Month: April 2016

Excelling in Customer Service

Excelling in Customer Service

Horst Schulze, Chairman and CEO of Capella Hotel Group and Founding President and Former COO of The Ritz-Carlton Group, identifies to his teams three things that customers want:

  1. Defect Free
  2. Timeliness
  3. People to be nice to them a.k.a. Service

Creating an environment of striving to achieve simply customer satisfaction is not going to be enough to sustain a company throughout this competitive environment.  For Disney in the entertainment business, attracting customers is vital.  In order to transition from customer satisfaction to customer loyalty, Disney’s first step is to recognize all customers as V.I.Ps., Very Individualized People.  They are not just customers, but they are our special guests.

At the Disney Parks and Resorts, cast members are encouraged to treat each guest as if it is their first and, potentially, only time visiting.  This encouragement for the cast members will help enhance opportunities for excellent service to help create wonderful memories for the guests.  This excellent service has developed many guests to be loyal to Disney.

The key product in the entertainment industry is service.  Set the foundation for loyal guests through employees by showing the employees they are valued and remind them that they make an impact.  The empowered employee is the front line influencer on the customer, so inspire them to create excellence and watch as customers move from simply satisfied to loyal.

Business Etiquette Workshop

Business Etiquette Workshop

I am honored to say that I have been selected to be a speaker at the 2016 Society of Women Engineers Conference, WE16.  This is a fantastic opportunity!  I get to network, share my knowledge and experiences, as well as get pumped up about being a technical leader!  This conference has been very well organized with over 9,000 attendees from across the world.  The topic that I was selected to present is called “Etiquette for the Modern Engineer”.  After years of attending technical conferences and giving others advice on what to expect at business social events, I decided to put together a workshop on business etiquette geared towards technical people.  For nearly 10 years, I have been delivering and maturing this presentation and now I have the prestigious opportunity to present my latest product at this conference!

During the presentation, I highlight ways to make a great first impression and tips on networking at business social events.  I present statistics, sort information into tables, and developed technical drawings to help deliver the information to highly analytical technical professionals.  The information is developed based on my own experiences as well as from reputable resources such as Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison and Wayne A. Conaway, Etiquette Edge by Beverly Y. Langford, Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell, and information from the Emily Post Institute.

I have delivered versions of this presentation before to audiences ranging from a dozen to a couple hundred technical professionals and it has been well received.  I look forward to presenting the latest version at the conference in October 2016 and hope to continue delivering workshops that make a positive impact on people’s careers!

Tips for Visiting Blizzard Beach

Tips for Visiting Blizzard Beach

The story of Blizzard Beach begins with a freak snow storm in Central Florida.  Some inspired entrepreneurs decided to take advantage of the situation and build a ski resort.  Being Central Florida, the warm weather quickly came back and the snow started to melt. Ready to give up after getting everything place for their ski resort, the entrepreneurs heard a loud exclamation of excitement and turned to see a local alligator, the Ice Gator skiing down Summit Plummet, a very steep slope, sail over some of the village buildings and crash into the large store they built.  The event gave them a new idea, to turn their once ski resort into a water park!  If you want to visit Blizzard Beach here are some things to keep in mind.

What to Bring:

  1. Bright Bathing Suit, especially for children and individuals that are not very strong swimmers, it helps the lifeguards to see you.
  2. Your own towels.  Yes, you can bring your own towels, please don’t forget to bring them home with you afterwards.  If you do not bring your own towels you can rent some very plain white towels.
  3. Sunscreen.  I have seen many adults and some children get severely sunburned, even when it is cloudy out.  I personally wear waterproof SPF.
  4. Sunglasses, it can get very bright on the slopes!
  5. Swim Diaper for little ones still in diapers, regular diapers will just swell up and get very messy.
  6. Credit card or cash.  I don’t recommend bringing your entire wallet, just something to buy snacks and a secure a locker.
  7. Snacks, Food, and Drinks.  You can bring your own lunch, snacks and beverages.  Glass containers are not allowed.

