Louie Gravance, known as "the guy that can make the Disney service concepts work outside of Disney," talks about why Service is a Superpower.
Louie Gravance is often referred to as “the guy that can make the Disney service concepts work outside of Disney.” Working for the Walt Disney Company for nearly 30 years, Louie enjoyed a distinguished career with Disney theme parks, designing everything from live-entertainment experiences to training programs through the Disney Institute in Orlando Florida.
In this episode, he shares critical insights and stories on the power of great customer service that is both relevant and applicable in today’s new normal. Many of which he also shares throughout his debut book “Service is a Superpower.”
Business & Workplace Consultant, Louie Gravance has won both the Disney Partners in Excellence Award and the Spirit of Disney Award. Currently, he provides unique training programs through his company, Louie Gravance Creative Content. He was also a child actor, appearing in over 35 national commercials, plays, sitcoms, and movies.
LINK TO EMPTY DISNEYLAND VIDEO (Referenced in Podcast)
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Jeremy: [00:00:00] This
is the fit mess with Zach
and Jeremy, if you want, I don't know how to be a happier person. Why not start your studies at the happiest place on earth, or at least talk to someone who spent a couple of decades working there. That's what we did this week. And we're joined by Louie Gravance, author of services, a superpower lessons learned in a magic kingdom.
This was a no-brainer interview for us, Zach and I, I think Zach, even more so. We're just huge fans of Disney. My relationship with Disney is such a good example of my entire life. I didn't go to Disneyland until I was 25. I went there as part of my honeymoon because I've never enjoyed rides. And I always thought, why am I going to spend thousands of dollars to go somewhere where I'm essentially going to walk around and go, Oh, look at all the people having fun.
And the first time I went again on my honeymoon was with my wife, went on a few rides. Some of them terrified me far more than they should have. Um, and you know, and I'm embarrassed at this point because I've since gone back with you and with a lot of help from you overcome a lot of those fears and gone on some for me, big rides.
Um, but it's one of those things that, that I came to appreciate, even though I, I just dismissed it out of hand for the first quarter of my life and just went, that's not for me. Yeah, but once I said, yes, I discovered this is magic. This, this is a place where if I could live here, I would, I love going to Disneyland.
I love going to Disney world.
Zach: [00:01:30] No, I'm a big fan of his, well, I think, um, so on top of the fact that I really, really love thrill rides. Um, so the bigger the roller coaster I'm in, um, my dad actually, who passed away almost. 15 years ago, he took my sister and I to Disney world almost every year. So I just remember being super happy as a kid.
And with him. And that was, you know, the combination of the two are just amazing for me. So now to this day, like I will take my daughter any day of the week, but whenever I'm in Orlando, if I'm there for business, I go to Disney world by myself. Like I love it that much.
Jeremy: [00:02:13] Has anyone ever looked at you weird, like, come on, come on old, man.
Where's your kid.
Zach: [00:02:17] No, everyone just assumes that my kid is somewhere,
Jeremy: [00:02:20] right. They're off on some other kitty ride wall while dad's off doing the big roller coasters. That's fine. So to talk to a guy who was a part of the inner circle that worked there for almost 30 years, who helped develop. A lot of the programs that make Disney, what it was.
There's just so many lessons in this book that apply to your personal relationships or professional relationships, your work in general, no matter what that looks like for you right now,
Zach: [00:02:45] you know, we all have to work most of us anyway. And there's a big difference between doing your job and doing it exceptionally from a customer service standpoint.
And it doesn't matter what kind of job you have. You're dealing with. People in a way that you can implement customer service, whether it's, you know, coworkers, bosses, um, you know, vendors, not necessarily the end customer, but you're going to have interactions that if you have really good customer service in the long run, you're, you're just going to have a better time at your job.
You're going to be happier
Jeremy: [00:03:21] thing. That's so interesting to me about this is that whether it's work or home or whatever, like maybe it's the isolation talking here, but. I feel like when I went to work, I played a character that I don't have to play anymore because I don't interact in the same way. I'm not physically in the same room with my colleagues who are essentially my customers.
Right. Like I have to tell them what to do. There are expectations that I have, and there are things that they need to do to get it done. And I have to manage my interaction with them to get what I want. So I, in some ways I have to play a character. The person who's, there is not the same person I am at home.
So trying to transition to working from home, but like still being a dad at the same time, still being a husband at the same time. I'm now trying to please all kinds of customers, many online, some at home. And I have to do it as sort of the most authentic version of myself as possible because I don't, I don't have a commute to hide behind.
When I'm, when I'm at work, I'm still at home. So I still have to just be me. I don't have to go and be this professional guy and put on the, the nicer clothes. Like I've been wearing the same gym shorts for six months, man. Like there's no, there's no character to play anymore. And so it's, that's been kind of confusing to me.
