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Be Our Guest: Perfecting the art of customer service

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,099 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
"Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service. Now, for the first time, Disney Institute, which specializes in helping professionals see new possibilities through concepts not found in the typical workplace, reveals the business behind the magic of quality service. During the last 15 years, thousand ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Disney Editions
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Aug 11, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I sometimes wonder if companies purposely write hypnotically boring business books to make readers lose interest in discovering the real trade secrets.

Going into "Be Our Guest", I was hoping for juicy details about Disney's creepily scientific customer service (i.e. the way they subtly manipulate your emotional state with music and visual cues), but it read just like your typical business book. If you like bland execu-speak and forced acronyms that help you remember corporate values, then this
Mar 29, 2013 Valerie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Being a huge Disney fan, I really wanted to love this book. And the behind the scenes peek at things that one would normally not learn unless they were a Disney employee about the way they deliver an unparalleled experience was quite entertaining.

However there wasn't enough practical application to make this a useful book for trying to evaluate my own corporate culture. Some exercises to apply the Disney philosophy to other industries would have made this more helpful.
Dorsch and Navarre Branch Libraries
Be Our Guest : Perfecting the art of customer service

We all share the same goal – satisfied customers

Disney in In Search of Excellence

Long term success depends on our ability to motivate people, one day at a time and one innovation at a time

Disney approaches
- Quality service
- Creativity
- Innovation
- Leadership
- Loyalty
- Supply chain excellence

Training programs connect companies to their
- Own heritage
- Values
- People
- Guests

Trends come and go – companies need to mobilize the
- Brainpower
- Passi
Mar 02, 2014 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a pastor and leader, I am always trying to think of what I can do to create an environment that will open up people's hearts to the most important truths in the world. If anyone understands how to create compelling environments, it's Disney.

Some of my favorite thoughts in the book were:

"Quality service means exceeding your guest's expectations and paying attention to detail."

"Everything speaks." (in other words, everything in your environments is saying something)

"My business is making peopl
May 10, 2010 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any organization serious about quality improvement
Recommended to Greg by: Victor Boschini, TCU Chancellor
The Disney Institute has written a very interesting book describing Disney's approach to providing world class service to their "guests." In a clear and compelling style, Be Our Guest outlines principles of service quality that can be readily adapted to the needs of most organizations. The quality service cycle is introduced, with its focus on (a) a service theme, (b) service standards, (c) delivery systems, and (d) integration of them all into one coherent whole. They emphasize the importance o ...more
Eduardo Hernandez
I work as director of online education in a local university and while being at Disney World I realized that the most important thing was the experience not the rides themselves so I thought to myself what if I could take and apply this vision to the online education world making the experience of students more than just a sequence of courses, making them feel as a global experience. So I started analyze Disney from a management point of view. I read a couple of books, I saw different videos on ...more
Jun 29, 2015 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
A very good book on customer service, and how to provide better customer service. The philosophy in this book is based on how Disney trains all of their employees, and there is a lot of information on the Disney corporation, but there is also a lot of useful information here that can be applied by any business owner of any size business.

The only difficulty I see is how to get your employees to buy into this philosophy.
Aug 15, 2012 Ted rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All I can say is that when you read this book you need to really appreciate the lengths that Walt went to to create the ultimate playland for kids. He used ideas and studied people to find out what works that no one had done before. All to create a place that was safe and secure. If you get nothing out of this book you're not trying.
Andrew Carretto
Apr 07, 2009 Andrew Carretto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-books
Tremendous book. It is great to read the behind the scenes view of one of the most amazing corporations in history. Nothing is done by chance. It had great tie ins to other corporations and how every industry can run with the same principles. One of the better self help business books that I have read. Definitely recommend if you need a good business book to read!!
Ken Andrus
Sep 16, 2012 Ken Andrus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and am using it at work as a guide in putting together a customer service initiative. The book outlines the approach Disney used to create it legendary customer service but does so in such a way to make it very adaptable for any organization.
May 06, 2017 JENNIFER rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with most business philosophy books, it is short on writing style, but offers a unique brand of business philosophy.I will keep some takeways. That being said, the entire time I was reading the book, the little devil on my shoulder kept whispering in my ear, "yes, that is all good and great, the happiest place on earth.... so they how is it that the little boy was recently gobbled up by a shark while staying at Disneyworld?"
Jun 19, 2017 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book to learn better ways to think about customer service. I'll use it for my office training and future endeavors.
Rafael Augusto
May 29, 2017 Rafael Augusto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
O livro é muito bom. É possível aprender muito com o jeito Disney.
Feb 28, 2017 Lea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, easy read on improving customer service for both the individual and the company. It will definitely add to my creativity on future projects.
Frederik Sørensen
An easy to read book about how Disney manage their customer service. On the back cover it say “explains the processes that have made Disney a trusted and revered brand around the world”. It delivers on this promise but do not expect it to explain in enough detail to use their formula in you own organization. The book pitches the Disney university program for customer service, it is mentioned many time throughout the book. Difference customer experiences from this program are superfluous describe ...more
Jacob O'neill
Book was pretty good. Main focus was on understanding customers, their needs, and how to use your organization to best meet their needs. Applying the principles outside of a service industry will be more challenging but possible.

Here are chapter by chapter highlights:(view spoiler)
Nov 11, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While very good, I had a mixed reaction. This is exceptional for providing insights into polishing the edges of both service and other things a company does (all touch-points for customers, employees and more). It's worth a read for those things. It also applies to more than what at first comes to mind. However, there was a decidedly marketing slant to the book which was a distraction from time to time. I could have handled the references to magic (I guess I should have expected that) yet the fr ...more
Sarah Cradit
Feb 22, 2015 Sarah Cradit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had an opportunity recently to read this book, and then subsequently attend the Disney Institute. Most of what was covered in the institute training was also in the book, so I found it a good complement. It's hard for me to rate this exclusively of that training, but I'll try.

