177 Transcript

Transcript Disclaimer: This transcript is provided and copied from YouTube, mistakes are present.

welcome to scaling up h2o the podcast
where we scale up on knowledge so we
don’t scale up
our systems my name is trace blackmore i
get the privilege of being the host of
the scaling up h2o podcast
and i want to welcome you to another
brand new episode of scaling up h2o
i want to thank all the people that were
on the hang
that we had yesterday i love doing these
hangs because i get to see
so many people out there so if
you have joined the hang and you can’t
wait to join
the next one or you’ve heard about the
hang and you just haven’t
joined now is your chance we’re going to
do another one
february 11th we can go to
scaling up h2o.com forward slash hang
you can register for the hang this is
where we get to meet new people we get
to talk about the industry we get to
learn about new things in the industry
folks it’s a very simple way and a fun
way i might add that we get to network
with new people so please go to register
scaling up h2o.com forward slash hang
and again the date is going to be
february 11th
at 6 00 pm of course we’re also doing a
special webinar series in conjunction
with the association of water
technologies
and our next event is going to be
january 26th at 11 a.m
eastern time our speaker is john
fenton ceo sensei he’s been on the
podcast before
john has a lot of great information to
share with us
he’s going to give us some information
he’s actually going to give us some
things that we can work on
right there during the webinar and then
he’s going to crystallize exactly what
we should be working on
based on the information that he gave us
folks
this will cost you absolutely nothing
please
register by going to scaling up h2o.com
forward slash
business you will not want to miss
either of
these events folks one of my favorite
places
on the planet is disney world
my parents took me there when i was six
years old
and then they took me back when i was a
little bit older
and my wife and i actually got married
at disney world and that’s where we
spent our honeymoon
we’ve been back numerous times i truly
believe it is the happiest
place on earth and i
love to experiment with customer service
issues at disney now that being said i
don’t create my own
but there’s always something that
happens with
customer service there’s somebody didn’t
get something that they were planning on
maybe somebody didn’t plan enough to get
what they were planning on
and now there’s somebody there as a
disney cast member that’s what they call
their staff
that is in front of them that is helping
them
solve their issue and folks
they solve issues like no body else
their customer service
is second to none the experience
is everything and everybody that works
for disney wants to make sure
that you are having the best experience
on
whatever platform you’re at whether
you’re at a park whether you’re on one
of their cruises or all the other
many things that the disney corporation
offers well today we are going to talk
with dennis snow
who used to work for disney and he was
responsible for creating
a lot of these experiences and training
people how to deliver them so folks i
can’t wait for you
to hear this interview i had a lot of
fun conducting it so please
welcome dennis snow my lab partner today
is dennis snow how are you dennis
i am doing very well here in orlando
florida
well i’m in atlanta and i bet we
probably have the same humidity right
now i think we’re about a hundred
percent
at least yes at least 100 yeah yeah
these are the these are the times we
survive in the south
that’s right the if you live in the
south you got to just be prepared to be
wet all the time
dennis you and i met at the association
of water technologies
business owners conference where you
were a keynote speaker there
and i gotta tell you after i heard what
you had to say
i could not wait to get up out of my
chair
and invite you on this show and you said
yes
yeah well i’m honored and i really did
enjoy
uh speaking with that group as a matter
of fact great audience
uh seemed very receptive to the service
excellence message
so i’m honored to be participating in
this well there’s no doubt about it
us water treaters industrial water
treaters we’re a service based industry
and that’s what you preach how do we how
do we deliver
better service outstanding service
second to none
service world-class service to our
customers
and i think that’s what we’re going to
be talking about today that’s what i’m
hoping we’re going to talk about yeah
that’s what i love to talk about yeah so
we have six hours right we have six
hours i i think it’s going to be an
eight
series we’re going to all right there
you go well before we get started on
that
you’ve got a very impressive resume
and i was hoping you would share a
little bit of that with the scaling up
nation
oh sure yeah so back in the
late 1970s 1979 i was
in college and decided i was going to
take a a semester break and i was going
to
come down to work at disney world for
one semester it was going to be a
three-month job
and ended up being a 20-year career but
uh but i came down and i got a job i was
working on an attraction
that’s not there anymore but some people
may remember this called 20 000 leagues
under the sea
i was captain nemo so i started out on
the front lines and it was
fantastic and then i got into management
and managed different operating areas
around the the company
and there’s an internal training
division called the disney university
that
that’s where they do all the onboarding
of new cast members and
uh the management training so i managed
that for a few years
uh and then we spun off a division
called the disney institute
where companies would come down to
benchmark best practices with us
and then i did that for the last few
years that i was with disney
then i hit the 20-year mark and decided
that’s a good that’s a really good round
number and i thought i would start up my
own
training and consulting and speaking
business so
that’s what i’ve been doing since then
is working with organizations and
kind of taking that disney foundation
the the principles i learned there
and helping apply it in other industries
like water treatment to help
apply those service principles in other
industries
so i love what i do and and
love sharing that disney story my office
manager
was an intern when she was in college
with disney
and she proudly has her master’s degree
on her wall yeah yeah and i’ll bet she
gives great customer service too