Uh, and so I think this conversation that we have with, uh, with Louie on this episode is so timely because so many people are trying to figure out how to please. All of these different kinds of customers all at the same time. Does that make any sense?
Zach: [00:05:00] No. It makes a lot of sense. Now, how do you provide excellent customer service across the board when all of your worlds just collided?
Jeremy: [00:05:08] Yeah. One of the lessons that you'll hear when we get into this interview is, uh, is almost like this Buddhist approach that, uh, that Louie takes to customer service. And it's. That focus on now that focus on what is directly in front of my face. What can I deal with right now? And we live in a time that it's more jarring than ever to do that because I can literally be in the middle of a really high pressure job thing.
And then my kid walks into the room and goes, look at this ring. Isn't it pretty? And like all of a sudden, that's the thing in front of my face. She's the customer that I have to serve right now. And I have to do a strong mental shift to go from, meet this. Crucial deadline to not make my daughter cry and get back to that deadline on time.
But all you can do is literally be in that exact second in that moment and address what you need to address there.
Zach: [00:06:05] Are you saying that your five-year-old does not understand prioritization?
Jeremy: [00:06:09] Evidently not. Although her skills with the iPad as a kindergartener are very impressive. Oh
Zach: [00:06:17] boy, by watching my daughter with her, her phone has been a little
Jeremy: [00:06:22] bit scary.
Zach: [00:06:24] quickly they've adapted to them. Yeah. But I hear you. I try really hard to keep my work life and my personal life separated at home. So I have a dedicated room just for working and my daughter comes in occasionally and she gets on camera. People at work have seen her. Yup. And, you know, but I've seen everyone else's kids and it's, it's no different.
So it is interesting because the, the, you know, whatever character I am playing for work at that moment breaks.
Jeremy: [00:06:57] Yeah.
Zach: [00:06:58] For just a second and throws me off my game occasionally.
Jeremy: [00:07:02] And I think we're learning a lot about those characters that we play, like. It's it's just weird that I haven't had to really be that guy.
And, and occasionally I do, right? Like, we'll have a call with the boss where we've got to check in and, and plan something or whatever. And all of a sudden I realized like, Oh, I'm, I'm probably being a little too casual. Like I'm a pretty casual guy. Anyway. I mean, it's, it's not a real thick mask that I put on when I go to work.
But it's enough of one. Where I realized like, Oh, that was probably a little bit too much of a smart ass remark to make to my boss over the phone who I haven't seen in seven months. Right.
Zach: [00:07:35] Um, there's another, uh, Disney guy, Lee Cockerel, who, uh, in one of his books, I don't remember which one off the top of my head, but he says you should be the same person you are with your boss, as you are with your peers, as you are with the people that you manage.
If you have to change and be a different person around your boss, something's wrong.
Jeremy: [00:07:54] I think for me, the difference is largely who I am with my family versus who I am with my colleagues, because agreed with family. You, you take them for granted. There's nothing you can, you can pretend all day long that that's not a thing, but that's a thing they're going to be there when you get home.
Zach: [00:08:10] No, I think the, the part that I play at work is, is really just controlling my natural. Ability to drop F bombs
Jeremy: [00:08:19] and yeah.
Zach: [00:08:21] Tell jokes. It's it's just, uh, you know, you have to be a little bit more professional there and I'm. Not when I'm off the clock. Right. So I have to play something, someone different a little bit.
Jeremy: [00:08:32] Yeah. You gotta be show ready. Right? I mean, that's the thing, that's what we're going to hear from Louis Gravano. He's the author of service as a superpower. We had a chance to talk to him a couple of weeks ago, and we were able to talk about how the magic of Disney customer service really relates to your life now in whatever version of normal, this is,
I'm curious. In the modern world that we've been living in now the last six months, so many different customers to keep happy. We're keeping our kids online and doing tech support for our kids. And then we're doing our day jobs. And then if we have a side hustle, we're trying to do that. How do you keep it all straight?
How do you, what do you look for in each customer in this case, each person you're trying to keep happy. What do you do to make sure that everyone's needs are being met without just completely draining yourself? The first
Louie Gravance: [00:09:26] thing you do is you get your personal service theme down. When somebody starts at a Walt Disney theme park.
And I know, cause I was that dude who you met on your for four years, I was that guy you met on your first day. I was at bazooka pixie dust. It was my job to clean it up. You didn't see you engage your heart. And we had four words that we needed you to remember. Safety courtesy show and efficiency in that order, we, we, we, we isolated and identified those four words.
