8 Essential Lessons to Learn from the Disney Customer Service Model

Giving your customers great customer service and making them happy is something that all business owners should strive for. But there are a lot of businesses that fall short.

If you're trying to up your customer service game, then you should be able to learn a thing or two from the Disney customer service model. Anyone who has been to a Disney location has probably raved about the customer service they received during their visit. You may even have seen a video of a Disney employee online helping out a Disney customer.

Good customer service starts with the management of your company. You need to treat and teach your employees with kindness and respect so they give your guests the same.

Keep reading for eight essential lessons you can learn from the Disney customer service model.

1. The LAST Model

When it comes to unhappy customers, Disney uses the LAST model to try and resolve the situation. This is a great approach for any business or industry that deals with customers.


When people are unhappy about something most of the time all they want is for someone to listen to their complaints. The complaint may not be about the person listener but when you're an employee you are also the face for the company. Let the customer know that you are listening and that you can hear their distress.


Sorry is an extremely powerful word when used correctly. Customers want their complaints to be validated and a sincere apology is the best way to do that. Even if the problem has nothing to do with you, apologizing on behalf of the company can work wonders.


The first two steps of the model can usually help to solve the situation but there are certain instances when more action is required. Giving your customers something for free is a great way to appease them and make them come back to your establishment to give it another shot. In this case, it may not cost you a lot but you will have a happy customer.


The last important thing to do is to thank your customers for bringing this to your attention. Having customers tell you the bad things means that they believe you have the ability to solve the problem. Thanking your customers means that you appreciate them for trying to make your business the best it can be.

2. Be Efficient

Disney employee's do their job efficiently so their guests will have the magical experience that they expect when coming to a Disney park. By having trained employees who know the ins and outs of their job you give your customers a better chance at having the best time.

You also want your employees to use their time and resources wisely. By giving your customers the best experience possible they are more likely to leave reviews and point out how good your company conducts business. Creating happy customers can lead to more happy customers.

3. Seven Service Guidelines

If you're a Disney fan then you probably have seen Snow White and know of the Seven Dwarves. Disney actually incorporated the Seven Dwarves into their customer service model making the seven service guidelines.

  • Happy – Make sure to always smile and be kind.
  • Sneezy – Spread the welcomeness like a Sneezy by greeting every guest.
  • Bashful – Look for any and all interactions you can have with guests.
  • Doc – Provide customer service recovery when needed.
  • Grumpy – Don't be grumpy and always display appropriate body language.
  • Sleepy – Create dreams and give your guests a magical experience.
  • Dopey – Don't be dopey and make sure to thank the guests.

4. Put On a Show

This may be a bit more specific to Disney but you can also apply this to your business model no matter the industry. Employees at Disney who dress up as a character every day must stay in character every day. It doesn't matter if they're having a good or bad day, because they're always acting like they're the happy character they are.

Management needs to treat their employees kindly because, in turn, they will treat your customers kindly. They will want to put on a show for your customers no matter what kind of day they're having. Your employees will give you a reputation and if they stay happy and treat your guests with respect you will get a good reputation.

5. Happy Customers Are Paying Customers

So far we've talked about how making your customers happy can help you have a good reputation but what else does it do? Happy customers are paying customers!

If you resolve an issue with a guest by giving them something for free, then they will take the money they were going to spend and spend it somewhere else. Regardless, your company will still be making the money and your guests will be happy. Happy guests want to spend money and return to your business.

6. Train Your Employees

When hired at Disney, new hires must complete multiple training days. The first training that all cast members must do at Disney is called “Traditions.” During this training day, employees learn the Disney customer service basics as well as the leadership basics.

You can implement this model into your own customer service model by training your employees the correct way upon hiring them. Telling your employees the correct way to act and behave around customers is a great way to establish their interactions with customers.

7. Lead By Example

When general managers walk around a Disney park and notice a piece of trash on the ground they will still go and pick it up. They don't brush it off on someone else and say “that's not my job.” When coming up with your customer service business model you need to lead by example.

Don't brush off the small tasks on someone else. You can still act like an owner but also embody what you want your employees to emulate.

8. Dream It and Do It

As Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and that's the best advice you can get from Walt himself. Creating your customer service model can be as easy or as hard as you make it.

Solving a customers problem can be done if only you take the time to think about it. Making customers happy will require a bit of creativity.

Disney Customer Service Model Works

Customer service should be the core of your business for many reasons. You want your customers to be happy so they spend money and come back but you also want them to recommend your business to others.

As you've seen the Disney customer service model really works and is raved about. Giving good customer service is the best way for your business to gain good reviews.

You can learn more about how online reviews affect your business by checking out our resources.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit