in Libraries/Info Sci, Reviews

Disney and Customer Service

plutoDisney World was an amazing trip from start to finish. I hadn’t been since I was five, so the experience was almost as if I’d never been there before at all. I took far too many pictures and posted them here.

FYI, mid-September is a great time to go if you can handle the Florida humidity. There were no crowds at all, and most rides had less than a five minute wait. We never waited more than twenty minutes. Another helpful hint: The $40/day per person meal plan is a steal. It includes a counter service lunch, sit down dinner, and snack every day. We routinely spent far more than that on dinner alone, although admittedly that’s partially because we ate at expensive places knowing it was all paid for. Just make reservations well in advance and you’ll be set.

Part of what made the experience so great is Disney’s unequaled customer service. Our baggage was magically whisked to and from the airport without ever having to be involved personally, for example. But the best part: everybody knows everything. Cast members (don’t call them ’employees’) we talked to at the hotel knew all about the parks, and vice versa. They all knew what rides were closed, and were very helpful and polite when I lost my cell phone. (It never did turn up, but hooray for insurance!) I don’t think we were even told “I don’t know that, but here’s who does.”

Of course, Disney has a tad more resources for staff training and equipment than most libraries do. But wouldn’t it be nice to avoid directing yet another user across the library to the circ desk or some other service location, often to wait in yet another line? It isn’t practical for every employee to be cross-trained in so many diverse areas. But what about merging reference, circulation, and any other service point into one location? The concept wouldn’t work very well for large libraries with multiple reference locations around the building, but it has more merit in smaller branches. My local public library has just such a concept.

Maybe this isn’t even a new idea, and most smaller locations work this way already. I don’t have a lot of firsthand experience with them – any insight?