Quality Culture and Customer Retention at Disney World

The Disney World
Disney World, or Walt Disney World Resort, is a recreational resort that has theme parks, golf courses, water parks, resort hotels and shopping areas. It is owned by the Walt Disney Company and is considered as the largest recreational resort in the world.
Disney Culture
The culture espoused by the Disney World is proportional to the globalization of American culture. Just like the worldwide spread of American culture and ideas, “Disney culture” has received a global acceptance. Disney World is presented to the human race with charm, which makes people of all ages, of different races, and different gender preferences fascinated with anything (that is associated with) “Disney.”
The Disney culture is appealing. This is what makes Disney World rise to the top. Having focused on providing quality entertainment to the people, Disney is able to produce products and services that are cherished by its customers. Marty Sklar, Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, enumerated five things that makes him proud of Disney. These five things, which mirror the sort of culture that Disney espouses, are “high-quality products, optimism for the future, great storytelling, an emphasis on family entertainment and great talent, passion and dedication from our Cast Members” (Sklar, 2007).
Products of Disney are of high quality because the company is dedicated to a tradition of innovation. With this, the company’s products and services are seen as original, creative and ground-breaking. Furthermore, each product of Disney has its own story to tell, and with every story being told, there is always a positive message for the customers. This makes Disney culture both entertaining and respected by its customers. It does not sacrifice the talent of its cast members, the storyline, and story’s positive message for mere entertainment.
“Guestology” is a term coined by Bruce Laval, a Senior Manager at Walt Disney. The term is used to signify the company’s aim of focusing on guest behavior.
Using the idea of guestology, Disney employs a different kind of management. The company does not follow the traditional management style, which focuses on organizational development and managerial hierarchy. Instead, the company focuses on the “guests” or the “customers.” With such method, the company uses not the company’s or organization’s perspective, in determining the quality of the products. What is being used is the customer’s perspective. Customer experience is then given a paramount importance.
Because the perspective used is that of the customers’, Disney World is able to determine what customers need and want. With the use of surveys, Disney is able to determine that customers need a clean theme park and Disney World provides them with that. Efforts are also made to extend theme park hours and expand fireworks displays in order to satisfy the customers.
Customer Retention through Quality Culture
Though the focus is on customers, it should not be mistaken that Disney puts customer satisfaction as its core. Customer satisfaction is important, but customer retention is even a more important thing.
Often times, people take customer satisfaction and customer retention as synonymous. However, they are not. Customer retention necessarily implies customer satisfaction, but customer satisfaction does not always mean customer retention. Disney is one among very few companies that recognize this fact. Disney is not concerned merely with making its customers satisfied. It aims at giving its customers quality products and services because it is more concerned with the loyalty of its customers to whatever it offers.
As aforementioned, Disney is not concerned merely with marketing its products and services. It is not concerned merely with providing entertainment or mere satisfaction. It puts emphasis on the talents of its casts, the message that its products brings and with innovative ideas because it puts customer retention at its core. And Disney World successfully does this by its ability to produce an appealing culture.
Baker, R. (2007 May). Earning My Mouse Ears, Part II: The Disney Approach to Customer Loyalty [WWW document]. URL http://verasage.com. 27 July 2007.
Sklar, M. (2007, July) [WWW document]. URL http://corporate.disney.go.com/careers/culture.html. 27 July 2007.
The HSM Group. (2005). Holding Onto Your Customers [WWW document]. URL http://www.hsmgroup.com/ebriefing/ebriefing08.asp. 27 July 2007.

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