A few years back it was popular to say that the number one competitor for all organizations seeking to create a great customer experience was Disney. And, their friendliness and dedication to “happy like a kid” joy still makes most banks, restaurants, hotels and retail chains pale by comparison. Many leaders flocked to Disney World to go attend their Disney Way training programs.

Welcome to the new kid on the service exemplar block: Cirque du Soleil. And, their formula for success is not just an over-the-top attitude of great service; it is total sensory emersion. All their customers’ senses are plunged headlong into a cavalcade of theatrical delight. The payoff? More than 100 million people have seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, including 15 million last year.

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