This Holiday Season Santa Claus Is Going Teach You Customer Experience
Santa Claus is the king of the customer experience world. Ho ho ho, no, we aren’t joking. The jolly bearded guy knows what makes CX (customer experience) tick. In this festive yet very detailed article, you’ll learn about how he creates customer satisfaction and loyalty through near-perfect application of core principles of CX.
Picture Santa in your mind. There are things like presents, reindeer, elves, North Pole, cookies, Christmas etc associated with his success in CX. Let’s break up these details and look at Santa’s present operation closely. For starters, these are key actors and functions they carry out: Santa Claus (CEO, sales, marketing, delivery), Mrs. Claus (finance, CRM, production, HR, logistics), elves (production), reindeer (delivery), and children (customers). All of them have roles in bringing out the key features that make up a wonderful CX journey. The core features Santa Co. rock out are brand personality, customization, quality, and consistency.
Brand personality: Santa and his team go beyond simply creating a brand image. They create a brand personality, which is an organic conglomeration of images, feelings, and actions associated with a brand. Santa himself has a universally recognized brand personality. Red-white outfit with thin rimmed glasses, white hair and long beard, chubby appearance, jolly laugh, reindeer sled as mode of transportation, chimney as access and interaction point, cookies and milk as accepted form of payment instead of money, a giant sack full of gifts, presents for good kids, and lumps of coal for naughty kids are all part of this personality. And when you incorporate the feeling of a close-knit family with Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves, and reindeer at the center, the resulting brand personality is warm, sincere and consistent; it invokes a sense of peace and joy. These emotions perfectly match with what we all seek in brands we can embrace.
Customization: Santa and his team design, produce, and deliver all customized gifts. Good kids get to choose which present they want by writing letters to the North Pole. Naughty kids all get coal, though. Santa’s relationship with the children continue until they grow, so this series of unique interactions are sustained for a long time. This type of long-term relationship gives children determination to keep being well-behaved next year as well as the upcoming years. Children forge an emotional bond with Santa who knows them well and reacts to their actions accordingly.
Quality: The presents are created by Santa’s awesome team who runs the production, delivery, and quality control functions. Mrs. Claus runs the HQ operations; she is the finance, customer response management (CRM), production, and human (elf, in this case) resource (HR) departments all rolled into one jolly elderly lady. As the mother figure of this family operation, she cares for the reindeer, ensuring an issue-free delivery. She oversees the present production, in this sense, she also handles logistics and is the production quality manager. She bakes cookies to sustain her husband, elves, and herself. One of the most important tasks she carries out is the keeping of the “who’s been naughty and who’s been nice” ledger. As an internal quality management measure, Santa finally checks the list twice, as the song goes.
Elves are much more than just assembly line workers, Santa treats them as friends and family. This applies to the reindeer too. Rudolph the Reindeer is a dear friend as well as an important asset to the delivery operation. You can definitely see that the whole process is geared for creation of a high quality customer journey.
Consistency: Santa’s core values are always consistent. Good kids get presents, naughty kids get lumps of coal. In return for all his services, Santa just asks for a plate of fresh cookies with a glass of milk. Although it’s unknown whether Santa prefers chocolate chip or gingerbread cookies. Also, timing of the interaction with children is always midnight. Location of interaction — i.e. the touch point in CX jargon — is in the front of chimney. Socks hanged on the fireplace and under the Christmas tree are the locations where Santa leaves presents (and coal). Kids do not have to go out and search for what they got, they know where they will find their presents (and coal, again). This is the most vital point of a successful customer journey.
Santa is the boss of CX. With his excellent team, he keeps his customer base loyal by paying attention to customization, quality, and consistency. But, Santa actually goes one step further. He has undoubtedly the largest number of brand advocates ever: the children population around the world (plus some hopeful adults). He doesn’t need to market or run ad campaigns himself, his advocates spread his brand and bring in more customers from the younger generation on their own.
One More Step Toward Excellence
Santa is the undisputed champion of CX; yet, there is one tiny issue Santa’s team cannot deal with right now: Real-time interaction with the children is very limited once the delivery starts. Santa does listen to children’s wishes, he implements changes and improves the operations, but you can observe the changes a year later. Plus, he cannot change the gifts at the very last minute. What if a good kid had a change of mind about toys or a naughty kid had done a really good deed at the very last second?
Our advice for Santa is to start using a real-time customer experience management platform to make each kid happy in order to solidify his position as the CX boss. This way, happy kids and their parents will be waiting for the jolly guy to come around next year as well.
As Pisano family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s from the bottom of our hearts.