And I like in the book, I have a little workbook within it where I encourage people to think. You've been working. We've been, self-employed a lot longer than we thought. Even if we'd been working for a company, we have personal brands and we need to navigate our personal brands the same way that a big company does.
And I thought to myself all the times that a big company I've worked with a big bank or a financial institution or hospital, and we've worked out this, this sort of formula. And I thought, okay, Shouldn't people have this, like, is it really any different if you, if you're starting a small business or you're even independent and shouldn't you be able to work out your same service theme?
So. I isolate and identify a way that you pick your forwards. What's your safety, courtesy show and efficiency. And then from that launching pack, figure out what the most common, emotional impact your job product or service provides like Disney it's happiness. Uh, you know, at bank of America, it's security that that's the emotional, that's the final emotional impact.
I would look at that. I would look at the four words you selected that are gonna support that. And then I'd get your head together in a couple of ways. One, you, you can't think of yourself as somebody that needs a job. No, but no small business person is sitting around going, you know what? I had just I'd love to hire more people, but what they are saying is, Oh, my I've got a problem that needs to be solved.
So you need to think about that right away. What problem are you solving for somebody? And the another there's so much here, you've really opened up a can of worms thing about, you know, what a lot of us are working from home now. And it's so funny that everybody's like, well, we're just gonna work from home.
Um, There is an art to working from home. And that I think we've been real casual about. And one of the things, and I had to try three times, I've been get reabsorbed back into corporate America because I'd be rudderless. I, you know what we talk at Disney about being show ready. And it's really important when you get home and you work from a home that your show ready.
And that means that if you're going to work professionally from home, you've dressed professionally from home. And that is, but you know what, as you just said, you've got kids around w w when you dress professionally from home, it doesn't just send a message to you. It sends a message to the kids, to the wife, husband, spouse that were not in perpetual weekend.
We're not, we are not, you know, it's being, it's what we call being show ready. And I think right now, as we think of ourselves as either looking for new gigs or finding new ways to engage our talents, uh, we want to be show ready all the time. I know that sounds corny. I know, I know that sounds really, really corny, but we need, we need to get up and be show ready if not just for us, but to let everybody know we're not in perpetual weekend.
Zach: [00:12:55] as I was reading your book last night, I was, I went through that part as I was just finishing up work in gym shorts and a t-shirt. Um, that part of it really hit me last night that, you know, um, and I had a work meeting today that I actually had to dress up for at home. Uh, so you know, your, your book came at a really good time for me to, uh, step it up a notch for my work meeting today.
People are having to reinvent themselves now, like, you know, a lot of people I know are what they have been doing for years and years and years isn't applicable anymore. And we have to reinvent ourselves and do something different. You know, how can, how can the strategies in your book be used by those people have to reinvent themselves?
Louie Gravance: [00:13:39] Well, the first thing I would say about this, reinventing yourself, that, that, that if you, I, if you've really figure out and come to grips and land with what the emotional impact is of what you're selling, that hasn't changed, you know, you really want to play to your values and not your fears, because say, for example, I'm in the speaking business and people are really swooping down.
On speakers saying that if you don't invest thousands and thousands of dollars in just the right homes to you equipment, you're not going to be relevant. And what I want people to know is that your service is always going to be relevant. That's not going to change. It might not be practical for a little while, but it's the emotional impact of what you sell is still going to always be relevant.
And two real quick things. I would, I would really. Realize that service is an investment and not something that you give away. That doesn't come back to you. And this is something I really hit hard in the book. That's the whole theme is that every time you delight a customer, a colleague, every time you exceed somebody's expectations, it is a self investment.
An excellence will. Always seek and find other excellence. As I point out in the book, I was a child actor until I was too Harry, to be one and, and then worked in a restaurant, which usually you work in a restaurant and yeah, then you get on TV. But my life plan was to be on TV and then lose everything and realize what a punk.
I was one of just a self entitled punk I was. And so I find myself working in a restaurant and I have no skills. I have no waiting seals. So I thought, Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I put her act like, I know what I'm doing. What am I going to do? I know I'll act like I worked at Disneyland. I will act. And then everyone will, I will be so gracious that people will not notice how bad my actual weighting skills are.
And it worked because the intention was there. Then that's the other thing is that the first skill of the service superhero is intention and your intention. It's going to be as relevant today as it was yesterday, as it was pre COVID, as it was post COVID. That's the thing we have to realize is, um, our services it's always going to be relevant.
And I would, if you feel lost, think of the people who you've delighted in the past, in the jobs you've had in the past, think of those people, think of those incidents. And I would find a way to reconnect with that energy, those people, and. They might at least steer you in the right direction. They know, they know you for other excellence.
Remember I said, excellence will seek and find other excellence. That's how I got plucked from working in a restaurant to then work at Disneyland. So, um, which started my Disney career and got me back into show business. So, um, there's a lot there.
