It’s a common theme in modern Christmas movies - Santa tries to upgrade the North Pole’s technology and processes to bring it into the 21st century… and fails. Whether it’s a rocket powered sleigh, industrialisation of the toy workshop, or a modern ERP system for around the world present delivery, it always goes awry and ends with a child having no present on Christmas morning.
It seems to me the issue isn’t technology per se, it’s how it’s been applied - the focus is always on efficiency. But, efficiency has become table-stakes, not a differentiator, even for a brand as well-loved as the North Pole.
As organisations further south have discovered, customer experience is the new driver for competitiveness, and technology needs to enhance every customer interaction and make sure that every touchpoint is positive from the customer’s perspective.
With that in mind, I’ve been looking at how Santa could build an amazing customer obsessed organisation powered by the Salesforce Customer Success Platform.
Marketing is for life, not just for Christmas
Well, to start with, Santa and the elves wouldn’t have to wait until early December to start engaging with their customers - Santa can use Marketing Cloud to build personalised journeys throughout the year, nurturing each customer (child) with appropriate messages through the right channel.
Location based messages could be triggered whenever a local toy store is visited - creating timely and impactful messages, whilst also gathering important insights into which toys will be the popular ones come December.
Personalised journeys at scale would ensure Santa can stay in touch with every child throughout the year - a useful reminder to keep the boys and girls behaving as their parents would hope!
Customer-centric “sales” for all the boys and girls
Sales Cloud could be used to make sure every lead (letter) is managed through to a successful close. The North Pole would be joined-up, responsive, and customer focused in how it handled every inbound request.
Right from the start, as a letter arrives, Sales Cloud’s lead routing capabilities will ensure that requests are routed to the right elf department. Rules could be based on language (the North Pole is is a global operation after all), toy type or age, but however Santa decides to set up his teams, each request will be handled promptly and by the right elf - critical to ensuring the whole operation works effortlessly
At the heart of the North Pole’s new customer experience platform is the single view of the customer. How else would every ‘department store Santa’ know what each boy and girl wants for Christmas? With a single point of truth, and every request and interaction captured on a central record, Santa and his team can:
- Track millions of requests
- Keep records of previous year’s deliveries
- Collaborate with partners to fulfil this year’s list
- Keep tabs on all those important little details that make Christmas so special
In fact, Santa is able to quickly customise his use of Salesforce to track critical information, such as with the width of each family’s chimney, date chimney was last cleaned, and who provides gluten-free snacks.
There’s even a new way to manage the ‘Naughty or Nice’ list. Salesforce Einstein's AI capabilities would allow Santa and his elves to harness predictive intelligence to spot those likely to be naughty and manage them accordingly - as parents around the globe rejoice!
A toy factory in the Cloud
Let’s not forget that buried somewhere under the North Pole is a massive toy factory. Managing the production process on gingerbread clipboards is going to result in issues - we all remember the great “Frozen Elsa” debacle, right? The North Pole could use one of several ERP tools to track and manage their operations on the workshop floor.
An operation as old as the North Pole is bound to have some legacy applications. Yes, even Santa is lost on Lotus Notes Island, and struggling with SharePoint! The North Pole’s CIO and Trailblazer admins could build productivity apps integrated with the rest of the Customer Success Platform. For example:
- Travel Approvals for trips South
- Rosters for staffing shopping mall Santa experiences
- Expense Management for all those gingerbread lattes
- Logging Health & Safety issues on the workshop floor
And because apps created on the platform are instantly mobile and collaborative, elves can stay on top of their business wherever they are.
Servicing Santa in the field
All those wooden toy machines on the workshop floor are prone to breaking down. Santa runs a large maintenance department but sometimes getting the right elf technicians dispatched, with the right parts, can be a challenge.
As the North Pole runs on a Just in Time delivery model, any delays could be fatal for Christmas morning. So Santa could use Field Service to ensure that issues with machines are logged, elf engineers are dispatched efficiently, and even routed correctly (the North Pole is a big place). As the elf engineers would be armed with a mobile field service app, Santa can track their progress in real time.
And with the IOT Cloud, Santa’s sleigh can be connected too. This means any issues can be addressed by elf technicians dispatched via Field Service Lightning, making sure the sleigh never breaks down over the mid-Atlantic again.
Salesforce manages the Christmas Eve delivery process
On the big night itself, Santa could also use mobile apps, such as Today to keep a track of his schedule - though it’s probably the longest delivery list ever seen.
As Salesforce1 allows Santa to have his own Santa Branded version of Salesforce on his smartphone, that single view of each customer is right there in his red-gloved hand. Even that custom information about chimney widths is accessible to Santa, right there on the roof-top
Elf-Class customer service
An area where Santa may have fallen down in the past was post-sales customer support. Santa always left assembly to the parents, which, let’s be fair, wasn’t a great experience. With Service Cloud, the new customer delight centre at the North Pole will deliver amazing service and support to bleary-eyed parents.
Whether it’s through a connected community, social channels, email, phone, or even two-way video calling with Salesforce’s SOS app, Santa’s elves will be able to respond to questions, requests for help, and the odd complaint about missing batteries in an effortless manner. And remember - it’s all integrated with the Customer Success Platform, so the elves know what you asked for before they even pick up the phone!
Santa clearly runs a huge operation - billions of interactions every Christmas, with relationships that go on for years. He can use Salesforce’s Wave analytics app to visualise every aspect of the business - detailed reporting and analytics available to everyone at the North Pole creates the kind of transparency and accountability that drives great performance.
And as Wave is available on his mobile device, Santa can track performance metrics whilst enjoying yet another mince pie and a small brandy at no. 56.
If all 'elf' fails...
And of course, in the very unlikely event that with all that world-class customer experience and productivity, someone still doesn't get the present they want on Christmas morning, Salesforce Commerce Cloud powers many of the world’s great online stores, allowing individuals to shop for themselves to get that special gift before the Boxing Day sales have even begun in earnest.
And that's a wrap
Scientists once took the time to definitively prove that Santa didn’t exist. The proof went along the lines of; with 1.9 billion children in the world and only 24 hours to visit all of them, Santa would need to travel 50 times the speed of sound to get to each one. At that speed, the friction from atmospheric drag would cause him to overheat and combust after just 10 seconds of flight - hence Santa could not exist.
The famous retort is that “Yes he can, because he’s magic”!
Should Santa ever decide to run the North Pole on Salesforce, he’d get the magic of customer experience mingled in with all that reindeer dust.
To discover how you could start delivering these types of connected customer experiences in your own business, check out our new e-book.