 

Seating and Storing Your Stuff:

Parking at the water park is free.  Once inside the park, there is a plethora of seating options.  You can purchase premium space, private patio or semi-private sand areas with nicer chairs and umbrellas, or search out a place in the various areas around the park.  There is a somewhat hidden sand area near the Red Slope in the back.  The lifeguard stand nearby is called Lonesome, since they are generally all by their lonesome self guarding the creek.  Your stuff is pretty safe at your chair, you can rent out a locker for the day if you want to be extra cautious.

 

What to do:

Enjoy some fun ski related slang while riding the slopes (about a dozen various tube, mat, and body water slides with a wide range of intensity), chilling along the cross country creek (lazy river),  or splashing in melt-away bay (wave pool).  Kids under 12 can train at  Ski Patrol with many quick slides, iceburg walks, and zip line.  Tots under 5 will love it at Tikes Peak, a scaled down modified version of the entire park for the little ones.  The park can be seen from the ride to the top of Mt. Gushmore on board a chairlift!.  Blizzard Beach also has some unique tasty treats such as a Sand Pail Ice Cream and Mini Donuts!

Only a few of the attractions have height restrictions such as the extreme slides, Ski Patrol iceberg walk and zip line, and most of the slides at Tikes Peak.  Lifeguards and operators are all over the park to help direct guests with their fun adventure and ensure their safety.  The rules that Blizzard Beach does have is focused on making sure everyone can have a safe enjoyable time.

 

Blizzard Beach is a lot of fun with a couple hidden mickeys, Christmas and Caribbean music playing year round, fantastic snow resort theme with reminders of the Ice Gator all over, and a fantastic team of cast members supporting the park.  So whether you are a snow-poke on the cross country creek, or seeking the extreme thrills of slush gusher, I hope you will have an “Ice” day at Blizzard Beach.  “Ski” ya later!

 

Admiration

Admiration

According to Fortune, The Walt Disney Company is the most admired company in the entertainment industry for 2016, ranking 5th overall.  Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of Ellevate Network and Former President of Bank of America’s Global Wealth & Investment Management understands the value of integrity, independent thinking, and admiration.  During the huge financial downturn, Sallie was identified as the Last Honest Analyst on Wall Street.  Through her struggles, she persevered while balancing work and raising children.  During the Global Leadership Summit of August 2015, Sallie stated that her children were a source of confirmation for her.  She knew that if she worked every day as if your children are watching you, she would make the most admirable decisions.

Working at Disney, I recently brought my children to see Blizzard Beach.  Their response was phenomenal and filled me with pride.  My daughter couldn’t wait to get back to school and let her teacher know that her mom worked at one of the coolest places in the world!  My kids have asked to go back nearly every day since their visit.  I am so grateful for places like Disney that inspire so much happiness and awe in people.  While Disney has the fun job of entertaining people, being admirable can be challenging.  I strive to be a great role model, to seek out my dream career and inspire my family.

The Recognition Benefit

The Recognition Benefit

After two weeks of working as a full time lifeguard, I have already been recognized for my efforts by the guests and my colleagues and it makes me feel so great about what I am doing! A guest mentioned how safe they felt when I, following the designated process, covered the water while another lifeguard went to help a potential issue nearby. The process has been established long before me, but I appreciate the recognition. The recognition from the guest was through something called a verbatim and I was told it is going to get flowed up to the general manager. This is great news for me!  This will help me become better known to the leaders and it makes me feel appreciated.

I was also recognized by my colleagues through a program called Four Keys.  There are four focus areas that Disney stands on: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency.  When a cast member sees a fellow cast member exhibiting these focus areas, they can recognize them by submitting them with a detail of the action to the leadership. I was recognized by a colleague for my efforts in mingling with guests while we had a weather closing.  I enjoy getting to know the guests and I help spread the word on safe places to relax while we wait for lightening to pass overhead.

Overall I am very excited to be recognized for my efforts, especially since the efforts are showing how I am supporting my fellow cast members and the guests focusing on the four keys and creating happiness!