Jeremy: [00:16:40] Yeah. I'm curious you, you mentioned a couple of things that, that set off my, my, uh, and I mean this in a positive way in my Wu brain.
Um, the idea of imagining yourself as a Disney performer in that waiter job, how much, how much, and maybe this is maybe it's the same answer you just gave us, but how much do you believe in manifesting your own destiny and believing like, if I just believe that I'm going to do this, it's going to happen either through my hard work or destiny or whatever.
Louie Gravance: [00:17:08] Okay. Well, here's the thing. And no one else has asked me that question, but my, my business is a strange. Covert metaphysical mission. So, you know, I used to teach you something called a course in miracles, and I know people make fun of it. You know, there's folks, people have it, but, um, I wanted to bring men metaphysics and metaphysical principles.
To industry. And that's why the first program I ever wrote for bank of America was called, uh, the bank of America spirit. And so, yes, I want people to invest to, to know that there is great power in service and that it will. Always come back to you, whether you can see it in our present timeframe or not.
There's a lot of things happening at the same time. So yeah. Um, I thought, how do I, how do I bring the Disney thing? And the course of miracle thing. How do I marry this together? How do I marry those messages together? Hence services, a superpower lessons learned in the magic kingdom,
Jeremy: [00:18:15] uh, excellence finding excellence.
And I'm just curious with millions of people sort of waiting for that next job, waiting to get hired, waiting for some sense of whatever the next normal is going to be to happen. How do you make your excellence stand out when you're on the beach, waiting for someone to respond to your resume or waiting for the job market, really, to even open back up to create those opportunities.
Louie Gravance: [00:18:39] First of all, the whole waiting for something to happen, I would, I would start re right there from that consciousness, because even any step forward is a step forward. And, and, and just the act of waiting for something to happen. It's almost a declaration that it hasn't. So, yeah, it's very important, you know, sort of like a, I think there's a song in one of the Nimo films about just keep swimming, keep swimming it, even if it's, even if it's getting your files together, even if it's doing sit-ups.
Any forward motion at all will lead to another forward motion. And we'll get you out of that, uh, that mindset of I'm waiting for something good to happen. And until then, I'm in a state of suspended animation. You know, we used to have a thing at Disney, um, called you know, they're, they're big with acronyms there and it was called wind.
Win win, win. And what would it mean is what's important now? And I always tell people when you're overweight and I've been in this situation where I was completely over welmed, what I say is. Do whatever is physically right in front of you, literally right in front of you, what is, what is closest to you physically do that?
Whatever needs to be done that is within the closest proximity to your body start there.
Jeremy: [00:20:03] I'm just, I'm smiling because I I've on this show. We talk a lot about our feelings and, and things that we've dealt with. And, uh, for me, I I've battled depression my entire life. And it's just funny that this is a Disney, like full circle situation, but yeah.
Uh, frozen too, when Ana is in the cave and she starts singing about doing the next right thing. Since I saw that movie, there's so many times when I'm just I'm down and there's just so much darkness and I just, I, that phrase pops into my head, just do the next right thing.
Louie Gravance: [00:20:31] You know, and someone else who has, who lives with, uh, clinical depression.
And I try to explain to people what, what it feels like I say that it feels like you were walking through water and your skin hurts. Like you have the flu.
Jeremy: [00:20:47] Yeah.
Louie Gravance: [00:20:49] what it's like. And so, and to your point, and what you have, I have to do is what you don't want to do, which is to keep. Moving forwards and faster, faster.
Zach: [00:21:03] You may, you make a comment in the book saying, you know, you need to think thinking to a new way of acting or just act into a new way of thinking. And that, that, uh, that whole conversation just reminded me of that line, but I was hoping you
Talk just a little bit more about what you meant by that.
Louie Gravance: [00:21:22] Well, as I can tell that just as, as you and germ, I, as, uh, that you and Jeremy demonstrates sort of how, uh, different right brain and left brain thinking just quite obviously, people can come at change differently. For some people, they have the ability to think. Think themselves into a new way of acting, uh, for people like myself, I have to act my way into a new way of thinking.
I have to act as if I have to move forward as if I know people, uh, that have, uh, uh, a serene core. That can think themselves into a new way of thinking. And if that is your strength, um, I try to mention ways in the book, things to focus on that will help you recentered if you were that kind of person, um, that works through your challenges, that way, you know, I try to offer some, um, Proven, uh, exercises for working through it that way, if you were like me and you have to act your way into a new way of thinking, I try to provide, uh, examples there.
