Does your employees’ language help maintain the magic?

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RainforestCafeWhile on vacation with my family last week in Anaheim, California, I had two encounters with frontline employees that illustrated the importance of language in fulfilling a carefully designed experience.

The first occurred at Disneyland, famous for its “Happiest Place On Earth” moniker. A cast member (Disney’s term for its employees) at the stroller rental kiosk near the park entrance advised me to “Keep your receipt separate from your stroller to obtain a replacement in case someone steals it.”

Theft? At the happiest place on earth? Really? This comment put a damper on my first impression of Disneyland. Now, I’m thinking about the security of my stroller rather than which section of the park to experience first.

Better: “Keep your receipt separate from your stroller to obtain a replacement in case someone takes it by mistake.”

Now, I know that theft happens – even at the happiest place on earth – but cast members shouldn’t broadcast it.

The second encounter occurred at the Rainforest Cafe, a restaurant concept with a tropical rainforest theme.

The restaurant’s website describes the experience as: “Part adventure, part restaurant and wholly entertaining for the whole family, the Rainforest Cafe re-creates a tropical rainforest with waterfalls, lush vegetation, and indigenous creatures.”

After being seated, our waiter approached the table and provided a brief introduction to the restaurant that concluded with: “The gorilla goes off every 15 minutes.”

(Incidentally, I learned on the Rainforest Cafe website that the gorilla’s name is Bamba.)

Better: “Bamba, the gorilla, wakes up every 15 minutes.”

Now, I realize that the gorilla is an animatronic puppet and doesn’t really wake up, but Rainforest Cafe employees should maintain the magic – especially for the young explorers.

Think about your own business. How do employees either fulfill or undermine the intended customer experience through their choice of words?

Don’t settle for ordinary. Choose extraordinary. (It’s always a choice.) Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve Curtin
Steve Curtin is the author of Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary. He wrote the book to address the following observation: While employees consistently execute mandatory job functions for which they are paid, they inconsistently demonstrate voluntary customer service behaviors for which there is little or no additional cost to their employers. After a 20-year career with Marriott International, Steve now devotes his time to speaking, consulting, and writing on the topic of extraordinary customer service.

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