An Ice Cream Cone and a Princess – Lessons from Disney

The little girl was with her family at Disney World for the first time. She had just sat down to have her ice cream cone, and was wearing a princess outfit which was bought just for this special trip.

As she started to eat, the ice cream fell off the top of her cone onto her dress, and then onto the floor. As the tears started to well-up, the mother took her daughter to the restroom to get cleaned up.

When they went back to their table, they noticed two “cast members” standing at the table, and the other family members were there as well. The ice cream had already been cleaned up by the employees, and they asked if she was the girl whose ice cream had fallen. When she replied “yes,” one of the employees said “please come with me,” and the employee took the little girl’s hand, walked with the mother and child to the counter, and greeted the employee making the cone saying “This princess had an ice cream cone, and it fell. Can you please give her whatever she’d like?”

“I would be happy to,” replied the other employee, and the girl was thrilled to get a new cone.

There are LOTS of lessons to be learned here. First, the employees spotted the issue because they were looking for opportunities to engage and help customers. They proactively addressed the other family members. They immediately cleaned up the mess without having to be asked. They were patient in waiting for the child to return. They clarified what had happened. They used respectful phrases in addressing the customer. They quickly provided an alternative product, communicating well with co-workers.

I know…it was just an ice cream cone.

But think about your company. Where are there issues, whether caused by your organization or the customer themselves? How do you deal with these issues?

Are you looking to help customers? Are you proactive in engaging customers? Do you address issues without having to be asked by the customer? Are you patient with them? Do you clarify the issue instead of making assumptions? Are you respectful in how you address customers, particularly in these situations? Do you quickly remedy issues, working as a team for the customer?

Ask yourself these questions, and then learn a little lesson from a Disney Princess.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”

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