NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 8

ceo insights

Executive Interview:

Customer Services and Leadership
that supported the number one
vacation destination in the world.
One of Lee's major and lasting
legacies was the creation of Disney
Great Leader Strategies that was
used to train and develop the 7000
leaders at Walt Disney World.




n keeping with the excitement
for #NAILBA37, (October 31 to
November 2, 2018, Orlando,
Florida), I thought it may be interesting to embrace some Walt Disney
World® Magic for this column.
Disney theme parks are filled
with magic. You can see it in the
faces of every kid and kid at heart.
But the secret to making Disney
magic is not as mysterious as you
might think.
If your business relies on a product as a competitive advantage, it
is only a matter of time before you
begin to lose customers. Other businesses can match your product, but
your service will set you apart.
Excellent customer service can
be the best competitive advantage.
My column this issue is an interview with Mr. Lee Cockerell. Lee is
the former Executive Vice President
of Operations for the Walt Disney
World® Resort. As the Senior Operating Executive for ten years, Lee
led a team of 40,000 Cast Members
and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme
parks, 2 water parks, a shopping and
entertainment village and the ESPN
sports and recreation complex in
addition to the ancillary operations
8 perspectives SPRING 2018

Dan LaBert: These days, small
businesses are finding themselves
under the same pressure to provide world-class customer service
no different than hotel and resort
operations, retail stores and various financial institutions. Given
your long reputation for inspiring
great customer service, what basic
customer rules should an insurance brokerage firm implement to
be successful?
Lee Cockerell: Hire the right staff
and train them in the art of customer service. Clients expect a high level of customer service when they
are making a personal investment of
time and money.
DL: While customer service takes
many forms, the validity of implementing integrated customer service techniques and technologies
is well proven, especially at Walt
Disney World. Could you offer
our readers an example of a time
when superior customer service
overruled superior profit?
LC: At Disney, every decision we
make is focused on how this will
affect our guests. We use the
Three-Legged Stool model for making decisions.
We always think through the
impact on the guest, the cast
(employees) and the financial
results and then we make the
best decision we can. The key is
to always include these three in
your evaluation before you make

The Four Customer/
Client Expectations are:
1. Make Me Feel Special
2. Treat me as an individual
3. Respect me
4. Be Knowledgeable and have
Knowledgeable Employees.
Make Me Feel Special: By listening intently to my situation. Get back to me promptly
when I call or email you.
Explain things to me in a
way that I can understand.
Be reliable and do what you
say you are going to do. Keep
your promises.
Treat Me as an Individual: Focus
on my problem and help me
solve it based on my unique situation. Work hard to understand
me emotionally.
Respect Me: Respect me no
matter what my race, religion,
color, creed, level of education, disability, language fluency, gender, sexual orientation, marital status or wealth.
Make sure you and all your
employees are knowledgeable to
a high level from the receptionist
to management: Offer me alternatives and be able to explain
details in a way I can understand
them. Give me your best advice
on what you recommend.

any decision. A small example is
to go with a voice tree automatic phone system to save money
or have a live person answer the
phone. We would go with the live
person because the public is sick
and tired of phone trees.

DL: How do you know if your
organization provides great customer service?
LC: At Disney World, we interview
over two million guests a year in
various ways including internet,
face to face at the check in and
check out, the entrance and exit to
the parks and even when they are
getting on or off a ride or buying
an ice cream cone. We always know
how we are doing and we correct
shortcomings very quickly. We continually (daily) remind every single
employee that they own the customer experience even if they are in
landscaping, cleaning bathrooms or
in face to face positions that serve
the customer directly. Role modeling by leaders is vital.
DL: What role does employee
engagement play for businesses
designed to achieve the highest level of customer service?
LC: I would say that employee
engagement is vital if an organization wants to be rated as excellent.
Engagement is just a word, but real
engagement is showing an interest
in your customers and paying close
attention to them, showing respect
to them, getting to know them better each time you have an interaction with them and going out of
your way to give them above and
beyond excellent service. Having
highly engaged employees at every
level gives an organization a big
competitive advantage. Your customers/clients will not be committed to you unless they are certain
you are committed to them.
DL: In your book "The Customer
Rules; 39 essential roles for delivering sensational service," you
say that customer service is not a


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018

NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018
Chairman's Corner
CEO Insights
Succession Planning: Why You Need to Plan Now and How to Start Even if You'd Rather Not
NAILBA Charitable Foundation
Mooers Award Nomination Materials
Member Profile
Legislative Update
Life Happens
Agency Successor Networking Group
Calendar of Events
Brokerage in Motion
Index of Advertisers
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Cover2
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 3
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 4
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 5
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 6
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Contents
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - CEO Insights
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 9
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Succession Planning: Why You Need to Plan Now and How to Start Even if You'd Rather Not
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 11
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 12
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 13
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 14
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 15
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - NAILBA Charitable Foundation
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 17
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Mooers Award Nomination Materials
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 19
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Member Profile
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 21
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Legislative Update
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Life Happens
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 24
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Agency Successor Networking Group
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Index of Advertisers
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 27
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Cover4