Um, I don't, what are you for you? Can you think your way to a new way of acting or do you think you're somebody that, that acts themselves into new way of thinking. I
Zach: [00:22:35] think it depends on what it is
all of the things that I've done over the last 20 years. If it's somewhat related to that, if it's something that requires the, you know, a similar mindset or a similar thinking pattern, I can think my way into that, if it's something that is, um, you know, just to be fully blunt and transparent, like I'm not.
I've never really interviewed people. Um, so this
me acting into a different way of thinking. Uh, when we started doing these interviews, I.
prepare myself. I couldn't think my way into a conversation. And so I just had to jump in and act like I knew what I was doing when in the beginning it was very apparent.
I didn't, and as we've gone on, it's gotten better. But it, for me, it depends very much on the situation.
Louie Gravance: [00:23:25] You know what, because I think that we, as it says, in the course of miracles, we learn what we teach. For example, um, I appear very carefree on stage. I appear very, very, very, very comfortable on stage with my message.
Very few people know how often I throw up. Right. And I've been in show business stills. I was a small boy and, and I've learned to not even fight it anymore, if it's gonna be one of those and I can feel it, I can fight it, or I can just, I can let it go. And once I am. Pushed out onstage and begin the actual process of the demonstration of my message.
I feel totally at ease and it's the most comfortable I am on the entire business trip. But leading up to it is sheer hell. Every single time because I too, I can hear, sometimes I can hear my dad's voice. I remember when I started getting successful at this, bless my father. He's no longer with us. And I was just sort of explaining, you know, what I talked about, you know, what I did.
And, um, he found out how much, uh, speakers get paid. And, uh, because he asked me, of course, he just asked me how much I got from him. And I told him, and he says to me, What in God's name, could you possibly talk about for an hour, then somebody would pay you that kind of money?
I fear that like, you know, the hour before I, and I, I think like, what am I like the wizard of Oz? I might like some sort of fraud kind of thing. So I actually have to hear myself. Even though I've done it hundreds. Yay. Thousands of times. So sometimes I will tell somebody, I can tell that a vice-president that's going to go on after me.
Is very, very, very, very nervous. And they've seen my demo tape and they're like, they're real nervous about the whole thing. And I, and some people get just, I know that they, if, especially if you haven't done it before and I will share with them, You know, um, just about 90 minutes ago, I was completely in my hotel.
Sean, I just want you to know that and they will go. Thank you for telling me that. No, really honest to God. Thank you for telling me that.
Jeremy: [00:25:45] That's awesome.
Louie Gravance: [00:25:46] I don't always offer that, but there are times when I just got, you know,
Jeremy: [00:25:50] you wouldn't have to cheat. Yeah, absolutely. We're
Louie Gravance: [00:25:52] all, we're all, we're all faking it till we make it here a little bit,
Jeremy: [00:25:55] you know?
Yeah. , it's so true for me too. Even doing this shows, Zach was, was very much the one that thought us into doing this. And I kept going, well, who are we where we don't have a thing on the wall that says, we learned all this stuff in psychology class, where we're a couple of guys that have experimented with some different things and they've worked or failed.
And. Sure. I guess we could talk about that. And it wasn't until we turned on the mics and I just, I just had to do it to feel what it was. And now it's interesting because so often I always try and, you know, you always hear the question of who's your audience when you're trying to figure out a market something or whatever.
And I'm always thinking
Louie Gravance: [00:26:27] like guest ology, that's what Disney calls guests to ology. And I don't call it that because it's not my copyrighted phrase,
Jeremy: [00:26:37] but so often I'm literally talking to myself because I know. That internally. I know what works for me and I need to sort of say it out loud to hear it in my own ears and go out.
Yeah, I, that that's good advice. I should follow that advice. And so that, that really steers a lot of our interactions. Yeah. On the show.
Louie Gravance: [00:26:54] What we used to say, Disney, that our restaurants tell stories, the attractions, total stories. The garbage cans, help to tell a story. Everything helps to tell a story.
Everything's sort of a moving narrative that we would engage the employees that we called cast members to join. And so what I try to get people to think of is that you are a living narrative, just like a company is just the way a company sees itself. You know, as the hero of this narrative or as a, as a, as a, um, a participant in this narrative, I encourage people.
To, to think of themselves. There's a great book now. Not written by me called the StoryBrand. And what it basically says is right now, and it's a bit like a thing, no matter what service industry you're, you're in, you're basically following one script. And this is the script. Your customer is Luke Skywalker.
And you are yoga. Bam done. So no matter, I mean, this is his, this is his contention that no, no matter what you're providing, no matter what, w w what you're serving up or making your customer has a need. They aren't going to be able to fill that need without your guidance, you know, and then whether they have a happy ending or an unhappy ending is largely up to them.
