It was rarely, if ever, smooth sailing for Walt Disney. In fact, problems were everywhere. The 1955 opening of Disneyland was no exception.
One of the issues was experience control.
Disney knew what he was selling, happiness, and though he pursued it tenaciously, he initially could not control the substandard practices of vendors he contracted to sell goods at the park.
Disney realized he had to leverage control over the entire user interaction at the park.
He brought what services he could in-house and began training those he could not.
Fast forward 65 years.
On a recent trip, I picked up an Alamo rental car shuttle on Disney property. The phone attendant was uncommonly courteous when I called in. The driver opened my door and sincerely apologized for running behind.
Now, after just coming off writing a lengthy dissertation, partly on Disney's leadership, my plan was to disengage and just relax, but I could not resist asking what kind of training, if any, Disney provided to Alamo employees.
My driver, Adam, gladly shared some of his takeaways, including:
- Pointing with two fingers
- Acting personably
- Delivering outstanding service
Bravo, Walt. Still in control of selling happiness.
Now, what are you selling and who is in control of the experience?