Santa Claus is all about customer satisfaction. So, I was right in my element last week, playing the jolly fellow for a group of young enthusiasts. True to Santa form, everyone wound up smiling and satisfied.
When handled appropriately, the Santa experience encompasses fundamentals of great customer service—kindness (empathy), giving of one’s time freely to help, being willing to answer sometimes tricky questions, and leaving folks in good cheer.
After a hard year filled with so many extraordinary challenges and unexpected hiccups, let’s all take some time over the holidays to channel our “inner Santa” when dealing with customers. Conversely, customers can add a bit of sparkle to the daily routine of customer service reps who’ve spent a year addressing snafus galore—too often with less than stellar outcomes.
It’s not hard. Just put yourself in the “shoes” of the original St. Nicholas, whose designated day of remembrance was Dec. 6. The patron saint of children and sailors well may have set the tone for Christmas, going around on Christmas Eve bestowing gifts, particularly to the poor.
Again, a kind word is a gift in itself. It’s really less about the present than your presence in a positive, affirming way. And, when you do it, a magical thing can happen. Besides putting a smile on someone else’s face, you’ll find yourself smiling as well.
I don’t know who wound up happiest with my Santa appearance—the kids or me. That’s the essence of win-win customer service.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Customer service presents is every bit as important this holiday season as customer service presence. Customer service needs to be present and accounted for whenever and wherever possible. But, at this particular time of this particularly challenging and anxious year, it’s time for both customers and customer service reps to give presents—in the form of kindness, understanding, and cutting people a break.Mark Lusky