But in the structure of the story, you are, the guide, your service is, is part of guidance. Your product is, is helping somebody do something. So we're, his contention is. They're Luke Skywalker and you are Yoda period.
Jeremy: [00:28:36] That's awesome.
Louie Gravance: [00:28:37] It seems simplistic, but I mean, there is, it's a curious thing to me.
Jeremy: [00:28:41] Yeah.
Well, you know, again, we're huge star Wars fan so that, you know, you're, you're pushing all the right buttons. You've you've got us pegged for sure.
Zach: [00:28:48] I now am going to walk around, calling myself Yoda missed a couple of months just based on that.
Louie Gravance: [00:28:56] We all are basically. This, you know, we are, we are the connection between what a customer wants.
You know, we we're the conduit one way or another. So I, I understand the analysis
Jeremy: [00:29:09] definitely from the book. What, uh, give us a couple of takeaways that the person who's out there hearing this interview, looking for, just sort of that next big thing, looking to either get that promotion, get that job. Just get through the day without pulling their hair out.
What, what are some, some sort of key takeaways that folks can take from this conversation?
Louie Gravance: [00:29:30] All that is given is ultimately given to ourselves. All of that is given, is ultimately given to ourselves. And I think of think of an animated movie. An animated, like just like a one drawing, one cell, one drawing, one frame of an animated movie and think about how many hundreds of people and thousands.
Yeah. Thousands of dollars go into making that one frame. And you look at that one frame and go, Oh yeah. Well, that's very pretty, but it doesn't tell a story. You have to see 24 of those frames go past your eyes a second. To see movement, to see narrative, to see the heart, to find the emotion in it. The same is true with our service moments.
When we just look at one piece of our job, one piece of our task of our job, that's like looking at just one frame. We got to step back. I'd take a look at our service moments 20 a second. You know what I mean? We can step back and get a perspective of them so that we too can see that one step at a time.
We couldn't really see the movement we were making, but you stepped back. And just as, as, as drawings in an animated film, one leads to the next to the next to the next and perspective shows movement and, and, and, uh, declares life. So to speak.
Jeremy: [00:30:43] This might be. Shooting too far, but I try I've, I've watched a ton of documentaries about Walt Disney, about the development of the, of the various parks.
It always seemed like, you know, if, if he had an unlimited lifespan, the goal was to spread Disney across the globe. That, that life, that just that utopia, that there's, there's no, there's nothing to worry about. Everything is safe. Everyone is there to take care of each other. There was just a real sense of unity.
Um, that, that I saw in, in those documentaries, I don't, I mean, just from the inside, I'm curious.
Louie Gravance: [00:31:18] okay. There was a Jeremy that was a pivotal moment. And that was the world's fair in 1964, 65. World's fair where Walt Disney thought that maybe his entertainment, you know, the parks and that kind of thing would be thought of as hokey.
But once he got involved with the world's fair and saw how. Other cultures reacted to the product. Andy saw that you could get other corporations to pay for your ride.
Jeremy: [00:31:50] That's the trick
Louie Gravance: [00:31:52] he see this sort of dream was married about. Um, Yeah. I don't know that, that he thought of spreading Disney in sort of a cult like thing, but the way of bringing excellence in entertainment, the finest in entertainment and that Disney quality and standard.
Uh, and remember he was, uh, he felt very strongly about our countries. So he saw a Disnification and Americanization is almost one in the Spain. So that had a huge impact on his. How do you live much? That's why that's how Epcot was born. Was because of that experience. Yeah. And, uh, yes, I definitely, you know, he wrote letters about, uh, about how the internet was going to work the year that he died.
He had, he'd already been spoken to by people about how you were going to be able to simultaneously speak to the world and how people were going to be interacting. So yes, he was quite a visionary.
Jeremy: [00:32:46] That's amazing. Uh, one last question. Is there any Disney secrets, something you saw from the inside that would be mind blowing to somebody who who's a big Disney fan.
Louie Gravance: [00:32:58] I think people would really be surprised if they actually saw the underground underneath the magic kingdom and they do let people see just a piece of it, you know, on certain business programs. But. Once you get really down, down into the, the, the, these, these sort of massive halls underground underneath the magic kingdom and you're dodging service vehicles on one side and, and, and character performers, drinking slushies, you know, here's, there's Cinderella with just like, you know, Hertz sort of bloomers.
Right. I know walking down there with, with, with Starbucks did that the sheer. So there's two things. There's sheer, surreal moment of that. And the other thing is if you ever have the opportunity to be in the parks, when all the lights are on and nobody else is there, it is, it is. That's a very hard thing to explain to somebody what, what that's like to take in with, with just you.
