Disney’s way of delighting customers: how to apply it to your agency


Disney’s way of delighting customers: how to apply it to your agency

The book “The Disney Way of Delighting Customers” tells some of the secrets that famous parks practice to have such excellence in delighting customers; see some of them and how to apply them in your agency

Here at Blue World City, the theme of customer retention permeates all areas and is present in practically all the planning we do. It’s no wonder that the famous book “The Disney Way of Delighting Customers”, which tells some of the secrets of the giant promoter of dreams, is widely read among us.

The Disney Way of Delighting Customers, or Disney methodology, can be applied to any business. This is because regardless of the business models and the size of the companies, there is something that is usually a point of convergence in the market: the great focus on delighting customers and retaining them.

To quantify the impact that retaining existing customers can have on the company, we provide an example here. A 5% increase in this indicator can increase the company’s profitability by 75%, according to a study by Bain and Co.  Among the reasons for this, the survey cites the fact that the customer, when feeling more confident in the company, tends to to invest more, and potentially increase the chance of referring it to an acquaintance.

Looking at these numbers, it is clear that companies must strive increasingly to retain their customers, as Disney, an example of success in this regard, does. According to surveys, among the more than 134 million visitors to its parks in 2014, 70% had already visited them before. That is, satisfied customers who wanted to continue to relate to the company.

In this article, we’ve compiled learnings from The Disney Way to Delight Customers, Behind the Scenes of Disney, and RDoers’ own experiences at Disney to bring Disney methodology to the agency market. Here are the secrets that make a difference in your customer retention journey.

The competitor is any company with which the customer compares it

How to Delight Customers: 3 Tips Inspired by Disney Parks

To think that our competitors are only those that offer the same type of product or service is increasingly a big mistake. The standard is also set by companies outside our industry.

To put it better: every company that provides any kind of service to its customers is your competitor, and that can be good or bad. Let’s look at two situations:

Situation 1

Your customer calls the operator to cancel the cell line. During the service, which is extremely time-consuming, he is transferred several times from the attendant. This makes you have to repeat your request to all of them until finally your request is granted.

Situation 2

Your customer wants to have coffee. Upon arrival at the cafeteria, you are greeted with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, comfortable chairs, and quick service that calls you by name. Your name is even written on the coffee cup.

When contacting and being assisted by your company, which of the two situations do you think he will compare you with? Are you prepared for this?

Fantastic attention to detail is key to Disney’s way of delighting customers

the disney way to delight customers

At some Disney parks, carriages are available to transport visitors. However, when they are not moving, the horses are tied to small posts in specific places in the parks.

The main poles are painted by the Disney team every night. This is because, for them, a client cannot find something in the park that does not reflect the immense care they take with everything and everyone.

But how does this influence customers?

The first impression may be that this is just a small detail among so many other bigger and more important factors that we need to pay attention to in our company. However, a company that cares about details like these will be equally concerned about its customers and everything that concerns them.

In other words, being attentive to the smallest details will indirectly cause this culture to be established in your company. Over time, everything will receive the same attention, making your customer’s experience even better and more surprising. That’s what we call here on RD the Wow Factor.

A detail that can completely change a customer’s experience and their relationship with your company. Do you agree? Details matter. Is very!

Multiple listening points


Even Disney, an example of customer service, goes through situations where their customers are not so satisfied. These are problems related to waiting time in the attraction lines, quality of food served in parks, space to accommodate during the parades, among others.

To act when a problem occurs and so that a customer can be dissatisfied, there are employees called Super Hosts. These employees take immediate action to minimize customer frustration and potential impact on the company.

The concern is such that around 1500 customers are interviewed every week at the parks to find out how close to 100% Disney is.

Here at RD, we do something similar. We carry out surveys with our customers after the onboarding stage so that we can find out how satisfied each one of them is with the company and the service that has been provided.

We also have our Super Hosts, the support team, which handles more than 600 customer tickets per month with different types of questions and difficulties. After the ticket is resolved, a survey is sent to the customer to find out what he thought of the service provided, thus allowing us to offer a better experience every day.

Listening to what customers have to say is extremely important in any company. Mainly for those dissatisfied customers, as based on these surveys, it is possible to collect data to adjust the service and operation model. They also show customers how much the company cares about them and how important their opinions are. After all, without them, companies would not exist.

How to apply the Disney way of delighting customers at every step of their journey with the agency

Well, now that you know the Disney way of delighting customers, how do you bring this to the reality of agencies? Here’s how you can act at each stage of the journey.

PS: The journey we are talking about now is not Marketing, but the entire customer lifecycle with your agency. From the first contacts to contract renewal and possible termination.

1. Prospecting

It’s that moment when a new relationship starts to be established. This is where there is one party with a specific need and the other party with a possible solution. At that time, everything is flowers. This is a huge risk!

Do you know the phrase “don’t promise anything when you’re happy”When we’re happy, excited about something, we tend to become less demanding, less rigorous, and that’s where the danger lies.

In the prospecting stage, there is usually a natural excitement on the part of those who are about to sign a contract with a new client. Because of this, they often end up being promised something beyond their delivery capacity or accepting conditions that are not advantageous for both parties.

Therefore, be very clear about what your company can offer and what solutions it can deliver. Before that, find out who your agency really wants and can sell to. Avoiding some common mistakes at this stage can determine the success of the entire project, and this directly impacts the health of your company.

