PicturetheMagic.com “Magic of Service” Scholarship

A $500 College Scholarship

Picture the Magic provides advice, insight and information to families who want to make the most of their vacation, making their dream trip as magical as possible.
Example: Disney Cruise Tips

We believe there is true “magic” in providing stellar personal customer service. The ability to create a brand through unexpected acts of human kindness and service help differentiate the best companies in the world from all the rest.

Students currently studying Marketing, Business, Travel, Hospitality or Communications may be especially interested in this scholarship program, however focus in these fields is not required. A passion for serving a customer for the sake of delighting another human being is all you need.

Scholarship Winner 2017

Congratulations to our five finalists for the “Magic of Service” Scholarship. Our scholarship prize winner was Carson Stringer of Vista, California.

Carson was selected the college scholarship winner based on creativity and innovative thought displayed in the essay application. As scholarship winner, he will receive $500 to be used toward college.


A special congratulations to our four runners-up:

  • Jay Copperman, Mays Landing, New Jersey
  • Andrew Lehman, Ada, Michigan
  • Kaia Roberge, Helena, Montana
  • Cory Bliss, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Winning Submission

Below is the text of Carson Stringer’s winning essay:

Feeling special is magical. There is nothing worse than feeling like a number when it comes to customer service. A great way to make a guest feel special is by allowing guests to feel as though they are the most important person at that time. Not rushing them allows a guest to feel as though they matter. Taking a moment to ask someone how they are doing today and actually waiting and caring what their answer is goes very far. Guests feel the difference between a rehearsed line from customer service and a true conversation between two people. Canned responses and comments feel awkward for everyone but real conversation makes people relax and feel they are being paid attention to.Someone who tries to rush someone makes a guest feel uncomfortable and not important.

Timely service is also very important and everyone has a different way they want to experience this. Some guests like to speak to customer service in person and want to physically see someone face to face. Some guests prefer calling someone by phone, while others prefer email or web communication in order to access customer service. All of these options are important and having them available in a timely manner are extremely important.

Using someone’s name is very important for magical customer service.

Calling someone by name gives a guest the feeling of familiarity and makes them feel respected. Hearing your own name being used gives someone a feeling of importance and makes you feel like an individual and not a number. Using someone’s name in email correspondence is equally important and shows you have taken the time to make a personal connection.

Special perks creates magical customer service. An unexpected upgrade, a special bonus are just a few ways to create customer loyalty. Getting something extra without it being anticipated creates a feeling of being a VIP. VIP programs and loyalty programs are very important but a surprise upgrade can create even more of a loyalty and satisfaction.  

Complaints are inevitable but how they are handled by customer service will make a difference whether a customer returns. The most important rule is listening. Everyone wants to be heard and not having a way to do this infuriates guests. Knowing that you have been heard and that your issue will be addressed is extremely important. Knowing and feeling that customer service cares is even more important. An apology goes a long way for guests and letting someone know you are sorry is always appreciated.   

When someone takes an extra step to ensure a guest’s happiness it always is a positive step. Instead of pointing to where something is located, you can instead walk someone there. People are more likely to feel special and have a VIP experience when you step away from your desk to assist them. You can email someone suggestions for an even better experience. If it’s a special occasion you can add a special touch to help them celebrate. If someone has a special dietary need you can help connect them with chef’s to ease their fears and make things convenient. There are many ways to take an extra step to ensure your guest has a positive experience.   

To recap some of the ways to create magical customer service:

  • Giving your time and making a guest feel as though they have your one on one attention without feeling rushed
  • Timely service where you can access customer service easily via phone, email or in person.
  • Using a guest’s name to make them feel important and respected via the phone, in-person and via e-mail
  • Unexpected perks and upgrades to feel like a VIP
  • Listen to the complaints and make sure guests know you care
  • Take the extra step

Expressing the feeling that your guest is special and valued is the most important way to convey a magical customer service.

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