What I enjoyed most about the book was learning more about Walt's influence in how the company was shaped. I believe the best companies in the world start with someone's dream, and this is more true of Disney than almost
I wrote a really long and extensive review, but unfortunately it wasn't saved.
My notes while reading

-information about Disney Baby - I've always wanted to go to the States and visit a Disney Baby store (we just have the Disney Store over here)
-really cool quote from Walt about animated pictures vs. the parks, and how "plussing" works
-Walt's view on Imagineering
-a little bit about the Disney Store

-Lots of examples - and examples outside of
Sep 17, 2012 Faz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-favorites
Why did I give this book 5 out of 5 stars? Let me count the ways:

1. Because Disney Institute knows what it's doing - it's a space where people don't just learn how to do their jobs well, but they discover how they can fit into the bigger picture of the greatest day of a guest's life.

2. Because I met someone who works in the Disney Institute - 33 years in Disney, to be precise - & his humility spoke volumes. He's the kind of person I want to help hire for my organization.

3. Because in designi
Dec 28, 2016 Walter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a helpful look behind the scenes of Disney, into its culture, its stratagem and its unique creation, that alternate universe seeming beloved by all best described as the Disney Experience. I recommend this book to those who want to learn the elements of "Practical Magic." It is very helpful in this regard.

It's less helpful with respect to the "how" to do these things: typically the "do this, not that, for these reasons" parts are a sentence to a paragraph (maximum). So, while there are c
Nov 25, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disney understands customer service better than anyone and in this book, they take us behind the curtain and give us a glimpse of what makes the magic work. Below are just a few of my favorite takeaways from the book.

"Exceeding Guests’ expectations is Disney’s service strategy, and paying attention to every detail is the tactic by which it is accomplished."

“Quality service means exceeding your guest’s expectations and paying attention to detail.”

“You can’t change people. But if you change the
Stephen Archer
I cannot imagine what could be a better indication of the quality of book than to have finished it in two days. Be Our Guest is a book written by Theodore Kinni to provide a framework for any business to follow to provide great "Guest Services." Every industry is looking for an edge when it comes to serving their guests better. Disney has been on the edge of great customer service for years and this book goes to show the amount for work Disney puts into growing their cast members (Disney-speak f ...more
Craig Yoshihara
Jul 27, 2015 Craig Yoshihara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney
If one book can change the way you operate your business, Be Our Guest is likely that book. Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service was written and published by The Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni and describes for the reader the “magic” behind Disney’s success. Tom Staggs, then chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and now Chief Operating Officer of the Walt Disney Company, wrote in his introduction to the book people want to know how Disney is so successful. When he tells ...more
Ardilla Azul
Este lo leí por asuntos de mi trabajo, pero está bonito. Es decir, dentro de los temas administrativos, me gusta leer sobre la escuela de calidad y sobre el enfoque de servicio al cliente. Y Disney se reconoce por ser una de las empresas que trabajan con altos estándares al respecto.

El texto es bastante ameno y sencillo de entender, aún si no eres administrador. Te pone tablitas de resumen al final de cada capítulo y te explica por medio de ejemplos anecdóticos de Walt Disney y de Michael Eisne
Mar 17, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
Interesting and enjoyable book. Not only does this book give you concrete ideas for improving your customer service, it also gives examples for each idea. The examples, all from Disney, are fascinating and fun, making the reading really enjoyable from start to finish.

I often find that business books repeat the same concept over and over, but this book offered a new tactic or point though the last page.

I will be sharing what I learned with my work team, and will be bringing some of the strategie
Mar 30, 2010 Kent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Managers with Customer Service needs
Of all the companies out there, Disney does an amazing job at satisfying the customers needs. in fact, they formed the Disney Institute to share their story and show other corporations how they can excel at customer service.

I enjoyed the book from a management point of view. There were great examples throughout the book. Lots of good ideas. My biggest complaint is there is a lot of repetition in the book. This 200+ page book could have been reduced to 15 pages if all the repetition had been left
Sep 10, 2012 Ngoc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, kindle
Read this for work. It was a quick read. I'm a big Disney fan so I knew some of the special touches they do to enhance the guest experience. I liked reading about all of it: the Institute and staff trainings, attention to every detail, evaluation and quality improvement, and outlook on the whole picture. Disney puts on a great show. I have been to non Disney parks and other attractions where I might have had a better experience had they had the high quality standards and service delivery approac ...more
More of a tour guide / pamphlet than a series of lessons, the book, nonetheless, includes beliefs that Disney helpfully suggests other companies adopt if they want to see like returns on customer satisfaction / spending. A primary theme is systems must be informed by mission and data and allow workers and customers to make choices. A use for this guide may be to create an audit list of the suggestions and compare an organization against it: What do you have? What could you change? What do you wa ...more
Citrus Libraries Staff Favorites
I loved Walt Disney, back in the day. I still love his ideology. I'm not sure it can continue without him, but this book gives me hope. I would love to work somewhere where my title was 'cast member' or do business with a company that referred to me as their 'guest'. I would love the world to REALLY be a stage, where we could love our work, paid or not. I still aspire to this and wish the rest of the world would, as well.
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“From our earliest days, education has been a hallmark of our company. It was Walt himself who said, “We have always tried to be guided by the basic idea that, in the discovery of knowledge, there is great entertainment—as, conversely, in all good entertainment, there is always some grain of wisdom, humanity, or enlightenment to be gained.” 1 likes
“In this volatile business of ours, we can ill afford to rest on our laurels, even to pause in retrospect. Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future. —Walt Disney” 0 likes
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