she is fantastic at that and i hope
we’re all going to be fantastic at that
as we talk today you know you can’t
think
of disney without an experience you know
you can go to any theme park
a lot cheaper i might add but you’re not
going to go
anywhere that you’re going to get the
same experience
as disney well that and that’s
the the magic sauce you know really is
what disney really focuses on is
we are not selling rides we’re selling
an
experience so the rides are a part of it
but you think from you think about all
the moving parts
in planning and executing a vacation to
disney world
that’s what they look at is the product
how can we make each part of that
experience
you know from the moment you start
planning the vacation to the moment you
leave
at the end of that vacation how do we
make each step
an excellent experience and that’s
what’s really the differentiator and
it’s
and it’s the same in any industry you
know products are commodities right i
mean
you know you think about most products
people have a lot of choices
the only real differentiator is how you
make people feel the experience that
you’re creating for them so that’s
really what they
they focus on very very carefully
we went to disney in february
and i remember we were in epcot and
they’re doing some construction at epcot
when we were there
i know exactly the construction you’re
talking about well there was a family
that was so excited to ride test track
and of course it was closed and the
family just had a meltdown and
we witnessed a staff member walk across
and have a conversation with that family
and
almost instantly the entire expression
of the family
changed from disappointment to
excitement and i wanted to ask you
because i didn’t hear what they said
what would that conversation have
sounded like well
disney has terms for everything it’s
called turning a tragic moment into a
magic moment
and so likely the discussion was
hey we understand you know do you want
to ride this right it’s one of the most
popular attractions that we have
here’s what we’re doing with it so the
next time you come back this is what
it’s going to be and giving them a
little bit
of inside information but they then
probably said something like
i want you to go over to xyz
attraction whatever it may be and i’m
going to call ahead and say
the jones family is on their way and
just give them my name
and they’ll put you right on to the
attraction they can move you they’ll put
you right on you don’t have to wait in
line you don’t have to do any of those
types of things
so it’s one of those and and i can’t say
that’s exactly
what happened but that’s likely
something along it
disney cast members are very empowered
to turn those situations around
no questions asked so you take a family
who was disappointed and they’re still
disappointed that the test track wasn’t
open okay so
but but now they’ve got some inside
information but now they’ve been given a
little extra something special
so that they realize okay they really
these disney people really do
care about me and the other thing i love
about stories like that one
is that cast member didn’t have to call
anybody
to get permission to do that you know to
to say hey
go right to the front of the line i’m
going to call ahead and you know
they’ll put you right right onto the
attraction didn’t have to call to get
approval
they’re able they’re empowered to do
that kind of thing
i can’t help but think a business owner
out there is listening and thinking that
sounds great
but at what point does an empowered
employee go too
far and that creates an issue yeah
that’s an excellent point and
and my perspective on that is i would
rather have them go
too far and have to kind of coach on
what a more appropriate response would
have been
than have a very disappointed customer
who’s not going to do business with you
in the future so that’s
that’s a conversation that i would love
to have
with a with an employee to say i really
appreciate how you handled that
probably not the best business decision
you know
to correct it than have somebody that
you know just kind of blows the customer
off and
doesn’t really care so yes those things
will
happen and that’s where our role as
leader you know as a leader really comes
into play
is you know we need to be in constant
training mode
and i think the best leaders are they’re
in constant training mode about
how to handle things you handled that
wonderfully you know whatever it may be
you know one of the questions i used to
get asked all the time when i was
working there i still get these
questions people say how long is the
training at disney
and the answer to that is from the
moment you express
interest in a job there to the moment
you leave everything in between is
training
because you’re constantly being
reinforced about what the
the guest experience is supposed to be
and again i think that applies to a
leader
in any industry and you probably also
got
questions like what time is the three
o’clock parade at
yeah yeah yeah but what time is the
three o’clock parade is a classic
question
and you know the guests ask wacky
questions one of my favorites and you
probably remember this from the
presentation
you know i would be standing there in my
captain nemo costume
you know my sailor suit my sailor cap
and guests would come up
you know and they’d ask do you work here
thinking i’m a grown man look what i’m
wearing
and uh but the point that
was always reinforced with us is that
you may have heard these questions you
guys may ask these wacky questions
but like the what time is the three
o’clock parade question
what they told that you know what they
trained us on is what they’re really
asking is what time does the parade get
here
at this particular spot now that’s a
very legitimate question
they asked in a funny way but it’s a
very legitimate question
if they ask me in the captain nemo
costume do you work here
you know what they were really asking is
can you help me you know that again they
asked it in a funny way but can you
the real question was can you help me so
the job
i think of an employee in an
organization
is to look at what’s the guest or the
customer really
asking i’m sure the technicians you know
of the people that are that are
listening to this podcast
i’m sure the technicians could have a
list of questions
that okay that’s not really what the
customer was asking they really were
asking
this and so the idea is to save the
person’s dignity
i remember from your presentation you
always encouraged us
to look through the lens of the customer
