In this next transcript, Clay Clark (Founder of Thrive15.com) talks with Lee Cockerell (man who managed 43,000 employees at Walt Disney World Resort) about customer service training and managing employees on Thrive15.com!
Clay: Talk to me about why you think Disney, why Disney? Why it's so important? Why you have to stress I guess investing in training, and maybe why a a small business owner, why you should invest in training?
Lee: I think one of the probably most important part of the training at Disney is total clarity when we hire you about what our expectation is. We talk about, we expect everybody to pick up trash. If you're out there, you better be picking it up.
Lee: Everybody. 72,000 people today picking up trash. It's an amazing thing. It becomes contagious. Our guests actually pick it up, too.
Lee: It's amazing. When they're at Disney, they put it in the trash can. When they're at home, they throw it on lawn or something, but, it's amazing thing. The pride factor. The first initial hiring, the training, and then the role modeling. When they see Lee Cockerell picking up trash, I guarantee you by just watching you're doing and what you're saying. They see me do it. They say, "Well, if he's the boss, he picks it up."
It don't matter who we're with. If we're walking with reporters doing a stroll on Disney, I would stop pick up the trash. They would ... It's amazing how they notice. They go ... because they thought, "Well, they keep it clean, but Lee wouldn't bend over [inaudible 00:01:27]. He's executive Vice-president."
You set the standard. You set the expectation, then you train your people, and then you role model it, and then you make sure that people who don't do it are held accountable. If you go into an area, I go to a restaurant, I get the restaurant manager if I find stuff all over the place. I say, "Get with your people. Let's get this refocused. I want everybody to pick one. I don't want to come back here next week and find this ever again."
Clay: How important is ongoing training?
Lee: It's everything. Don't you wish you could raise your kids in one day? It's ongoing. It's ongoing.
Clay: You're never done.
Lee: There are certain timetables when you got to do things. When you first have a child, you don't train them too much but hold them [inaudible 00:02:11]. You train them through care.
Clay: If I'm a business owner today and I've got, again, 10 employees or less, let's say, how much time a week should I devote to training my staff?
Lee: I don't think it's so much time. It's like where can you fit it in? When I hire you, I could tell you just a few things. Let me tell you, when you work here, the customer is everything. You're always polite. You're always smiling. You're going to have high energy. You're going to make them feel like a million dollars when you come in here. That's number one, and that's a training thing. Emphasizing. Clarity.
Then maybe I'll teach you some thing. You get your technical training, and then you're going to see me. You're going to see how I interact with the customer. You're going to see me speaking to you when you're not on the phone doing it just like you should. Next time, "Clay, when you hang up, before you hang up, say the customer, 'I really appreciate you doing business with us. Thanks a lot.'" That's what we say here, and when you don't do it, I'm going to be talking to you about it.
Make it sure people are clear about basics, then you can teach them more complicated things later. If you want them to do the billing or you want them to be more understanding of how the process works, but the engagement with the customer, you want to make sure everybody gets it right the first day.
Clay: If you catch me doing something wrong how quickly do you tell me?
Lee: Immediately. When your kids do something wrong, do you wait for the annual review? Or do you tell them immediately?
Clay: Let's say I'm in a call center, and I may say something crazy on the phone to a customer, if you were in the room, how quickly would you tell me?
Lee: Step over there and say explicitly, "Next time," or I might even say, "Put that customer on hold, and I want you to go back on there and say, 'I really didn't mean it that way, Ma'am. I really appreciate you calling in today, and we'll help you.'"
Lee: Immediately because in a few hours or a week, people don't even remember what they did.
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Clay: Lee, if I'm in a restaurant and I'm a waiter and I do something crazy, you tell me immediately?
Lee: Yeah, I would step over and tell you. I wouldn't do it in front of the guest. Depending on what it was, I'd just, "Excuse me, I saw you just pour that wine, and you filled the glass way too high. Now there's not enough wine to go around for everybody for a second glass. Please don't do that again. We told you that when we first hired you. I'm not sure why you did that exactly." They'll get it.
What it is, is the managers on the floor. It's like a mother. Mothers are always training. They shouldn't say, "Clay, I'm going to train you right now." They're just giving you feedback. They're giving you feedback and telling you, and they're role modeling.