Here at RD we have the Success Requirements, which help us start our relationships off on the right foot.

2. Signing the contract

Once the first negotiation is over and it is clear that you can deliver the solution expected by the prospect, it’s time to sign the contract and turn them into a customer.

The contract is the documentation of everything that was agreed in the previous step, so make sure that everything possible is clearly described as you will be charged for it. Use our guide to drawing up digital service contracts so you don’t have any problems.

3. Transfer from sales to operation

A signed contract and new customer in the house. It’s time to get down to business!

In many cases, the person making the sale is not part of the operations team that will actually produce and deliver what was sold and, when this happens, this moment is particularly in need of attention.

Keep in mind that the new customer is on their honeymoon with your company, in a moment of enchantment, but also of great anticipation and anxiety. What you should avoid at all costs is to break this mood by frustrating the customer with an inappropriate experience.

Remember the concept of Desired Outcome, created by Lincoln Murphy:

Desired Result (Desired Outcome)


Expected Result + Appropriate Experience

  • Expected result: what the customer really wants. For example: putting on the air a Digital Marketing strategy that helps you sell to Leads generated on the internet.
  • Appropriate experience: the way he achieves the expected result, taking into account the interactions with your company.

What can frustrate the client at this moment is feeling “let alone”, without the usual attention that he had so far, or even feeling that the operations team does not know the project and the client. Here, there is a lot of communication problem between the service team and the sales team.

To prevent this from happening, ensure that if it is not you, the new people responsible for conducting the project are introduced to the client and included in the project, receiving all the information. This can avoid unnecessary questions at the very first meeting.

Tip: Results Acceleration Project

In RD we have a tool called Results Acceleration Project (or PAR) which aims to help agencies in the first 60 days with a new client. One of the suggested actions to ensure initial engagement is to send a welcome email.

In this email, you must include:

  • Who will be the agency’s main contact with the client;
  • Suggestion of the best day and time to hold the initial alignment meeting (preferably within 7 days after closing the contract);
  • Who should attend the first meeting (online or in person);
  • Link with a questionnaire to be filled out by the customer with delivery date.

With this, we guarantee that nothing will be loose and the project will in fact begin to be delivered without harming the new customer’s experience.

3. Onboarding

Onboarding is the customer’s first real experience with the outsourced company. As mentioned earlier, he is excited and looking forward to the first deliveries and results.

It is essential to use this moment to present the entire process, methodologies, delivery routines, approvals and other points related to the work that will be developed to the client. That way everyone stays on the same page, avoiding false expectations and future frustrations.

Take advantage of the customer’s excitement to bring them to the project, make them be committed and engaged.

But that alone does not guarantee success in onboarding. The customer wants to see results!

Here at RD we have several types of onboarding that we do with our different clients, but in all of them we have what we call 1st value. This is what we consider the first result necessary for the client to see progress in the work.

In an agency, the first value can be to deliver the first brand study, publish the first paid media campaign, generate the first Leads, etc.

4. Ongoing

Any customer who pays recurrently to use a product or service will only continue to pay if he continues to see value in that product/service. Once this no longer makes sense to your customer, you started to lose them.

The good news is that the cancellation decision is hardly made overnight. It takes time and just then you can (and should) identify that this behavior is happening so you can reverse the situation.

Aware of this, the main objective of the ongoing stage was clear, isn’t it? It’s about continually making your customer perceive value in your product or service.

And each business model has different ways to achieve this goal. But since we are talking about agencies, what would these forms be?

In conversations with several partner agencies, our consultants realized that an important way of maintaining the client’s perception of value: showing results. It seems obvious, but well-written reports that actually show the impact of the agency’s work on the health of the client’s company are rare.

How much is your agency generating Leads for the client? And sales? And recipe? What is the return on investment (ROI) your client is having with your agency?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, you may also be failing to strategically position yourself with your customer and the next step in the journey may be seriously threatened.

5. Contract renewal

This stage in the ideal journey happens naturally as a result of all the good work done so far, but we know that this is not always the reality.

Thinking about renewing the contract is something that should be done not only when it is about to expire but since the beginning of the journey.

According to Philip Kotler, keeping a customer can be up to seven times cheaper than acquiring a new one. So, this is something that can’t just be left to the last minute but remembered in every little interaction with your customer.

The end

The journey to the end is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on the context.

Ideally, we look to keep customers with us for as long as possible, but it may be time to go our separate ways. And if that moment comes, that’s fine. The important thing is that you have impacted Disney’s way of delighting customers in it.

The book The Alliance presents the concept of Tour of Duty from the point of view of the employee/employer relationship, as explained in this post. However, it can be applied in different fields of our life, including the client/company relationship.

There comes a certain moment when the relationship is not productive for one or both sides, and this is often not a result of conflicts and misunderstandings, but of interests that diverge at that moment. When this is identified, the ideal is that the parties are transparent and end the relationship elegantly and that the reasons for both parties are understood.

As Lincoln Murphy says, the seeds of churn are sown early, as are the seeds of long-term success. Put this into practice in each and every contact you make with your customer, from the very first moment, so you will cultivate the seed of success!


The book “The Disney Way of Delighting Customers” tells some of the secrets that famous parks practice to have such excellence in delighting customers; see some of them and how to apply them in your agency Here at Blue World City, the theme of customer retention permeates all areas and is present in practically all the…