and that’s that’s what you’re saying
there
that’s exactly what i’m saying is you’ve
got to look at it through the lens of
that
that that question that we’ve been asked
a thousand times
the customer made they’re asking it for
the first time jargon that we’re very
comfortable with you know every industry
has its own jargon
the customer that you’re interacting
with they may be totally uncomfortable
with that jargon they may have
absolutely no idea what you’re talking
about
uh so what that what that creates
is the need for us in whatever role we
play
to be present and not be robotic
in the way we every customer every guest
is different
and if you’re present in understanding
the nuances the body language the tone
of voice
it makes you tailor how you respond to
that customer
in a way that’s appropriate for the
situation now secretly we can have a
laugh
afterwards you know at you know what
time is the three o’clock parade
questions
but with the guest you know the customer
maintaining their dignity is critical
something else i remember you saying and
my office manager says this all the time
because it’s in the disney training
backstage
versus on stage and that’s drummed into
you from the day you joined the
organization there is
you know using disney you know there’s
that on stage
magic and and everything needs to
build on that and reinforce that then
there’s a backstage there’s a physical
backstage
where that’s where the deliveries happen
and you know the cast member
wardrobe areas and the cafeterias and so
forth that’s all backstage out of sight
of the guest because that would take
away from
from the magic so there’s the physical
backstage but there’s also the
attitudinal backstage
where as cast members you wouldn’t
complain
you would never eat drink or smoke on
stage
you wouldn’t have inappropriate
conversations with a fellow cast member
that all happens backstage
the example that i used in the
presentation you saw and i think it’s a
powerful example
is you know imagine you’re in the park
and you see
cinderella on a smoke break you know
she’s in the park and she’s lighting up
a cigarette
you know and your child probably you
know probably years of being involved
you know but it all it all collapses so
there’s
there’s the physical onstage and
backstage but there’s also the
attitudinal
part of it too that as a cast member
once you’re on stage
the show is on so you think about in a
water treatment situation and you look
at a water treater on a on a
customer’s site you’ve got to be
thinking about okay i’m in my
customers location what does on stage
and backstage
look like and sound like you’re your
company vehicle
you know in many cases for for a company
more people see your
company vehicle than any other type of
marketing that you do
so is what customers see in your vehicle
as it pulls up to the job site
is it reinforcing the brand the way you
want it to be reinforced
and that all goes back to that on stage
backstage mentality
as a manager how do you train that you
have to be relentless about it you have
to build it into everything so
you know the training really starts with
the hiring process
so as you as you’re interviewing people
the the thing that disney does and i
always recommend to companies is
at each step of the interview process
make sure you’re
modeling the values of the organization
what you say
makes you special the aspects of the
brand
those things are your competitive
advantage so the hiring process really
starts the training process
then the new hire onboarding you know
talking through
why we do what we do the way we do it
this is what creates intense
guests or customer loyalty so when i
joined disney
and i remember this very well now keep
in mind this was 1979.
i remember very very well the aspects of
here’s the legacy of the company here
are the expectations in terms of a cast
member it’s not about doing
tasks it’s about creating an experience
you know that was all built into new
hire orientation
using a lot of stories and examples
then when i went for my on-the-job
trainer so you’ve got a water treater
that’s out on a job site with a trainer
you know that’s just been recently hired
you know is that
person that’s doing the training
modeling
those service values that you said were
important in new higher orientation
and then going forward you know as
managers are we
coaching people are we reinforcing these
messages is it built into our
performance appraisal process
so you take what is
important to you as an organization that
that is going to differentiate you in
the marketplace
and you build it into every process that
impacts your employees so
you know some people thought well that
sounds an awful lot like brainwashing
and i said well to me it sounds an awful
lot like good business
you know to and a little bit of
brainwashing doesn’t hurt
to make sure that people understand this
is what’s expected
i’ll tell you i’m a big believer in
non-negotiables you know i know you’re
the the folks on this podcast and their
companies they have
safety non-negotiables right absolutely
so why shouldn’t we have service
non-negotiables
you know because those are the things
that are going to create
or destroy customer loyalty so i’m a big
believer in non-negotiables
another item that you mentioned are
creating
moments of wow for the customer and it’s
the little things you know
when i first started my speaking and
training business i i was guilty of this
myself
that we get enamored with these huge
grandiose
uh wow examples you know where you
really just did something just was
outstanding and and you know legends are
made of those and we should
look for opportunities to do those
things
but what i’ve really come to realize
over time
is it’s those little moments of wow that
make the difference you know in your
world
industrial customer has an issue a
technician goes and takes care of it
and then that that customer gets a call
the next day from someone on the team
just checking in to make sure everything
was
it was working fine any other issues
sending an article that’s pertinent
giving some advice on how to reduce
downtime you know all of those are just
little things but you put enough of them
together and they add up you know little
wows that up
so for us you know for me you know
asking if
if i saw a guest getting ready to take a
photograph of their family
hey can i take the photo for you you
know so that you can be in the pace so
the whole family can be in the picture
you know seeing a child with the mickey
