This is How You Can Face Service Failures the Disney Way

Photo by Pixabay

The Disney Institute has been known to provide time-tested techniques on how to achieve customer service excellence and I’d like to share something I learned from them.

I mentioned in my last entry how I love looking for service failures and talked about how these service failures can turn someone from a disgruntled to a loyal customer.

Disney accepts service failures (135M customers/year) even if they’re not at fault and this is something that any business should try and emulate. While most of these failures are not your fault, they’re definitely your problem and whenever a failure is present, customers tend to be more sensitive with how their concerns are handled which is why it’s always easier to handle the person first before diving into the issue.

Disney follows a 5 step process to handle service failures, they call this the H.E.A.R.D technique.

These steps are proven to ensure consistent service recovery every time.


Whether it’d be through chat or a live call, you should let your customers finish, uninterrupted. Let them vent out their frustration first, after all these people are like us and they want someone to listen.

You are the best person to hear this because you have the capability to make it right by them.


Show how genuinely you care about the customer’s issue by validating them. Use phrases like “I understand how this must feel” or “I’d feel the same way too”. Saying phrases like these shows how you understand their problem and would definitely create a sense of trust.


Own the problem and be responsible by apologizing, this just might be what they’re looking to hear. You can never make it right no matter how many times you apologize, but this step is as crucial as the resolution itself. A simple and sincere apology goes a long way.


Do it and do it right! Make sure that employees are empowered to make vital decisions in cases of failures. Asking the manager for approval can take time. Resolve the issue immediately if you can. Use phrases like “How can we make this right for you?” or “I’d be happy to resolve this for you right now.”


This is the most important part of the whole process. Making sure that the same issue won’t happen again.

“Seek perfection, and settle for excellence — Disney Institute”

Make sure that you analyze the issue and figure out why the failure occurred. Avoid blaming anyone for the problem and ensure that it won’t happen again.

Want to know how to setup your first customer service team?

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