May 26, 2018
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Disney Institute sessions in Bangor focus on customer service

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — The Disney Institute, which presented a seminar in Bangor last September on business excellence, is back in the city this week to share what it has learned about another key business topic: customer service.

The institute, in partnership with Eastern Maine Development Corp., gave a presentation Wednesday on “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service,” which also was a topic at an invitation-only event on Thursday.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response last fall and saw an opportunity to build on what was presented in that program,” Michael Aube, president and CEO of EMDC, said in a statement. “Quality service is essential to the success of any business. Every business has customers, both internal and external, and Disney has certainly proven that they are among the best in quality customer service. Disney Institute provides a chance for our local businesses to learn their strategy.”

“We share Disney’s learnings,” Sean Bliznik, content development specialist for the Disney Institute, said Thursday morning. “We share what we have learned, what have we done as a business that you can adapt to help you to be successful.”

The Disney Institute makes about 30 presentations every year all over the country, asking participants, “What have we done as a business that you can adapt to help you to be successful?” Bliznik said.

Laid-off millworker Kurt Thompson of Burlington was one of hundreds who attended Thursday’s event at the Hilton Garden Inn. There was a half-day session, hosted by EMDC and Bangor Savings Bank, focusing on “Disney’s Approach to Quality Service,” and a panel discussion led by area human resources experts to help Thompson and others in attendance learn how to build a resume and search for jobs in today’s competitive job market.

After losing his job in 2008, Thompson said, “I got the opportunity to go to college and studied building construction technology. This is the next step.”

Thompson, who is enrolled in the Department of Health and Human Services’ ASPIRE program, said he and others at the conference learned a lot about applying for jobs. But more important, he said, it has helped “build our confidence.”

On Thursday afternoon a question-and-answer panel discussion was held with representatives of Bangor Savings Bank, Eastern Maine Medical Center and RH Foster.

Carol Colson, a Bangor Savings senior vice president and host of the session, said its purpose was to help those attending the conference “bring what they learned through the Disney program” and apply it by talking with representatives of the local companies.

She said her message to the attendees was one of “encouragement that there are companies — like Bangor Savings — that are growing, thriving and hiring.”

More than 200 people participated over the course of two days, said organizer Melissa Gerety of EMDC.

BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.

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