August 6, 2013

GsD – Pursuing the Doctor of Guestology

Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval, an industrial engineer with the Walt Disney Company. Over time, he codified many of the practices begun by Walt Disney with the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

Bruce Laval's Window on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom

Bruce Laval’s Window on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom

The use of GsD is my tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations that really want to understand and deliver a WOW Guest Experience need to study the best practices and principles in use today, and then adapt them to the context of their own environment.


Spring Semester

  • Introduction to Guestology 102: An examination of Disney U, by Doug Lipp. Disney U examines how Disney University founder Van France perpetuated Walt Disney’s timeless company values and leadership lessons, creating a training and development dynasty.

>>Begin an 11-part class session here.

  • Learning Lab: A 2-day onsite visit to Disney World. The first day covers the Magic Kingdom,  with a focus on the newest attractions and restaurants that have recently opened up in Fantasyland. The second day covers a 7-hour, behind-the-scenes exploration on the “Backstage Magic” tour, taking a look at all 4 parks plus a few extras.

>>Begin a 14-part class session here.

  • Wayfinding 101: Wayfinding is more than just signage; it’s a critical part of designing and enriching your Guest Experience.

>> Begin a 5-part class session here.

Summer Term I

  • Survey of Recent Customer Service Literature: A broad overview of some of the best literature in the field of customer service.

>>Begin a 10-part class session here.

Summer Term II

  • Applied Guestology 201 – A review of some of the leading organizations who deliver exemplary Guest Experiences with application to ChurchWorld.

>>Begin a 10-part class session here.

Fall Semester 

  • Leading the Starbucks Way: Information, Insights, and Analysis Needed to Create a High-Performance Guest-Oriented Organization

>> Begin an 8-part class session here.



Winter Semester

  • Study Break!

Spring Semester

  • Guest Experience Networking Event

>> What happens when Guest Experience leaders from 15 of the largest churches in the US gather for 3 days? Peek in here and here.

Looking Ahead

  • Summer Reading Days: What’s New in Guest Services Books
  • Practicum: Exploring the Five Tactical Areas of Customer Amazement at Ace Hardware
  • Guest Experience Design 101: Unpacking the Mind-set, Techniques, and Vocabulary of Design Thinking for the Guest Experience
  • Exploring New Dimensions of Guest Experiences: Beyond 3D