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Smile Check

Disney cast members (employees) are expected to maintain a happy, helpful and cheerful attitude.

One of their big expectations is for employees to smile constantly. In fact, all of the backstage areas have mirrors beside the doors that lead into the park. Employees are asked to "check their smile" before entering the park.

We must understand that customer service is not just about what you say, but how you say it.

In one of the children's ministries that I led, we would send guests a feedback email to see how we could improve our customer service. One family gave us some valuable feedback. They said we did great checking them in, explaining safety and security procedures, etc. But they said that when they arrived at their child's classroom, the greeter at the door never smiled one time. Our opportunity to make a good first impression went away with the lack of one volunteer not smiling.

I don't put the blame on the volunteer who didn't smile. As the leader, I should have been more proactive and trained our team members to always smile. Everything rises and falls on leadership. You have to lead the way with lots of smiles.

A great goal for this coming year would be to emphasize smiling for all the volunteers in your ministry.

Here's what you have to keep in mind. People are not just comparing your ministry to the church down the street. People are comparing your customer service to the customer service they experience in retail shopping. They are comparing your customer service with how they were treated at Publix, Target, Starbucks, Red Lobster, Home Depot, etc.

I'm sure you've had a bad experience before. The person who was supposed to be there to help you, acted like you were "bothering" them. "They didn't smile when they were interacting with you and be grudgingly answered your questions.

Make sure your guest service's team has people that are positive, friendly, welcoming and...that smile a lot. You only get one opportunity to make a great first impression. With that in mind....you can't have the wicked witch of the west as a greeter.

It would also be a great idea to put a mirror in your volunteer area with a sign that says, "Check your smile."


Disclaimer: Disney is not a Christian company, but there is still much we can learn from them.


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