mouse ears with their names stitched on
the back of the mickey mouse ears and
and calling the child by name saying hey
peter how are you and yeah that would
just freak the kid out you know
how did i know who i was but the parents
think you’re wonderful
uh big thing right now i’ve got a i’ve
got a six-year-old granddaughter
that we go out to disney and and uh she
always dresses up in one of the disney
princess costumes
and the uh the cast members always call
her by her princess name whatever
costume she’s wearing they call her by
that
that name none of those cost anything
none of those are big deals none of them
take really any more
time or not much time anyway
but those are the things that create the
little moments of wow
and so what i would suggest to to your
listeners
is collect those stories you know sit
down with your team
and saying what are some things that you
do that just make customers
feel you know that moment of of wow and
you start perpetuating these
these stories and what’s great is when
somebody shares a story of how they
wowed a customer
everybody else that’s listening to that
story is thinking oh yeah i could do
that that’s a good idea i could do that
or hey i’ve got a story and that’s how
you start
building that culture of creating
moments of wow
one of my favorite reasons to either
cruise with disney or go to one of the
parks
my wife and i love finding hidden
mickeys
and from your presentation i learned i
wasn’t looking in
all the places and it’s just opened up a
whole new world for us to look for
hidden mickeys and
we’re always looking in the architecture
and you
shared that uh at the tower of terror
when you’re in the boiler room uh that
there’s uh there’s some rope that’s
coiled up as a hidden mickey and ever
since you said that we found
so many little things that you know
somebody did for free
that just changed the experience of us
waiting in line
and that’s the point is nobody likes to
wait in line
right so let’s do something about it now
you’re going to wait in line you know
but over the years they’ve done a number
of things to
to minimize as much as possible the wait
times
but one of the things that they’ve done
is let’s give people something to do
while they’re waiting in line and you
know
putting entertainment in there doing
pre-shows but one of the things that
they came up with
was these hidden mickeys where yes it is
built into the
architecture as well but it’s also just
those little things like the rope coil
that you talked about and so people are
looking for things
there are non-disney websites dedicated
to tracking hitting
hidden mickeys and so while people are
waiting in line they’re they’re
they’re looking for these hidden mickeys
and some people get pretty creative
about what they think is a hidden mickey
and i think and
it probably isn’t but you know thanks
for thanks for trying
but the whole idea was going back to
let’s take a negative aspect of the
experience
and put a positive spin on it well i
tell you they have an
art of waiting in line and i know
there’s a secret
handshake when you ride the new ride of
resistance so we can’t talk about that
but
but pretty much the entire ride is you
waiting for the next
thing to come up i mean that is just
fantastic
how they how they interweaved the
waiting in line
with the actual ride so one of the
things that i would recommend to your
listeners
is to look at the processes of dealing
with your company
and look at what what are the potential
points of pain
because every in in any industry there
are points of pain
in the processes and it doesn’t matter
what industry it is
there are potential pain points and one
of the wonderful ways to differentiate
yourself
is to look at those potential pain
points and say what can we do
to at least alleviate some of that pain
maybe not
maybe maybe we can’t eliminate it but to
at least alleviate
that pain point you know you think about
a doctor’s office and you’re sitting and
you’re waiting in the doctor’s office
your appointment was at one o’clock and
now it’s 1
15 now it’s 1 30 and you’re just sitting
there waiting wonder what’s going on you
know when are they going to see me
and all it takes is just one of the
receptionists or one of the nurses to
periodically just come out
we’re running a little bit behind it’s
probably going to be about 10 more
minutes just wanted to let you
know if you need to reschedule let us
know see now they’re taking
that pain point they’ve acknowledged
it’s a pain point and they’re doing
something about it
so dennis again using your words we’re
always trying to look through the
customer’s
lens how do we get buy-in for everybody
to create that experience
well again we have to be relentless
about it and train people on it and what
happens is if you are relentless
about it as leaders and people
understand this is non-negotiable that’s
where the buy-in really begins
where it turns it goes from a flavor of
the month
customer service improvement program to
know this is the way we do things
the best example that i can think of
from from my days and i think again it
applies in your world
there’s a concept that we call
everything speaks
that every detail either enhances your
brand or it detracts from the brand
and you want every member of the team to
be thinking are the details saying what
they’re supposed to say
just from their appearance as they’re on
a on a site
but the best example of that from my
from my days
was picking up trash off the ground the
number one
compliment that disney gets is how clean
the place is
you know you build these hundred million
dollar
rides the number one compliment that
they get
is how clean the place is uh which i
guess from a design perspective could be
frustrating but
but that’s it and the reason for
that is certainly they have a custodial
crew you know there’s a custodial team
but every single cast member from
captain nemo to the vice president of
marketing one of the key parts of our
job
would be if we saw a piece of trash on
the on the ground it was your job to go
over and pick it up and throw it away
it was non-negotiable because we knew
that the cleanliness of the park is the
number one compliment
and so you just start
doing it because because it’s so
ingrained in the culture because it’s
reinforced
over and over and you see your your
your manager doing it you can’t help
yourself and it gets weird because you
start doing it in other places
yeah you’re in a mall and you see a
piece of trash on the ground you go over
and pick it up and throw it away
one of my one of my favorite photographs
