Lessons from Disney World

By Melanie Garza

Director of Business Development

APA Solar Racking


Customer care is a crucial element of business success. As more and more states set renewable energy goals, solar demand continues to rise.  Solar suppliers are growing fast and all too often customer service is slipping.  We hear responses take days or weeks and all too often everything must be submitted via a form.  

We cannot forget that excellent customer service is essential to business success.  This brings me to fond memories of my first trip to Disney World with my daughters back in 2015.      

The customer service was something I have never seen before.  The entire trip, from dining with the princesses to each and every ride we rode, was an amazing experience. Every single ride at Disney was an extraordinary adventure with an incredible amount of detail and depth. Disney World is indeed a magical place, and we will cherish the memories forever.  

In studying Walt Disney and his vision for the most magical place on earth, many lessons can be learned. There are countless studies and texts written about many of Disney’s best practices for customer service, leadership, business excellence and life lessons. Disney also owns and operates the Disney Institute, built on its philosophy of creating a magical customer experience.

Businesses around the world strive to achieve Disney’s level of exceeding customer expectations. Some of their most time honored philosophies are as follows:

1. Align with your brand

Disney believes that brand loyalty is based on something truly special. When customers interact with your brand, an emotional connection is built, and the foundation for a long-term relationship is formed. Aim for your customers’ hearts, not just their heads.

Branding leaves an impression on those in your industry and familiar with the market.  Building this recognition takes time and effort, but it will lead to trust and better business relationships. Marketing and customer service are two key areas that build a trustworthy brand and give a company a name that people will remember. The level of service your sales team and entire company staff portrays is critically important to your company’s image.

Staying active on your website and with social media shows that a company is relevant and staying busy in the market.  We recommend updating company profiles, sharing project pictures, new product information and relevant industry news to keep customer’s interest.   Coordinating with and tagging your customers is a great way to increase visibility.  

2. Success is in the Details

According to Walt Disney,“People can feel perfection.” Devotion to detail lets guests know they are worth the effort. In many organizations, the small details that are often“under managed” or ignored “chip away” at the customer experience. The Disney Institute says that any place where your customers come in contact with you(your brand), you must deliver a quality service experience.

One of our core values at APA in managing the customer experience is to be responsive, have integrity and do what you a say you are going to do. Every interaction is a moment of truth. Professionalism in every medium is essential and expected.  This includes access to our sales team anytime, prompt replies and follow ups on every quote we issue.  Even on the construction side,daily reports are issued to the customer to keep everyone up to speed in real time.  

3. Know your audience

According to the Disney Institute, an organization must understand their target customers as well as those for whom the experience is not intended. Once an organization has a clear view of their core audience, they can create experiences that enhance their brand. A common mistake businesses often make is trying to create products and services for everyone.

At APA, we are boutique, focused on designing solutions for poor soil conditions.   We seek to help with strategy and understanding each project’s unique situation, giving our clients confidence and resources to help deliver a successful project.  We are not trying to play in the GW market.

4. Enhance with Innovation

To continue to be a unique and relevant brand in today’s competitive marketplace, organizations must harness the power of creativity and innovation. The Disney brand relentlessly embraces innovation with vigor.

The renewable market is changing and as more states in new geographies embrace the movement, project requirements are becoming more complex.  A continuous focus on R&D is critical to meet customer expectations for cost effectiveand installer friendly systems.  Product evolution should be fast paced as customers are forced to drive down cost andspeed up installation.  Furthermore, soil conditions such as cobbles, bedrock, soft organic, saturated and sites with high topography pose challenges with traditional pile driven systems and alternative solutions should be identified.

Aswe close out 2018 and look forward to a new year, it’s a perfect time toreflect on our past and set new goals for excellent customer service.  

Tolearn more about the Disney’s Magical Experience, I encourage you to look intothe Disney Institute for more information. Better yet, plan a trip to see themagic first hand.

Questions or comments? Please contact Melanie Garza at  





December 19, 2018

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