There’s much excitement with the $5.5 billion theme park, Shanghai Disney’s grand opening on June 16, 2016. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger biggest obstacle will be providing great customer service, in an economy that often has uneven customer service.
Shanghai Disney – The Magic of Customer Service
Sara Wong from Kelly Services’ in Hong Kong said that although customer service is very important for Disney, “there is still a huge gap between their standard and normal Chinese standards.”
“Disney will be aiming to set a new high bar for service in China”, said Chris Yoshii of Aecom. He stated that “local parks’ standards of cleanliness, maintenance and customer service are generally lower than international operators.” Yoshii also said that Chinese theme parks lack in staff engagement with visitors, which opposes the norm in Disneyland, where staff is known to be friendly and energetic.
Iger said that the resort will be both “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese”. Before the opening day he stated that “we didn’t build Disneyland in China, we built China’s Disneyland.
The Magical Kingdom before opening had been taking applicants from all the different industries, even factory workers. What is really important for Disney is not the workers’ experience, but their attitude.
Wishing Upon A Star
The Walt Disney Company is putting in its wish that it will be able to provide great customer service, outshining the other Chinese theme parks with the magical Disney touch. After interviewing about 7 applicants for each position (that’s 70,000 applications to sort through), Disney hopes to have picked the best of the best.
While some attendees from overseas have stated that the park didn’t seem distinctly Chinese and instead appeared to be rather similar to other Disney theme parks, there were no complaints as to worse customer service. So it would seem Disney has succeeded so far in providing excellent customer service. Perhaps this will be a norm in the Chinese industry, we will have to wait and see.