one of my all-time favorite
disney photographs is a photo of walt
disney
at in disneyland it was probably taken
around night the late 1950s
and it was a photo taken of him
unbeknownst to him
and he was picking up trash off the
ground and putting it into a trash can
and i thought okay that is i mean does
training get any better than that
you know does it get better than that
and so you
that’s the way you get the buy-in to
things like
everything speaks and paying attention
to detail
is it has to weave into everything that
touches the
the employee where they see okay
this is part of the culture it’s not a
program it’s the culture of the
organization
dennis any other advice you have for us
for communicating the right message
throughout the company yeah i i would
say from
again a leadership perspective there
there’s two things that i would uh
like to stress here that uh that i think
are important for
any leader is number one in terms of
communication
you know well i i would say that’s three
things be relentless i’ve already talked
about being relentless
but number two never let the coaching
moment go
you know when something happens uh you
know there’s a problem with a guest
interaction
you know one of your employees didn’t do
something the way they were supposed to
do it you know and the guest was up
there the customer was up upset about it
never let the coaching moment go
coaching is real time
training so you know one of the best
things that we can do and when you look
at coaching
you know it’s it’s not about scolding
somebody
it’s about teaching somebody and so
reinforcing what we’re
trying to create as an organization what
happened in this situation
and how that was a disconnect from what
we’re trying to create in the
organization what needs to change
you know going forward so what’s the
learning from this
and a check-in you know let’s say well
let’s get back together in a couple of
weeks and just see how things are going
and that tells people it wasn’t just a
chat but
the main point i would say with this one
is never let the coaching moment go
and then the third element that i think
is is
very important in terms of communication
is never let the recognition moment go
when you hear about something that
somebody did you get a call from a
customer
complimenting one of your employees you
get a letter
another team member shares an example of
something that somebody did
taking the moment to say that’s who we
are
you know i appreciate how you handled
that difficult situation or whatever it
may
be that’s worth its weight in gold trust
me they go home and tell their families
about that
i think we underestimate the impact that
appreciation
has on an employee’s morale
that you know they literally do they
will tell their families about
you know hey i got caught you know my
boss heard about this and said this and
boy did that feel good so you know be
relentless and reinforcing the message
never let the coaching moment go and
never let the recognition moment go
as you teach these systems to other
companies i’m sure you have
a whole host of stories that you can
share with us
i’m curious what’s one of your most
extraordinary stories with working with
companies
there’s a lot there are a lot of things
that i’m always amazed at when i go into
companies but there
there’s one that i i kind of use as my
my role model it’s a bank called first
financial bank shares and they will not
mind me mentioning their name they’re
based in abilene texas
first financial bank shares they asked
me
back in 2005 to come in
and help them to work on their
service culture they used my book
lessons from the mouse
at first and then they asked me to come
in and
do some consulting work with them and
help help them
set up a strategy and we put together a
pretty extensive it’s a fairly big bank
and with many many branches and many
employees
and their level of commitment from the
top of the organization
throughout was unbelievable so this was
15 years ago
and the systems that we put in place
they are still using i stay in touch
with them
and they’re still using and they’re
they’re they’re new hire orientation
their ongoing training their performance
appraisals their hiring process
while the elements have evolved over the
last 15 years
their commitment to the strategy has
stayed in place
and they’re constantly rated one of the
top banks in the country one of the top
community banks in the country
every single year they usually flip
between one and two
and it all goes back to the level of
commitment has just been
amazing so when i see that in an
organization that’s when i know this is
going to work
working with all of these companies have
you noticed something that they all have
in common
absolutely it’s the commitment from the
top of the organization
that’s that’s the make or break is
when the senior team in particular the
senior leader when she or he
is totally bought in that’s when you
know it’s going to work
and when they’re when you meet with them
and they’re not totally bought in
that’s when the strong probability this
is going to be a
flavor of the month and when it gets
hard which it will they’re probably
going to abandon it
so the commonality that i see
companies that really do institute a
a strong sustainable service culture
it’s when the top person is really
bought in
and uh funny can i share a funny story
absolutely i did some work with an
organization one time and
they invited me to do this kickoff to
the service initiative that they were
beginning and i was trying to get a hold
of the ceo for weeks in advance
to have a conversation with him about
about this and
get his a perspective on everything and
uh
so i was gonna he was going to kick it
off and then turn it over to me
never returned my calls never returned
my emails so i met him on the day of the
kickoff
we had you know six or seven hundred
people in the audience and he walks in
at the last moment
and i said hi tom i knew his name was
tom
i said how are you doing and he said
well
i’d be doing a whole lot better if i
didn’t have to waste my time on things
like this
and i just thought let’s just cancel
this because
and i didn’t say that because they were
paying me a lot of money but i i thought
just let’s just cancel this because this
is not going to
into going to work and he got up and
gave one of the most
uninspiring talks that i’ve ever
heard and it was just one of those
things that i thought all right
this is a flavor of the month program
now how do you keep your motivation to
keep going
