Santa and his reindeer: Practicing enterprise customer-centricity…


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…and employee ambassadorship, demonstrated, at this time of year, through the harmony and spirit of the Season:

About six years ago, Valeria Maltoni, now of EmpathyLab, wrote a great article in Fast Company, demonstrating some of the key customer experience and relationship lessons all organizations could learn from Santa. Here is part of what she had to say, beginning with how Santa approaches conversations and listening:

“In many ways, children got it right — they approach every wish as possible. What do you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut!

The other important part of conversation is listening. What would you like Santa to bring you this year? It’s the often unspoken question children think about about when it gets chilly outside (well, in my part of the world) and signs of the holidays are everywhere you turn. Children look clearly into your eyes and tell you they are making their list for Santa.

Let’s take a look at five things that customer service can learn from Santa Claus:

1. Santa exists in the minds of those who believe in him. It’s the same for corporations. No matter what you think you are, you’re only what your customers believe you to be.

2. Santa knows what kids want. Customers aren’t children (usually!). But think about the last conversation with your best client. Was it about something they wanted — or you?

3. Santa reads your list. More importantly, he checks it twice. What’s worse than missing the opportunity to delight your customer? Letting a sloppy mistake ruin it. Accuracy is the star of your marketing team.

4. Santa rewards good behavior. In these days of increasingly compressed budgets, it’s certainly easy to justify skipping the little things: sending a valued client a nice holiday gift, rather than the cheapest thing that will hold a logo. These economies are false savings.

5. Santa delivers — every single time. Check the history books and you’ll find Santa has never sent his regrets due to scheduling difficulties or bad flight weather. Find your Rudolph. Being there isn’t half the battle. It’s everything.”

Pretty universal stuff, right? Some ideas we can all productively follow, not just at Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, but all year long. Happy Holidays to everyone!!

Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC
Michael Lowenstein, PhD CMC, specializes in customer and employee experience research/strategy consulting, and brand, customer, and employee commitment and advocacy behavior research, consulting, and training. He has authored seven stakeholder-centric strategy books and 400+ articles, white papers and blogs. In 2018, he was named to CustomerThink's Hall of Fame.


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