Jeremy: [00:34:03] When Zach and I went, uh, when star Wars opened the star Wars line opened in California, we went and we were one of the first people that went. And it was one of those things where in the morning, they're ushering us through the park to the, to get in the queue. It was eerie how it was just empty, but like beautiful at the same.
It was, it, it is. It's so hard to describe that feeling of
Louie Gravance: [00:34:21] it is area. It is. And you know what? I went to, uh, the Grenfell, Brittany grand Floridian the other day to take a message for a group I'm going to speak to. And only people working there. Were visible and the music was playing and not a soul could be seen in the entire grand lobby of the grand Floridian.
And it was so much like the shiny, it was, it was cinema. Like Disney's the shining. I mean, it's really remarkable.
Jeremy: [00:34:54] That's amazing. Uh, your enthusiasm is infectious. Uh, your message is amazing. Thank you so much for spending so much time with us. Uh, I hope we get a chance to do it again.
Louie Gravance: [00:35:02] Yeah, you guys are great.
Thanks for what you're doing.
Zach: [00:35:11] It's so funny that he said, you know, seeing the park empty, uh, when we went to see Galaxy's edge, we had a reservation to go in at eight o'clock in the morning, uh, or something like that. And what that meant is we had to get in line at, I think we got in line at seven.
Jeremy: [00:35:27] That sounds right. Yeah.
Zach: [00:35:28] Yeah, before the park opened.
So we got to the gate and they walked, we were able to walk all the way through main street and over to the spot where Galaxy's edge was. But there was nobody in the park. It was just empty. It was really eerie, but it was super big.
Jeremy: [00:35:42] It was, I've got a little bit of video that I shot on that trip. I'll post that on a, on this episode, on the webpage, just so people can kind of get a glimpse of what it looks like when it's empty.
First thing in the morning, it's it is bizarre. Um, and then it's just kind of fun to be there as it fills up and you get to sort of see the, the park come to life in the morning. It's really cool. Uh, again, that was Louis Gravance, the book, his service as a superpower. A terrific book. It is, uh, if you are a Disney fan at all his stories about just what he did there and then being a part of the culture really fun.
And then the second half of the book is really more of a, of a workbook to sort of work through how to implement a lot of what he talks about in the book and in all the, the various speaking engagements that he participates in, in the country.
Zach: [00:36:26] So I really loved this book and I've, I've read it a couple of times now, since we, we talked to him, I just really love customer service.
I don't know why, like everything I do. I, I, it, it makes me happy to make other people happy and gives me a lot of joy there. But, uh, I was fortunate enough to be able to do some Disney training for, for leadership and customer service about seven years ago. And it was, it literally changed my professional life.
Like I went back to work and. Managed things that I would have never thought about managing, like having a group of people at work when they got like a ticket to go do something, I would make them call people. Um, usually they would send an email and be like, Hey, we can, we'll take care of it this time. I made them pick up the phone because it was a touchpoint with the customer and it made the customer feel special.
Right. And the once they started doing that, the just picking up the phone and telling them something like, Hey, we can fix it right now, or, Hey, we got your problem. And we're a little busy. Is this an emergency? Otherwise we can take care of it, you know, down the road. The scores that we had on whenever a case was closed or something like that, there was a, the ability to leave some feedback, but the scores went up dramatically just because of that, managing that touch point that you wouldn't have done.
And most companies don't do that, but like little things like that just made things so much better at work. It was an amazing experience to just think about all these little things where you can manage that touchpoint with the customer and make customer service. The front line of what you're doing, even though like what I was doing, didn't have a ton of customer service involved.
I was able to roll it in. So this book just puts that into even better perspective and actually, uh, you know, extended into your personal life because it's all about service
Jeremy: [00:38:27] everywhere. Well, that's an important point to make too about just our relationships that we're managing. If, if you. I literally, before we started recording this episode, I was on the phone with a friend of mine that I haven't talked to in months.
And other friends alerted me that, that he might be struggling. And so I reached out and he needed somebody to talk to. And we talked for like 45 minutes and to the point where I was like, we need to continue this conversation, but I need to do this other thing, but I could hear the gratitude in his voice where he was just like, ah, just to have a human being, to share this with.
Just alleviated. Uh, I mean, when, when he first answered the phone, I thought God is. He's not good. This is, this is a hard time he's going through. And by the end of it, I had just heard a little more, just some of that stress had lifted. I just, I could hear it. And so think about that as you're stuck in your house for the seventh day in a row or whatever it's been since you left to go to the grocery store and just think everybody else is struggling like this, too.
And if you can, if you can call, if you can't at least the text, like something. Like you said, manage those touch points because your relationships are also customer service. And I think that a lot of these principles apply to personal relationships maybe more so than, than business relationships.
Zach: [00:39:38] Yeah.
