Here's an e-mail I recently got from Mike:
"I am currently in Orlando attending Educause (an education technology show) and decide to try out some of the restaurants up-scale Disney offers at Walt Disney World. Last night I went to their "Flying Fish" restaurant in the Boardwalk area next to Epcot. During the already fantastic meal, the chef came around to all the tables to check in on us and to visit. At one point, he asked if this was my first visit to the Boardwalk and I answered something like "No. we've been here many times but this visit is so much better than the last. That time we got stuck on the Boardwalk in a horrible rain trying to get back to pick up our kids from the Disney Child care facility. We got them, no problem, but along the way I misplaced the cinnamon rolls I had purchased from the bakery as a breakfast treat for the kids for putting up with my wife and I going out to a nice dinner without them. This visit, I might not be with my family, but I sure wasn't going to miss out on the food again!"
He made a joke about me being responsible for bad weather... rain last time and "cold" this time (60 degrees as a high yesterday and the locals were in parkas). Then, he was back to visiting.
About ten minutes later, I was paying the bill and the chef came back with a white paper bag as "a little treat for later." After a "thanks" I headed out. When I got to my hotel, I unwrapped the surprise to find a cinnamon roll and a note: "a little something to warm your morning. Just keep the rain away. -C"
Yes, I know that it was not expensive to have someone add a $4 cinnamon roll to a $80 dinner, but it was done so quickly and with such personalization that I stood stunned thinking about it. Not only was he concerned about my interaction last night, but he made up for my own stupidity a couple of years ago. Disney wasn't even at fault that night... but he tried to correct the wrong in such a classy way.
Will Disney get something out of it? You bet. I'll tell that story as an example of top-notch service whenever I can. I'm sure my wife will be sick of hearing it. I have a talk coming up about changing how a school's Help Desk should refocus their thinking to be an positive service to their constituents. They need to be the folks people want to talk to, not those people have to talk to. This simple Cinnamon Roll story will be at the heart of my example. Many folks will hear how Disney is at the top of my "best service" list.
I'll be back to Disney over and over, but I suspect my Cinnamon Roll will end up being served to hundreds of folks over time who, I hope, will come away with an even more powerful respect and desire for the Disney brand.
I thought you should hear the story. thanks for giving me a framework to tell it to someone who understands the power of a simple action.
Do the little things really matter? You tell me. Thanks Mike for letting me share your tale of a micro-interaction that mattered to you.