i hope that i can touch at least some of
the people in the audience
in a situation like that where
regardless of
that lack of commitment from the top
that there are some people in that group
that are going to take it and run with
it in their own sphere of influence
because we all have our own sphere of
influence
whether you’re in a management position
or if you’re an individual contributor
there’s all there are always things we
can do
so in that kind of circumstance that’s
what i’m going for
is there i know that there are some
people in this group
who are going to buy into what i’m
talking about and they’re going to do
something about it
well let’s explore that a little bit
because i’m pretty sure there’s some
technicians listening to this podcast
out there and they’re thinking
that the things that they’re hearing on
this show just sound
great but they’re wondering how they’re
going to go to
their boss and sell what we’re talking
about what advice do you have for them
well i would say you know buy my book
send it to the no i’m kidding
uh i would say that first of all look at
your sphere of influence
you know what are the things that i can
do myself
to put these things into place because
sometimes that’s where it begins it can
begin with some of those
just day-to-day actions that an
individual starts
but then to start sharing ideas you know
if they have their monday morning
huddles
or you know those types of team meetings
to say hey you know i listened to this
podcast and
you know there were some pretty good
ideas in it you know here are some of
the things that i heard what do you all
think about this
and you know just it’s sort of a
grassroots
building of it but at the same time i
would also
say you know there may be those
circumstances where
it’s just going to impact that one
person and if that one person
enjoys their job and feels the
satisfaction of delivering excellent
service there’s some real value to that
you know there’s some real value to that
but in terms of moving it up the
organization i think it’s a matter of
just communicating and providing
resources
you know the a copy of this podcast you
know those kinds of things to
to start whittling away at some of the
resistance that that may be there
always know and i’m speaking to the
technician right now who may be having
that thought about you know
you know what can i do there are always
things that we can do as individuals
just in our interactions with our own
customers
i think that’s great advice now you
mentioned your book uh do you mind
telling us a little bit about
your book yeah one of my books is called
lessons from the mouse
and you know obviously it’s you know
based on my
my career with disney world and what i
did was i
i took 10 key lessons like never let
backstage come
on stage what time is the three o’clock
parade is not a stupid question
little wows add up and i i came up with
these
these 10 concepts that i thought these
were at the heart
of what made it work
and so i wrote lessons from the mouse
with the idea of
here’s a key customer experience
principle
here’s what it meant for my days at
disney and that’s where a lot of the
humor and the fun
comes into it here’s how i’ve seen it
apply in other organizations
and then at the end of each chapter is a
series of questions to actually apply it
to your own role
so as an individual you could apply it
to your own role
some companies use it as a
as the questions as meeting thought
starters
you know never let backstage come on
stage
well what’s backstage and on stage in
our organization
what are the things that could detract
from the brand and our organization and
it provides them some
discussion points that managers and
people can you know some people have
used it in company book clubs and so
forth
but the idea is to take these 10 core
customer experience principles and how
do we apply them in our world
it was a really fun book to write too
because it you know thinking back
it made me think back to some of my
early days working there and in the
stories and that really touched my heart
you know through that
20-year career and you were telling me
before we started recording that
you had the intention that if somebody
got on an
airplane that they could finish it
before that plane landed
yeah that was the way i wrote it i
wanted to be a fairly quick read so each
chapter is not a long
chapter and yeah that’s exactly what i
did is i wanted it to
in terms of length if somebody got on a
plane and was
you know flying across the country they
could they could finish the book so it’s
not a big
you know it’s not a new york phone book
uh
book it’s it’s pretty quick read see i
think you sold a couple copies just with
that
[Laughter]
that’s what i like to read too well i’ll
make sure to have a link
for that book on the show notes page
uh i’ve got some lightning round
questions but before we get there i’ve
got
one last question uh in this section
and if someone just tuned in right now
what’s the bottom line what’s the one
thing you want the scaling up nation to
get from our interview yeah
it’s the difference between a task
mentality and an experienced mentality
if people could just keep that in mind
you know every job has
tasks that need to be completed and
we’ve got to do those and we’ve got to
be good at those
but an experienced mentality takes it to
a different level
of that now we’re talking about the
relationship that we’re building with
the customer
because when we do what we do just with
a task mentality
our customers feel processed and it’s
really difficult to feel that
loyalty factor when you feel like you
know they’ve just kind of processed me
through a system
where if we do what we do with an
experienced mentality
our customers feel valued and valued
customers
stay loyal to you so i mean that’s a
discussion that you could have with a
team that’s a discussion that’s a
thought process you could just pull out
a piece of paper and say okay i’m doing
my job what’s
what’s the difference between a task
approach and an experience approach
but that’s the difference that that’s
what differentiates a person
and an organization is when they see
like that themselves as
i’m part of the experience of working
with our organization
well dennis this has been very
enlightening i know
that you’ve inspired many people to not
just go out there and do the task
but to create an experience
and i’m really curious to how people
take this message
and run with it if i get any feedback i
will definitely
share it with you but before i let you
go i do
