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Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service Paperback – June 2, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 144 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Disney Institute is the professional development and external training arm of The Walt Disney Company. The company showcases "the business behind the magic" through seminars, workshops, and presentations.

Theodore Kinni has written, ghostwritten, or edited numerous books, including No Substitute for Victory, Achieve Sales Excellence, and Ayn Rand and Business. His articles and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of business periodicals.

Barry Abrams has narrated and produced audiobooks for a variety of publishers. Since 2012, he has also hosted and produced ESPN's In the Gate podcast. Based in Danbury, Connecticut, Barry engineers and calls live webcasts of his son's ice hockey games. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786853948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786853946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

THEODORE KINNI is a business writer and editor. He has written, ghostwritten, or edited 20 business books on topics including: sales, marketing, customer experience, customer service and retention, personal accountability, leadership, human capital, and manufacturing. His books, including those written for clients such as The Walt Disney Company, Booz & Company, Prime Resource Group, LIF Group, and IMPAQ, Inc., have sold over 300,000 copies.

Ted ghostwrites and edits white papers and articles for the client-facing teams of global consulting firms, such as IBM and Booz & Company. His corporate work covers a broad range of thought leadership on topics such as healthcare reform, sustainability, and marketing, and on industries such as oil and gas, airlines, retail, etc.

Ted is a senior editor for strategy+business magazine, writing and editing articles, interviews, book reviews, and special sections, such as the award-winning annual Best Business Books section. He has been a contributing editor for IndustryWeek, Quality Digest, and Workforce Training News. His articles and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of business periodicals, including Harvard Management Update, The Conference Board Review, Training, and Selling Power.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former cast member of Walt Disney World, and one who has read widely on Walt Disney and his creative genius, I approached this book with high expectations. Would Theodore Kinni be able to capture the essence of the practical magic of WDW? He does! Cast members often speak of "pixie dust" falling upon them--either you have it or you don't. Those who do are happily driven by the principles referred to in this book. I spent countless hours in heat, humidity, and occasional raging thunder storms to help bring happiness to our guests. It was great fun to sneak up behind a harried father who was attempting to get his weary children to smile for the camera. A few quick mugs from me almost always brought the grins Dad was looking for. Offering helpful directions. Keeping a straight face when asked "interesing" guestions: "Is that real water?" "No, Ma'am, that's Disney water!"

A highlight of my life was walking through the Imagineering building in Burbank and witnessing first-hand the creative genius of the Disney organization. I learned to appreciate my own creativity --not to be afraid to dream and then to do!

So what of the Disney philosophy can be applied to other businesses? Easy. Whatever you do must be of the highest quality--and always with the customers' needs in mind. You "plus" it--giving more than is expected. Every contact made with your customer must be memorable. That person will walk away feeling as if he or she has just made a new friend--a friend who has made you feel valued and important. So, are you up to the challenge? If you are, your business and its culture will never be the same.
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this easy-reading book for three reasons. First, it helped me understand and appreciate how Disney continues to deliver the highest quality products and services year-in and year-out. Secondly, it clearly described many proven ways and concepts to improve my organization's customer service. Lastly, this book gave me a lot of practical lessons that can and should be adapted to fit into most management or leadership situations.

I read a couple of outstanding books by Disney-outsiders ("Built to Last" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, and "The Disney Way" by Bill Capodagli and Lynn Jackson) about how and why they were so impressed with Disney. I wanted to read a book about a Disney-insider's perspectives on what Disney does to impress everyone and exceed all expectations. This book showed me the "what" of Disney's practical magic of customer service: a full-time business of shared values, enforced standards, focused work, self-discipline, and attention to detail that is virtually transparent to all Disney guests. I got all that I wanted and more from this outstanding book.

After I finished reading this book, I read through my highlights and realized that the following paragraph from the introduction perfectly previewed the book:

"In this book, we take you behind the scenes to discover Disney best practices and philosophies in action. We provide you with an insider's glimpse of quality service principles in action both at Walt Disney World, as told from the perspectives of cast members [Disney-speak for "employees"], and in other organizations, as told by executives who have participated in Disney Institute programs. Walt Disney's fundamentals for success still ring true. You build the best product you can.
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Comment 53 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a health care administrator and I liked the book so much I bought copies for all of my department managers. Within a week after giving the books, I started seeing the patient environment change for the better. A really good investment. Causes a person to think differently about how to create a desirable environment for care.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not stop reading this book. If every CEO, manager, owner and employee of every company read it and lived by Disney's rules, they would have happier employees and more customers. Well written, concise and excellent advise for everyone who is in any kind of business.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the book for the first time last summer and implemented its customer service methods this fall and winter at the school where I work. The results were immediate and outstanding. I have just re-read the book and am more convinced than ever that the Disney methods and philosophy for creating "practical magic" as outlined in this book are the fastest, easiest way to WOWING those we serve. Through careful, thoughtful management of the "cast" (people), setting, and processes, a seamless and deeply impressive service experience will be enjoyed by our customers. Yes, the book is a big "ad" for the Disney Institute (and now I want to train there!), but it is also a simple, brief, easy to implement framework for delighting our customers. I am grateful to the Disney Institute for sharing these tried and true ideas with me!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a quick read, yet has a very detailed and adaptable structure around which to build a customer service organization. The process presented in the book works systematically to create a self-renewing customer service structure, while allowing those using it to retain the distinctiveness of their organization. In addition to historic examples of how Disney has consistently applied their own principles, the book uses examples from former clients, including details of how they adapted those principles to their businesses.

This is the perfect book for someone looking to create more than just a laundry list of policies and procedures. For fans of Disney, the book also gives terrific insights into Walt Disney's vision and the Disney way of doing things.
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