Father Christmas and customer service

Published on: December 19, 2012
Author: Epticablog

Given that we’re less than a week from the big day, we’ve spent some time looking at the customer service practices of Father Christmas himself. While this might risk us not getting any presents here at Eptica, what lessons can those running customer service departments learn from the man in red?

We’re rated Father Christmas against some common customer service benchmarks to see how he does……..

1          Multi-channel (3 out of 5)

Traditionally Santa takes requests through the letter up a chimney/face-to-face in grotto channels. While these currently match the needs of his target demographic very well, with the rise of smartphones and tablets, he’ll need to follow the retail industry and add more channels such as social media in the near future.

2          Responsiveness (2 out of 5)

Once children have made their present requests there’s not a lot of response until the big day itself. This leaves a worrying fear that their Christmas list hasn’t reached the North Pole and that stockings will be empty come Christmas Day. A simple auto-acknowledgement email with expected time of response would come in handy here – and save a lot of nagging.

3          Consistency (3 out of 5)

Obviously providing presents for all (good) boys and girls is a big undertaking. But there does seem to be a lot of inconsistency in what presents are delivered – and even on what day and who by. For example in Greece, gifts come from Saint Basil on New Year’s Eve, rather than on 25th December. So a bit of work on standardisation of practices is obviously needed.

4          Promotion of services (5 out of 5)

One thing you can’t accuse Father Christmas of is not promoting himself and key dates. People do know well ahead of time when the big day is, even if the Christmas campaign seems to start earlier and earlier each year. And promotion is very much multimedia – TV, physical shops, the internet, radio and social media are all aligned impressively. Brand-wise, Santa is very recognisable, even if he does have a bewildering array of names – from St Nicholas to Sir Christmas and Père Noël.

5          Feedback loops (3 out of 5)

All modern customer service departments survey consumers for feedback and adapt processes to make sure they are meeting their needs. Possibly because he’s sleeping off his exertions/mince pies Father Christmas doesn’t seem to have put a feedback loop in place, which does remove the chance to learn for the next year.

6          Customer satisfaction (4 out of 5)

While there are always going to be some disappointed children who don’t receive all the £465 of gifts that they demand, the majority do get most of what they’ve asked for. So by any measure of satisfaction, Father Christmas scores highly. And he can always blame bad behaviour if children received a pair of socks and a satsuma rather than an iPad.

Adding up the scores Father Christmas scores an above average 20 out of 30 (66%). While this shows he has some areas to improve on, given the overwhelmingly positive customer reaction every Christmas morning I think he passes the customer service test…………

Tags: Christmas, Customer experience, Customer Service, Eptica, Father Christmas, North Pole, Père Noël, Santa, Santa Claus
Categories: Customer Service, Multichannel Customer Service, Retail

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