This Post Makes You Re-think About the Japanese Spirit of Hospitality: True Disney Land

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I just read a post on Facebook posted by the official Facebook page of Japan Disney Land, which makes me re-think about the Spirit of Hospitality.

 

「すみません。3 時のパレードは何時ですか?」

If you were a Disney Land staff and you are asked the above question, how would you answer it?

According to the Disney Land’s post, this question is surprisingly asked often even though it sounds stupid. Literally, the translation of the above phrase is, “Excuse me, from what time is the 3 pm parade?”  (I will explain why I translated it literally.)

In Japan, many people would normally answer “The 3 pm parade starts at 3 pm. (Come on! You just said it in your question!)” Yea it seems to be a OK answer, isn’t it? However, the Disney Land management tells you… NO!

“Of course no. We are the customer service. We shouldn’t make fun of our customers.” If you think in this way, yes, you are smart and correct, but not enough. Why? the Disney land says,

私たちキャストは「ゲストが本当にお聴きしたいことは何か?」を想像力を働かせる必要があります。

(English)
“We, the Disney Land casts, should use our imagination to think, what is the real question our customers are trying to ask?”

 
Related article: Why Foreigners say Japan customer service is awesome?

 
This Post Makes You Re-think About the Japanese Spirit of Hospitality: True Disney Land

 

What does the customer really want to ask?

In Japanese language, 「3時のパレードは何時ですか?」 can be comprehended as 2 meanings.

 

1. What time does the 3 pm parade start?  (Obviously this is not what the customer wants to ask)
2.  What time will the 3 pm parade reach my current position?

Yes, because the question in Japanese is a little bit ambiguous, many people would just take it with the 1st meaning and make fun of the customer who asked such question. But with the Japanese Spirit of Hospitality, Disney Land suggests us to think further on the meaning of this question.

The customers know the time of the parade,they just want to know when the parade will pass by their position.

 

A Much More Appropriate Response

Disney Land’s model answer is,

 3時のパレードはお化け屋敷の横をスタートし、こういうルートを通過しますので、こちらに到着するのは3時15分ぐらいになります。

(English)
“The 3 pm parade will start from the Haunted House, pass by this road, and it possibly will reach here around 3:15 pm.”

Even this is not the best answer yet! One more better answer can be

約30分ぐらいのパレードですから、この場所ですと、3時15分頃から始まって、見終わるのがだいたい3時45分ぐらいになります

(English)
“The parade will last for about 30 minutes. At this position, it possibly will reach at around 3:15 pm and will finish around 3:45 pm.”

If you answer in this way, the customer will be able to arrange their schedule for after the parade. It’s a more friendly answer.

This Post Makes You Re-think About the Japanese Spirit of Hospitality: True Disney Land

The True Disney Land Spirit Answer Will be…

However, it’s not the BEST answer for Disney Land yet. Disney Land aims for a deeper hospitality observation. In this case, if you were a Disney Land staff, you should

例えば、質問をされてきたゲストの好みを観察するのも1つです。
ゲストが身につけているもの、小物や帽子などをよく観察するとそのゲストの好みが見えてきますよね。

(English)
“For example, you can observe what the customer’s favorite character is. If he wears some accessories or cap with certain character, then you know that’s his favorite right?”

In that case, a Perfect Disney Land Spirit of Hospitality will be

 

“Sir, do you like Winnie the Pooh?”
“Yea, I love it so much!”
“Did you meet Pooh in the park yet?”
“Oh no, not yet.”
“It will be coming in the parade! But at this position, it can be a little bit hard to see the Pooh, let me show you a better spot to see the parade, sir?”
“Thanks, how kind are you!”

If you respond to the customer in this way, you will definitely amaze him. This is the true Disney Land’s  spirit of Hospitality. How would you feel if you are treated in this way as a customer of Disney Land? 🙂

 

Naruhodo!

Japanese language is often said to be an ambiguous language. Many foreigners hate it because it doesn’t state clearly the speaker’s thought sometimes. I used to be one of the haters of this ambiguous culture too. ^^”

But if we view from the point of the Japanese spirit of hospitality, we know that Japanese language emphasizes largely on the observation of people’s mind.  Disney Land, teaches us a very important lesson about observation.

What do you think about the Disney Land’s spirit of hospitality?

 

YOUR REACTION?

Shen Lim
A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.

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