Unit II Article Review
BBA 2026: Organizational Communication
Leaders in Ottawa County, Michigan have undergone critical training to provide a better customer service strategy. This strategy is called “the Disney Way” of customer service. At least in the private sector, competitive forces provide an incentive to emulate outstanding customer service icons like Disney, Starbucks, or Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). When someone is looking to expand their business or services into a certain county, having a good customer service experience will help in providing that person a positive mindset on that location compared to that of a bad experience somewhere else. People are naturally drawn to kindness and not hostility. Like the article states, “A terrible customer service experience, however, could result in a search for another location. (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). This article explains the steps and strategies on how to adopt The Disney Method into local businesses and services to make counties a go to location for business opportunities and expansion.
The Disney Method is a great way to start the process on better customer service and building an overall better business. When kindness gets involved and shows genuine concern for problems and a way to find solutions, people will be drawn to come back and spend their money there again. This article explains that adopting The Disney Method can bring more jobs and businesses to the county. Additionally, this article talks about how the employees take to the new adaption with the training involved and the overall change they must endure to complete the training. Furthermore, the implementation of the hot seat challenge is a strategy of The Disney Method that helps employees communicate on what they want in a leader and what can be changed to make a better overall work environment. The Disney Method is a great program that, through the correct training, can really transform a business and the local communities for the better.
The Disney method can help the local communities in several ways. When a businessman comes to a certain area, and gets a positive vibe from the local community, he or she will more than likely choose that area to build their business. Customer service is what they look for and what helps them decide on a certain area. Like the article states, “When a new business locates within a region, for example, the effect on employment is: 1) a direct impact from the jobs provided by the business itself; 2) an indirect impact if the business buys production materials and services locally; and 3) an induced impact or multiplier effect from the flow of wages spent by new employees, which may provide new jobs in other businesses, and in turn, the spending of those wages.” (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). Opportunities for local business and communities will thrive when business expand into their areas. Great customer service is essential in maintaining a good lasting relationship with everyone in order to keep them as a customer and continue earning their business. A bad customer service will just hurt the areas. I have received bad service from a business when I lived in Kentucky and decided to no longer spend my money with them. I would rather travel an hour for the same materiel that I could have gotten much closer. So, my money is helping the economy of a different county instead of the one that I lived in at that time. Customer service, how you treat people, and their issues is essential in business growth. Otherwise people will choose to go elsewhere, and no business is bad business. IT is not easy to develop this new method, but with the right training, it can be adaptable.
Whenever something new happens within a business, there will always, or should be, training and meeting to help employees adapt to the change. Many employees do not like change, but with the right training, and done the right way, can be very beneficial to them in their career and personal life. The Ottawa Way is what a county called their “Disney Way Method.” In order to utilize the Ottawa Way, there was a leadership workshop with 100 front line leaders that took 3 days to complete. Once leadership is trained and adjusted to the new way, they take that to their employees to give them the “experience.” In the military, this is exactly how we adapt to a change or a shift in operations. Higher ups will receive a briefing from the post commander about the change and suggestions on how to go about the new training involved. Then the leaders go to their units and pass down the information and create a training plan for the Soldiers to follow and learn so that there is a seamless transition and no negative setbacks are made. In a way, I think most people utilize the “Disney Method” in one way or another. The article states, “Upon completion of the leadership workshop, the steering team planned a three-day “Ottawa Way” experience for all employees. For the ensuing year, approximately 60 to 100 employees per session participated in the training that was facilitated on a monthly basis, with a total of 973 employees completing the training.” (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). This is a very good method for success in training. Training smaller groups at a time will help people understand better and with less people there can be more one-on-one time with the employees without taking a lot of time to complete the training. “When employees arrive at the three-day training, they do so with a set of values that has been ingrained in them over the course of their careers. Now they are expected to embrace a new set of values, yet they need time to realize that the old values are no longer the best for the organization as a whole.” (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). Training should never take one day to complete. That is why the leaders used 3 days to train their employees to adapt to the Ottawa Way of customer service. Employees cannot change how they do business once they have been doing it for so long, so with change takes time. The Ottawa way is smart, and I think they are doing everything right as far as the training process. One smart method in the training I find to be very important is the Leadership Challenge of the training.
The article states, “As an author of this article and the workshop trainer, I challenged Al to allow his direct reports to participate in this exercise in which they answered the question, “What is the ultimate leader?” After an initial briefing with staff, Al left the room so that they would have total freedom to continue the process by ranking what is most important to them, what Al “does best,” and which areas are “opportunities for improvement.” (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). This is where staff can talk about what can change within leadership, without the actual leadership being there to talk with them. This will make for better open and honest communication without the retaliation of leadership on anyone that may have said something negative. We have this in the military. It is called a command climate survey, where Soldiers can go online to a site and talk about the issues with command and leadership within the unit without being named. Everything is done anonymously. This can really benefit a business by showing leaderships strengths and their shortfalls. The Ottawa Way and instilling this will help them understand what leadership can do to make a better work environment and raise a higher moral of the employees under them. The issue comes from whether they listen to the negative feedback or not and change certain ways of doing things based on the outcome of the meeting. Everything comes from the top, both bad and good. The more positive the leadership is, the better a business will be. When an employee sees that management has their back during the hard times, then they will see a more productive team and work ethic.
Implementing the Disney Method, or as Michigan calls it, the Ottawa Way, helped them for the better. It took training and hard work from both staff and leadership in order to make this a successful program. Proof of this is that the article stated. “Early successes have been amazing, particularly considering that the Ottawa Way is still relatively new. A quarterly Outstanding Customer Service Award that began in January 2014 has netted an average of 70 employee nominations each quarter. A sheriff’s deputy was nominated for a customer service award after issuing a traffic ticket to a motorist. The Public Health Department’s restaurant inspection division, heavily criticized by many restaurants just three years ago, has received 87 customer service nominations from the private businesses they serve. Businesses praised the transition from a highly regulatory “gotcha” attitude to more of an attitude of educating and coaching, thus becoming a valued partner.” (Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B., 2015). Because businesses are using this new method, they are seeing successful change from both businesses, employees, and public service staff. When there is a community that embraces change, in a positive way, more people will go to these areas and use their businesses or create new ones just because of the friendly environment and the people in it. Not all change is bad, and sometimes you need to adapt to change in order for success to bloom.
Vanderberg, A., & Capodagli, B. (2015). The “Ottawa way” thrives. Public Management, 97(6), 14-18.