have the famous lightning round to take
you through okay
all right all right so you have the
ability to go back in time and speak to
your former self on your first day
as a trainer as a consultant what advice
would you give yourself
i would say make sure you have a story
that represents the concept that you’re
trying to communicate
because the concepts you know are
usually
data driven and they are important
but stories are what bring the things to
life
so if somebody let’s say a technician
is making a recommendation to a customer
on a particular product or how to
keep a problem from happening in the
future whatever it may be
yes to provide the technical information
but what’s the story behind that you
know i had a customer
you know not too long ago that had this
issue so this is what they did
and i tell you it increased the life of
that product by xyz
you know if you’re a a leader and you’re
you know you’re talking to your
employees
and you’re saying okay this is a a
process we’re putting in place this is a
policy we’re putting in place
but having a story that gives life to
that on why this is important
so if i had to go back in time and and
do things you know do something
different at the very beginning i
wouldn’t focus
just on the concepts and the data i
would make sure i had a compelling
story for everything that i was
communicating so i’m curious now
same question but now you’re going back
to your first day at disney what advice
would you give yourself
oh that’s a really good question my
first day at
disney what advice i would say volunteer
for
everything that nobody else wants to do
because that’s where the fun comes into
play
is getting to do different things and
getting to be known as the go-to
person i had a guy that i worked with
who
when i first started working there who
was his name was tony and he was
just like that he volunteered forever i
don’t know if he ever actually did his
real job he was always doing these cool
other things
you know he was and so i would if i were
to go back in time i would say
dennis volunteer you know if they say we
need somebody to do this
i’m your guy we need somebody to do this
let me add it
that’s probably what i would have done
earlier on in my career
i love that advice i’m reminded by a
story a good friend of mine is a
chick-fil-a
operator and he was telling me that
one of the least favored jobs is to put
on the cow costume
and go out because it’s hot it’s hot
nobody wants to do it
well somebody volunteered to do it
reluctantly
and there was a young girl i think she
was battling cancer
and we know just interacting with the
cow just made her day
she was smiling made her happy and that
just
you know made the person wearing that
cow costume
you know so appreciative that that she
said yes i will put that cow costume on
and because of that story
now they’ve got to fight people to put
that costume on
yeah that’s great that’s great yeah and
you know
and and you know managers you know
leaders they
love people who are willing to step up
and
say i’ll do that that’s how you get
noticed yeah
absolutely what are the last few books
that you’ve read dennis
there’s a actually the one the the most
recent one kind of connects with what i
was just talking about in terms of
stories there’s a
there’s a wonderful book i don’t know
how long it’s been out but it’s called
story 10x
meaning that stories can increase the
power of what you’re
sharing 10 times by michael margolis
very good book and and really it’s not
just it’s not a storytelling book
it’s about you know how do you share the
story of your brand
how do you share the story of your
leadership style how do you share the
story
of this this project that you’re trying
to implement
and it’s a it’s a wonderful wonderful
book
and it what it really does is it brings
the
uh the emotion back into you know too
many times i think we’re trying we take
emotion
out of business and i think one of the
secrets is to put emotion back
into business so that was an excellent
book another wonderful book
um called it’s called the infinite game
have you heard of that one by simon
sinek i have heard of that one
very very good and and what he talks
about that is that the
world-class organizations they don’t
look at
you know just the short term metrics
they look at what are we trying to
accomplish as an organization what’s
going to outlive
me as a manager as a ceo you know where
are we trying to go
versus the concept of what’s the number
we gotta hit this month
and not saying that the number isn’t
important that we have to hit this month
but what’s going to ensure that we
continue
success in the right is the bigger
picture
you know we’ve got to look at it as the
infinite game
not just the monthly score wonderful
book
and then another one that i that i read
because i saw the play
uh is hamilton by uh
ron chernow it’s a big book it’s it’s
a long book uh you’re not reading this
one on
you’re not the first person to to
mention that several guests have have
read that because of
the play it is very very good and i’ve
learned a lot about i did i have to
i have to admit i didn’t know that much
about alexander hamilton
and very impressive book very impressive
uh
story and i’m probably
close to three quarters the way through
it now so by january
i should be done because it’s a long
book but very very good the last guest
that brought up hamilton
i shared with uh i work with some middle
school kids at my church
and at the camp we were just doing silly
stuff
and and somebody got on piano and i sang
the king george part
and and i’ve had so many requests from
people in the scaling up nation they
want me to do that
on the air and folks i’m not going to do
that because you’ll stop listening to
the show
oh you should do it i mean that is such
a great that’s such a great
song and i mean that that part in the
play
just i think makes the play i i totally
agree with you
so what well speaking about plays and
movies when they make a play or movie
about you
who plays you yeah of course i would
love to say
you know tom cruise you know and some of
your younger
listeners may not recognize well they
may recognize the name but
they may not really know who it is but
jimmy stewart
i love jimmy stewart and the reason i
would love him to
you know if he was still alive the
reason i would have loved to have him
play me
is most of his parts here’s a nice guy
trying to do the right thing and i just
love just his cadence you know his
his attitude how he treated people
uh you know here’s a nice you know i
would you know
