Tailor your own Customer Service Guidelines into a few easy-to-remember points which are relevant to your business and put them into place. Each ecommerce team member should be fully aware of the service guidelines and have a full understanding of why customer service is almost more important online as it is offline. There’s no ‘face to face’ online so you need to make your IRP as friendly and approachable as possible!

If you would like more information on how to improve your tone of voice and customer service online, please get in touch with your Account Manager who can organise a team blitz of your website.

Anonymous - Love this Jo!
19 Oct 2021 15:38
Anonymous - Great insights
07 Mar 2020 11:25
Anonymous - A nice alternative viewpoint on Customer Service. A few good tips in there :-)
18 Apr 2017 11:16
Anonymous - I like the thinking in this article. There are principles here that could be translated for sure to IRPs.
14 Apr 2017 08:41
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