Lee Cockerell comes with an impressive customer service background. He has held various executive positions at Hilton Hotels and the Marriott Corporation. But what we may know him best for was his role as the Walt Disney World Executive VP of Operations.
During his time at Walt Disney World he 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 & entertainment district and a sports and recreation complex.
Before he left Lee created and established the Disney Great Leader Strategies program which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. All with a focus on delivering exceptional customer service.
Now Lee shares what he found it takes to deliver excellent customer service and create loyal customers in his latest book; The Customer Rules : The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service. Through his signature blend of wisdom and humor, Lee shares his Rules for serving customers so they will never want to leave you in 39 bite-size chapters.
These principles have been shown to work in companies as large as Disney to those as small as a local coffee shop or online retailer. The book is directed at managers and leaders but is relevant to anyone that touches an internal or external customer. That’s all of us.
The Customer Rules is the essential handbook for service excellence everywhere.
What struck me most about Lee was how approachable his style of writing is. You can tell he is passionate about the subject of customer service and is eager to share his knowledge and help all of us to succeed.
Each chapter (or rule) of The Customer Rules stands on it’s own so you don’t have to read the book all at once or in any specific order. It makes for a perfect desktop reference manual.
Lee’s writing is such that he brings a professional topic to it’s basic elements which anyone can relate to it. A good example of this is Rule #5 Ask Yourself, ‘What Would Your Mom Do’.
With this rule he instills the value of integrity by tying it back to all of those sayings we heard growing up (Always Keep Your Promises, Don’t Lie, If You Can’t Say Something Nice… etc.) that still hold true today no matter how old you are or what role you play.
definition of geek – a person with an eccentric devotion to a particular interest
Another theme that I loved in this book is the one of leveraging the strengths of those around you. In Rule #29 Have a Geek On Your Team he discusses the fact that there is always a better way of doing something and the quickest way to discover that is to surround yourself with people who know more than you do.
In some aspects I see myself as the ‘geek’ in certain groups but I also realize the need to surround myself with other ‘geeks’ with different passions to make me/us even better.
However the biggest takeaway for me was how I can incorporate these rules into my everyday life. No matter if it is at my day job as an engineer, or here with my blog, or at home being Mom. These lessons are applicable everywhere. And they are also things I want my children to learn and become as they grow.
“Role modeling is by far the best teacher, and you are being watched every second of the day.” – Lee Cockerell
I could go on talking about the book for awhile but I think you should read The Customer Rules : The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service for yourself. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that appreciates Disney Customer Service and wants to bring a bit of that magic into their own lives.
The feedback from the guests during these hurricanes was an overwhelming “thank you”. Hundreds of thank you notes came in illustrating that the leadership structure he had in place exceeded the customer’s expectations during and after the storms.
As a thank you, upon retirement Disney Central Shops commissioned this one of a kind Hurricane Mickey as recognition for his hurricane management.
This is just one example of how Lee Cockerell walks his own talk on leadership and putting the customer first. For more from Lee and to be the first to know of any upcoming speaking events follow his blog at blog.leecockerell.com.
Former Executive Vice President of Operations at Walt Disney World Resort, Lee Cockerell, shares his 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service in his latest book The Customer Rules. And if you want more from Lee Cockerell check out his first book Creating The Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life a Disney.
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