Vail speaker series will look at the ‘Disney Way’ |

Vail speaker series will look at the ‘Disney Way’

Michael KurzVail CO, Colorado

On June 5, the Vail Valley Partnership will welcome a character from the Walt Disney Co. not Snow White, but Dennis Snow, for our View from the Top biannual speaker series on customer service. Snow began his Disney career in 1979 as a front-line attractions operator. As he advanced through the company, Snow managed various areas throughout the park, learning and applying the skills it takes to run a world-class, service-driven organization. During more than 20 years with the Walt Disney Co., he developed his passion for service excellence and the experience he brings to the worldwide speaking and consulting he does today. Hell share this intelligence with the Vail Valley on June 5. We encourage all area businesses to attend, partners and nonpartners, because Snow will tap into a key business principle: Your brand really is expressed at the point of sale. The point may vary depending on your service or product, but the fact stands that all front-line employees should be your best brand ambassadors. Eventually, Snows expertise led him to launch a division of the Disney Institute, responsible for consulting with some of the worlds largest companies including Exxon, AT&T, General Motors and Coca-Cola. He also spent several years with the Disney University, teaching corporate philosophy and business practices to cast members and the leadership team. While there, he coordinated the Disney Traditions program that is universally recognized as a benchmark in corporate training. In his last year with Walt Disney World, Snows performance was ranked in the top 3 percent of the companys leadership team.Today, Snow is a full-time speaker, trainer and consultant who helps organizations achieve goals related to customer service, employee development and leadership. Some of his clients include Blockbuster Video, BMW Financial Services and Johns Hopkins Hospital. He is the author of the book Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service, which has been used in organizations around the world as a blueprint for organizational excellence.Because we live in a destination that depends on happy (repeat) guests, every impression we make is an important one. And every impression points back to our brands reputation. Disney World calls itself the happiest place on earth. When you analyze its motto, almost everything Disney is happy or appears happy even its movies have happy endings. Why? Its employee culture is one that understands that the point of sale exists at all levels of the organization, and its employees embrace this responsibility to carry the Disney brand throughout their day-to-day work. The Starbucks Project is another testament to the power of a brand and its potential to make or break a business. Loyal Starbucks customers, aware of the companys current challenges including falling profits, diminished customer service and commoditizing the experience, initiated The Starbucks Project. The project is an outlet for Starbucks consumers to provide the company with feedback and advice for improving its customer service and business strategy.Snow writes about The Starbucks Project in his blog and summarizes the real lesson for businesses: When you have done the work to create intense customer loyalty over time, your customers care about what happens to you. At least the truly loyal customers do. I know that I want my customers to care so much that if I screw up, they make the effort to give me feedback. If customers dont care theyll just jump ship and go somewhere else.The Vail Valley is a world-class destination and tops the popularity charts when it comes to favorite mountain destinations. There is no Vail Valley business owner who would want a loyal guest to go elsewhere. To ensure your employees understand their potential to convey your brand, the Partnership encourages you to attend our June 5 View From the Top speaker series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The morning begins at 8 with a brief opportunity to network with fellow Vail Valley professionals before the presentation kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Seats are filling fast, so contact the Partnerships Mandi Bender at 970-477-4001 or you to our event sponsors: title sponsor Beaver Creek Resort Co.; corporate sponsor Vail Valley Medical Center; supporting sponsor Pinnacol Assurance; and in-kind sponsors Vilar Performing Arts Center, Lakota Guides, Untraditional Marketing, Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Co., A Great Time DJ and the Denver Newspaper Agency.Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership. Reach him at 970-476-1000.

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