The Customer Rules: The 39 Essential Rules for Delivering Sensational Service

We’ve all heard the phrase “the customer always rules.” Lee Cockerell, former executive vice president of Walt Disney World, shares the 39 indispensable Rules for delivering the sensational service that keeps customers coming back for more.

GsD Summer Term 1

Survey of Customer Experience Literature

Text: The Customer Rules

Author: Lee Cockerell

Synopsis: The former EVP of Walt Disney World shares indispensable Rules for serving customers with consistency, efficiency, creativity, sincerity, and excellence.

Lee Cockerell knows that success in business – any business – depends upon winning and keeping customers.The Customer Rules

In 39 digestible, bite-sized chapters, Lee shares everything he has learned in his 40+ year career in the hospitality industry about creating an environment that keeps customers coming back for more. Here, Lee not only shows why the customer always rules, but also the Rules for serving customers so well they’ll never want to do business with anyone but you.

As simple as they are profound, these principles have been shown to work in companies as large as Disney and as small as a local coffee shop; from businesses selling cutting-edge technologies like computer tablets to those selling products as timeless as shoes and handbags; at corporations as long-standing as Ford Motors and those as nascent as a brand new start-up.  And they have been proven indispensable at all levels of a company, from managers responsible for hiring and training employees, setting policies and procedures, and shaping the company culture to front line staff who deal directly with clients and customers

Chock-full of universal advice, applicable online and off, The Customer Rules is the essential handbook for service excellence everywhere.

A Few of The 39 Rules

  • Rule #1 Customer Service is Not a Department
  • Rule #3 Great Service Follows the Law of Gravity
  • Rule #5 Ask Yourself, “What Would Mom Do?”
  • Rule #11 Become an Expert at Creating Experts
  • Rule #17 Listen Up
  • Rule #26 Serve to Win
  • Rule #30 Be Relentless About Details
  • Rule #37 Surprise Them with Something Extra

About the author

Lee Cockerell is the author of Creating Magic, 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney. He is the former Executive Vice President of Operations of Walt Disney World, a position he held for 10 years. He has also held executive positions at Hilton Hotels and Marriott, and he continues to speak and teach about leadership and professional development on behalf of the Disney Institute.  During his distinguished career in the hospitality industry Cockerell earned a worldwide reputation as an expert on the customer experience.

Cockerell currently travels the world addressing audiences at Fortune 500 companies; educational institutions and non-profits; and government agencies, including the US military. For more information or to contact Lee, visit

Guestology – the art and science of knowing and understanding your guests – is a term originated by Bruce Laval of the Walt Disney Company. The use of GsD is a tongue-in-cheek acknowledgment that organizations who 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.

the GsD (Doctor of Guestology) journey: Summer 2013


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