he’s long gone but if we could bring him
back
uh he would be the one that i would say
i would love him to play me in a movie
well i think you could do voice over
work for norm mcdonald has anybody told
you that
yeah i’ve heard that many times that’s
funny that you say that
so my last question for you now have the
power to speak with anybody throughout
history who would it be with
and why well and it’s going to sound
like an obvious answer but walt disney
a lot of people will say did you ever
work with walt and i always say how old
do you think i
am i was seven years old when walt
disney died
but i literally owe my career to walt
disney
and you know i’ve got all the books and
i i talked to many people who did work
with walt and there’s nothing
that i enjoy more than sitting down and
hearing them share
their walt stories but to be able to sit
down with walt disney
and just say you know just ask how did
you do it
how did you what was going on in your
mind when
you know you were in year three of
creating snow white and the seven
dwarves and you were running out of
money
what was going on in your mind you know
that day that
disneyland opened and things were going
one thing after another was going wrong
what was going on in your mind you know
how did you keep the energy of the team
you know how did you perpetuate all of
this just to have an
hour of sitting down with walt disney
with man that would be an
hour that would be a highlight of my
life
well i appreciate you sharing some of
those stories with us here today
this was a lot of fun i know that you
have helped a lot of people
you’ve inspired people to not just do
tasks but create experiences for their
customers
and folks i got to say if if you’re
creating experiences for your customers
they’re probably not going to care so
much when they get that few dollar price
increase
because they know the value that you’re
bringing so thank you so much for
helping us out with that it has been my
absolute pleasure doing this
and you are a wonderful interviewer you
made this very easy so i appreciate that
well this was a lot of fun so thanks for
coming on the show and uh
uh i’ll buy the book we’ll have it on
the show notes page i think everybody
it’s a short read
so you can uh you can say that you’ve
read it without
you know reading something like hamilton
and you’re gonna get a lot from it
dennis thanks again for coming on the
scaling up h2o
podcast i know i learned a lot
i learned something every time i go to
disney
i want to thank you for writing your
book there’s so
many little nuggets of tips
in that book that you can very
easily read as dennis mentioned on an
airplane ride and if you’re not going
anywhere on an airplane it’s not going
to take you very
long to read it and it will give you
some very simple things that you can
start working on
in your companies to enhance the
experience
for the end user i did this with my team
we really enjoyed
comparing and contrasting how we did
things to how disney does things
so folks if you go to my show notes page
you can link directly
to an amazon affiliate link for dennis’s
book and dennis again i want to thank
you for helping
elevate the customer service bar in
the water treatment industry
nation something we’re trying to do with
james mcdonald is help
us raise the bar in the water treatment
industry
and each and every week this year james
is going to
challenge us with james’s challenge
so here once again is another
installment
of james’s challenge
scaling up nation james mcdonald here
for your next challenge
james’s challenge as a reminder during
2021
each week on scaling up h2o you will
hear my challenge of the week
there will be a variety of challenges
from large to small but the goal is that
by the end of the year
you will become a better industrial
water treatment professional drop by
drop
james’s challenge of the week is
[Music]
clean organize and update your water
testing kit and equipment
you don’t want it to look unused but you
do want it to look respected
and professional once tools are a
reflection upon them
a dirty test kit with broken parts
illegible labels and outdated components
does not typically instill the greatest
of confidence
in those that see it show that you care
about your profession
by caring about your testing tools
please consider sharing your experience
on linkedin
tagging it with hashtag jc21 and hashtag
scalinguph2o
i look forward to hearing about your
experiences
nation i hope you are enjoying these
challenges i hope they are making you
grow
and i really hope that you are sharing
your experiences
with social media so we can all enjoy
them together folks one of the things
that i want to make sure that you do
each and every week is do a little
something
that pushes you to become better at
whatever it is that you deem
you need to become better with i know a
lot of times we will see
somebody have success in a certain area
and we’ll just think
oh my gosh i can never get to that level
well i want you to know that that
thought is false and you can rise to
whichever
level you desire if you put in
the legwork but i want you to realize
that you’ve seen
the results of the person that you’re
looking at
and all the leg work that they put in so
you’re not going to achieve that
overnight
but you can achieve that one day at a
time
one task at a time and when you start
looking at it like that and you start
figuring out what are the tasks that you
need to do
to achieve what you want to become
then it becomes bite-sized and you are
able to
accomplish it so i hope you’re thinking
about those things
i hope you are talking to somebody else
about those things so now they can help
hold you
accountable there’s just something magic
that happens when you tell
your dreams and aspirations and what the
goals that you have
to meet those dreams and aspirations
that it just brings them to life and now
it’s out of your head
it’s in the public view and others are
going to help hold you responsible that
you’re going to get
those things done that probably scares
a lot of people but i tell you that is
the magic sauce
of getting things accomplished i hope
you are going to try some of the things
that dennis
mentioned today i know when you elevate
the bar of customer service and people
feel that they are appreciated that they
are getting from you
something that they can’t get from
anybody else
that’s going to be a customer that
you’re going to have for a very
long time and folks i also
hope that you join us next week on a
brand new episode
of scaling up h2o