Everyone Has a Customer

 This is the eighth in a series of ten blog posts that provide a brief synopsis of the chapters in my upcoming book, Lessons From the Mouse - A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life. You can view previous posts from the book by clicking on the Lessons From the Mouse category on the left column of this page.

Lesson #8: Everyone Has a Customer

When it comes to internal customer service, Disney World's philosophy is, "Cast members are treated the way they are expected to treat the guests." This philosophy is not just directed at those in Disney leadership positions. The statement can be slightly changed to read, "Cast members treat each other the way they are expected to treat the guests."

Only about half of Disney World's cast members work onstage with direct contact with paying guests. The rest work in backstage roles such as Costuming, Maintenance, Finance, Marketing, Training, and countless other departments where they interact primarily with other cast members. But the attitude of these backstage employees who serve the employees who serve the guests is the beginning of the chain of magical moments. And if the chain breaks down anywhere along the way, the guest experience is likely to suffer.

To be successful in the long run, it's important for all employees in a company to treat each other the way they're expected to treat customers. And to be the best in the business, it must be a company-wide practice. Every organization depends on internal coordination and cooperation to succeed. With every internal interaction, imagine if employees did what they said they would do (and did it well), were responsive to the needs of other employees, and demonstrated genuine care.

World-class organizations become world-class by not only creating great experiences for customers, but by also making the organization a great place to work. Turf wars, backstabbing and finger pointing aren't tolerated. Everyone sees themselves as contributing to the larger mission of the organization and they work together to achieve that mission.

Questions to consider about Lesson #8:

  1. How effective are your organization's employees at treating each other as customers?
  2. Who are your internal customers?
  3. What would excellent internal service look like in your role, department, or organization?

 Lessons From the Mouse

To be released this summer