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


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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions (June 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786853948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786853946
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 28 customer reviews
Great book and interesting read for anyone.
James Davis
This is a well written, easy to read book that gives you the insight on how Disney continues to be the best at serving their guests.
L. Bankson
There are several things that makes "Be Our Guest" an excellent book for improving customer service & satisfaction.
Larry Boy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Dodd on October 15, 2002
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2002
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Dopico on November 22, 2004
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marc S Compeau on June 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As the Director of an Entrepreneurship Program at a private University, I have found this book to be a valuable teaching tool. Students at all levels of learning enjoy the book because it connects practical stories that students can understand to important aspects of customer service as well as employee management. As recent visitors with our two young children, my wife and I enjoyed the book purely from a "guest" perspective. You can really appreciate all that goes into the magic of the Disney parks by reading this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "wemowlawns" on October 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I have been to Walt Disney World 3 times in the last 4 years and it's getting tough to explain to our friends and family just why it is we spend money and valuable vacation time at the same place. In a word, it's: MAGIC. Walt Disney World is so much more than an collection of amusement parks filled with thematic attractions interspersed with gift shops and restaurants. Walt Disney World is a study in customer service excellence. It is one man's dream come true. We go as much to be inspired as we do to relax and have fun. This book was an excellent companion to our visit providing insight into just how Disney consistently delivers a quality experience.
So why is Disney flat-lining? Well, this is off the book, but if Michael and the gang are listening- in a word it is "Saturation". In Disney's effort to "be everywhere" the magic wears off. Disney stores in the mall, all over radio and TV, and in many ways becoming omnipresent, they are going to pull a "Planet Hollywood". They need to keep a healthy distance- not chasing people everywhere for fear the competition vying for their time and attention will somehow win out. Just keep doing the basics well and let the customers come and find you.
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