How good is Santa at Customer Experience?

Published on: December 19, 2018
Author: Anne-Claire Bellec - Marketing Director

As we count down the days until Christmas, children all over the world are getting excited about the imminent appearance of Santa Claus, his reindeer, and his big sack of presents. Given how close we are until Christmas Day, we thought it would be a good opportunity to measure how good the man in red’s customer experience actually is. What lessons can CX teams learn from Father Christmas?

We’ve taken six of the key metrics used to judge the customer experience that brands provide – here’s how Santa stacks up:

1. First Contact Resolution (5/5)
Getting it right first time is crucial to an efficient, effective customer experience. And with a whole globe to travel round in a finite period, Santa understands this more than most. He simply doesn’t have the opportunity to go back to correct mistakes, so makes sure he gets it right first time, every time, thanks to meticulous planning and lots of help from his elves.

2. Empathy (4/5)
People, including children, want to engage with brands that
understand them and their needs. In the case of Santa, that means being up to date with the latest hot toys and gifts and being able to understand children’s Christmas lists, no matter how illegible they are. The fact that he achieves this year on year, is a testimony to his ability to engage with a constantly changing customer base. Even if he didn’t get me the pony I asked for when I was ten!

3. Speed of response (3/5)
While he’s fast at delivering presents on the big day, Father Christmas is a lot less responsive earlier in the process. Once children have sent him their lists, there’s no acknowledgement that they’ve safely made it to the North Pole, or any indication whether they are on the Naughty or Nice lists, and whether they will be getting presents at all. While this does keep the suspense up, adding in a simple auto-acknowledgement for every list would set worried children’s minds at rest.

4. Listens to feedback (2/5)
Listening to the Voice of the Customer is a key part of constantly improving the customer experience. And this is an area where Santa falls down. There’s
no survey process where children and parents can provide feedback or offer suggestions for improvements. Of course, he may be using AI and text analytics to analyze all the interactions he has in order to uncover trends and areas that can be changed, but a more obvious commitment to feedback would be good.

5. Consistency (3/5)
Clearly 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 standardization of practices is obviously needed.

Totaling up the scores gives Santa an overall score of 68% - not bad for a highly pressurized organization with limited resources and a single, hard deadline. And given the overwhelmingly positive reaction every Christmas morning he’s obviously delighting his customers - showing that emotional engagement is at the heart of successful customer experience. Running the same tests on your brand, how would you score?

Tags: Father Christmas, Santa, Santa Claus, Customer Service, Customer experience, CX, First Contact Resolution, FCR, feedback, VoC, Voice of the customer
Categories: Best Practice, News

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