But think about that. You called, had you sent a text, you wouldn't have got, you wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the responses,
Jeremy: [00:39:46] right? Yeah. Yeah, totally
Zach: [00:39:49] good. But, um, I, and I tell people this all the time, Yeah. I've seen people go back and forth in email and a lot of context is lost in email. Just pick up the phone and call someone I've seen, you know, three-day long email conversations get resolved in five minutes.
Jeremy: [00:40:10] Yep.
Zach: [00:40:11] Pick up the phone
Jeremy: [00:40:11] because, and this is important too. I feel like this is something that we're, we're quickly losing the skill of, of doing, especially because we're also disconnected, but. Like shutting up and listening is so crucial because we all do this. We all do this thing where we, we have these points.
We want to make there's these things we want to say. And no matter what is happening in the conversation, we've got this list of, I've got to hit all these points, but most of the time, most of them don't matter because if, especially, if you're trying to appease a customer or whatever the situation is, you need to hear what they're feeling.
You need to hear what they're going through and respond to what they're. Actually going through instead of what you think they're going through and what you think are the right words to fix the problem. And that's, that's a skill that we're losing because we're relying so much on email and text and all of that,
Zach: [00:41:02] right.
People need to be doing active listening. Don't don't be planning what you're going to say before the person's done talking.
Jeremy: [00:41:10] Yeah. And I was going to say, don't be planning what you're going to say before the person's done talking. Oh, wait, I'm sorry. Were you, you just said that. I should say I should have been listening.
Zach: [00:41:21] I wasn't paying attention. I'm sorry. What'd you say,
Jeremy: [00:41:26] speaking of fantastic customer service, some of the best customer service you can get in the non-alcoholic beer world comes from the athletic brewing company. Uh, we are so proud to have them be associated with our show to be sponsoring our show. Uh, Zach, I saw you post the picture the other day of the, the latest shipment that you received.
And man, I'm jealous mine. Hasn't gotten here yet. I do have actually, I'm gonna get one that right now. Yep. There it is. The, uh, I love this one. I just, I was talking about this on the last show. The all-out non-alcoholic extra dark beer. It is delicious. Yeah. That's how I like to in the show.
Zach: [00:42:00] Um, I agree. I did, um, get some, some beer today.
The worst part about it was that it wasn't cold when it showed up and I had to put it in the fridge and wait.
Jeremy: [00:42:10] Oh, that's the worst. That's the one it's
Zach: [00:42:12] I literally pulled it out of the box and was like, could I drink one of these warm? I would really like to
Jeremy: [00:42:19] this one. I think you could even put this one on ice and you'd be all right.
This one's it's so good. It's it's got that chocolaty kind of dark. Just, I mean, it's.
Zach: [00:42:27] Yeah, they're delicious. I did have an IPA today though, after it chilled
Jeremy: [00:42:32] good for you, it was delicious. Uh, all right. So, uh, more information about them on our website, uh, while you're on our website, go ahead and sign up for our newsletter.
We like to use the, uh, the list of emails that we collect to give away prizes like the various books from the authors we talked to and some Amazon, Amazon gift cards. A lot of that is going to be coming up in the next few weeks. So please go to our website and sign up for that. And when you're done signing up for the newsletter, make sure you subscribe to the show to get it on whatever podcast player you use to listen to your podcasts.
Our next episode, I'm really excited about we're going to be talking to Andre solo. Here's what the highly sensitive refuge, uh, Zach and I have talked in the past about being highly sensitive people, raising highly sensitive children. Just a fantastic conversation about what it's like to live in these bodies that are highly sensitive and how we move through the world and how we raise children and help them navigate living this way.
With the knowledge that we have only recently, uh, acquired, which we wish we had when our, when we were our kids' age. So fantastic conversation. I can't wait to share that with you. That'll be available Wednesday at our website, and that is the fitness.com. Thanks so much for listening. Thanks so much for subscribing.
We will see you next week at thefitmass.com.
Zach: [00:43:40] See everyone.
Jeremy: [00:43:41] No, this podcast is amazing
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Former Disney Institute Professor, Humorous Keynote Speaker, Customer Experience Guru.
For over a decade Louis Gravance designed and oversaw training for the Walt Disney Company, maintaining its reputation as “the happiest place on earth.” Today he channels his expertise and energy to help other organizations become happier and more productive.
A born showman, Mr. Gravance teaches leaders and employees to bring a certain pizazz to their work – a spirit that will forge emotional connections between company representatives and customers, turning transactions into memorable experiences. He brings 20 years of Los Angeles show business and 12 years as a Disney Traditions “Professor” to his interactive culture-altering training programs. He’s provided turning points for nationally known names like Bank of America, Toys ‘R Us, and BMW of Canada.