Customer Loyalty and the Spirit of Christmas


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Despite the weather outside being frightful (it’s a balmy 8 degrees Fahrenheit outside my office today), Christmas spirit abounds. The holiday is just a few weeks away, and extra doses of friendliness, goodwill, compassion and generosity are apparent everywhere.

All of this holiday cheer has me thinking about what effect the spirit of Christmas has on customer experience and loyalty, and whether or not there is a link.

I’ll admit that I haven’t conducted an elaborate study on this linkage, nor have I gathered any concrete metrics to support my theory. However, based on qualitative evidence from my own experiences and those of others, I firmly, 100% believe there is a connection between customer loyalty and the spirit of Christmas a business extends, not just seasonally, but (here’s the catch) throughout the year.

I’m not the only one who has recognized this link. I just saw what I believe to be the best presentation on customer loyalty I have ever seen. Ever! It was given by Michael McCathren, Chick-fil-a’s interactive digital marketing manager, at the recent CEM Summit. I urge you… Do yourself a favor and take the 35 minutes required to watch it. Then, share this little gift with your boss, colleagues and team members. Watch it at your next staff meeting. Yes, it really is that good!

Here’s the link:

The messages McCathren delivers within his presentation provide incredible food for thought as we close out the year. In it, you’ll find and explore:

  • Heart-warming, engaging and interactive stories about his grandfather’s successful, full-service motor company and his secrets for building a loyal customer base.
  • Tales about Chick-fil-a’s successful value-driven customer programs.
  • The “Customer Value Equation.”
  • Compare the effect that today’s “big data” marketing approach has had on loyalty vs. the approaches associated with “old school” customer service philosophies.
  • The importance of knowing your customers’ stories.

Key Take-Aways…
In the event that you don’t get around to watching the presentation and absorb to the fullest the oh-so-important wisdom it imparts, here are two take-aways:

  1. What can your company do differently to adopt McCathern Motor Company’s year-round “Spirit of Christmas” customer service philosophy? (i.e. “We believe in an all-the-year-round spirit of Christmas — friendliness, good will, and efficient, prompt and unselfish service to all.”
  2. What is your company pouring value into? As McCarthy says, “Success starts with customer stories. Stories are how you discover what customers value. If your company pours value into what customers value most, then you’ve got a customer for life. Every customer has a story, we just have to open it and read it.”

As 2013 draws to an end, let’s all look for at least one way to apply the Spirit of Christmas to our day-to-day business activities. Just think what it could do to enhance long-term customer experience in 2014 and beyond.
From all of us at Touchpoint Dashboard, happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy, successful New Year!

Jennifer Kramp
For 15 years, Jennifer has helped small & large companies define & enhance their brand and communication strategy. She's supported customer experience-related initiatives in industries including agricultural equipment manufacturing, global staffing/HR, hospitality & non-profit services. She's a supporting member of Touchpoint Dashboard, a web-based customer touchpoint mapping platform.


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