Managing Excellence

Product Excellence Manager Phil Royle works online and in person to protect Legoland’s reputation.

Phil Royle, Legoland Florida’s excellence manager, joined the theme park in Winter Haven four months before it opened in late 2011. He says he enjoys talking with guests and playing with Legos.

Phil Royle gets paid to make sure visitors to Legoland Florida go away satisfied.

Royle, the park’s product excellence manager, has 12 years of experience with Merlin Entertainments Group, the parent company of Legoland. A native of England, Royle worked at Legoland Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Aquariums before joining Legoland Florida four months before the Winter Haven park’s opening in October 2011.

What do you do as a product excellence manager?

I am responsible for managing the guest experience and product development for Legoland Florida. Product excellence is a diverse role. It covers all aspects of our park and interacts with our guests as well as our team members known as Model Citizens (MCs). I get the opportunity to review guest experience as well as the morale of our MCs and put processes in place to continually improve the park.

Our business takes the welfare and morale of our MCs very seriously, and I truly believe that if you do not take exceptional care of your team, you find it difficult to ensure that they take exceptional care of your guests.

You sometimes respond to complaints or comments posted by Legoland Florida guests on websites. Do you seek out online reviews as a way to counter criticisms of the park?

I need to stay current with our guest feedback and respond when appropriate. Our guests are the center of everything we do, and my role is to concentrate on our guests and the feedback they provide. We are still a very new theme park, and some processes are still in development. We know that we can constantly improve what we do and have a positive impact on the guest experience.

The Internet proliferates with sites allowing consumers to post anonymous criticisms. How important is it for Legoland to manage its online reputation?

The world today revolves around technology-based feedback, and we spend a lot of time developing how we can communicate with guests. We look at every piece of feedback that we can; we have a dedicated team for this and respond accordingly.

What proactive measures do you take to ensure the experience of Legoland guests will be excellent?

My experience in the industry and growing up around theme parks allows me to understand what our guests need. Legoland Florida is the ultimate Lego experience, and family friendly fun is the center of everything we do. To me, it all comes down to the Lego bricks and the children who visit our park to make sure they have the most immersive experience possible.

My role is to make sure that we maintain our core values in line with our Lego-based visitor attractions, corporate standards, industry standards and, most importantly, safety standards.

What steps does Legoland take to assess the satisfaction of its guests?

We use our touch-screen kiosks, iPads, mystery-shop visitor programs, and, most importantly, face-to-face feedback from our guests to understand their satisfaction level and obtain feedback on ways we can improve. I spend a lot of time walking around the park talking to our guests about their day. That’s probably one of the best things about my job—talking to guests to make sure we are delivering what we have promised them and, of course, playing with Lego (bricks) during my work day!

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Meet the Author
Gary White is a writer for the Lakeland Ledger in Lakeland, Florida.

How LEGO Almost Lost It

Brick by Brick takes you inside the family-owned LEGO Group. By following the teams that are inventing some of the world’s best-loved toys, the book spotlights the company’s disciplined approach to harnessing creativity and recounts one of the most remarkable business transformations in recent memory. The story is told by David Robertson, a professor of operations and information management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

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