Santa-Style Customer Service
The stores were pretty packed today, but the excellent treatment we received
in one of them got us to thinking about the importance of customer service.

The sales associate overworked, didn't have enough help, had obviously
been there for several hours, had a line of people out the door, and was
subjected to quite a few rude comments by people who were unhappy with
the long wait for help.

Despite that, she smiled, treated us courteously, suggested how we could
upgrade, improve and add accessories to our purchase, and most
importantly, made us feel important.

Make no mistake, customer service is a very real part of your marketing and
PR efforts. In today's social media world all it takes is one unhappy Facebook
post or Twitter tweet to undo an entire marketing campaign and create a public
relations problem for you.

It got us to thinking, and we realized we can learn a lot about customer
service from jolly old Santa:

1. He Makes a List and Checks it Twice. St. Nick makes doubly sure his
customer contact information, and his notes on their wants and desires, are up
to date. Talk about staying on top of a big data base of info!! But, he does it...
every year!

2. He knows What You've Done All Year. Santa stays on top of his customers'
past and current interactions and checks in with them periodically, to see how
they're doing. He's proactive about it, when he's made aware of a problem.
Talk about agile channeling... :)

3. He Personalizes Every Experience. St. Nick knows what you like and
dislike, and uses this info to customize/personalize each interaction with you.
He calls everyone by name, asks for pronunciations if he's unsure of them,
and always checks for the correct spelling. Wow!

4. He's a Master of Teamwork and Efficiency. He serves billions of people
every year, and has a global force of brand ambassadors (parents) who are
happy to help promote his brand. Amazing...

5. He Keeps Things Positive. Part of St. Nick's appeal is that he's always
"on", when he's representing the brand. This is important, because studies
indicate that even when people can't see you, they can still perceive your
mood through your "tone". Smile and the world smiles back at you!!

6. He Listens Carefully to Each Customer. Santa can't always deliver
everything on each customer's list, but he listens carefully, figures out what's
most important, and makes it a priority. Hmmm...

7. The Santa Team "Lives" the Brand. No one on the staff at the North Pole
would would ever deliver anything less than an exceptional effort, and the
company culture is legendary!!!

8. He Creates Loyal Brand Advocates. I became a customer at a young age
and I'm still singing his praises. Millions of other current and former customers
do the same...

9. Santa Always Delivers On Time. St. Nick's reputation for delivering on time
is unmatched. He lives up to both deadlines and expectations.

10. He Follows Up With Handwritten Notes. We know. It's old-fashioned in
the digital age, but this kind of small, extra effort pays huge dividends. (I got
when I was 6, and I'm still a brand ambassador!

Posted on 12/26/12
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