What is the true meaning of Christmas? That is the question every Hallmark movie sets out to answer. But I’ve watched about a thousand, and if I’m being honest, I don’t think any have really gotten it right. It isn’t about spending time with loved ones and letting them know you appreciate them. Not about spreading joy and happiness to those around you through the tiniest of favors or grandest of gestures. It definitely isn’t about embracing your child-like wonder so you can truly appreciate the beauty and excitement of the world around you.
….It’s about them gifts, baby! Always has been. What does Santa deliver? GIFTS. What’s wrapped under the tree? GIFTS. What’s the punishment for being on the naughty list? The absence of (you guessed it) GIFTS.
Since we all can agree that commercialized items wrapped up in patterned paper are the true meaning of Christmas, I thought I’d help you out a bit. I’ve taken what I’ve learned about the Customer Experience and applied it to the gift getting process to ensure that I always get exactly what I ask for. And I’m going to show you how to do the same.
In the marketing world, the awareness stage is all about making your target audience aware of your existence, and in the Christmas world, it isn’t much different. Before you can acquire those sweet sweet presents, you need to tell the world what you want. That’s where the ABH method comes into play – Always Be Hinting. At the mall with your sister? Drop a hint. Window shopping on the way to brunch with your mom. Drop a hint. Sitting in the same room on your phones with your brother, drop a hint.
Repeat after me: “Wow, doesn’t this look cool!”
“I’d probably never buy it for myself, but it’d be awesome to have.”
“I sure would love one of those.”
Each phrase should be accompanied by an expectant stare that screams: “Get me that present or I’ll go straight up grinch mode at the family dinner.”
Once those gift getting suckers are on the line, it’s easy to reel them in. In marketing, you might try to get them to fill out a form, but things are done a little differently when we apply the process to getting your ideal gift. Instead of getting your targets to take action, you’re going to take action by delivering them a Christmas list. They won’t know what hit them. You can use these five sites to create online lists and email them out to family members.
For older friends and family members, I recommend setting out some snail mail with the list. Just like marketing, you need to consider your audience when choosing a delivery channel. If you have HubSpot, you can upload your list as a sales document by navigating to sales – documents. This will allow you to see who opens your list, how long they spend looking at it, and how many pages of it they viewed. A good investment if you want to feel like a winner on Christmas day.
You’ve dropped your hints and you’ve delivered your list, now it is out of your hands, right? Wrong. This isn’t amateur hour. You already know cousin Eddie is going to leave that list unread sitting in his email until December 23rd. Then you’re getting whatever they’re selling in the checkout lane at Barnes and Noble. Just as we’d have a nurture email campaign go out or sales reps follow up with our leads to get them closer to buying, we have to make sure our family members are making headway on their Christmas shopping.
Now, there are a lot of different ways you can do this, but I think the best is through shaming. “I’ve got all my Christmas shopping done. How are things going for you?” “Oh you’re just going to love the gift I got you, I can’t wait to exchange presents.” This paired with repeated mentions of your list and how much time you spent on it is sure to encourage your family and friends to actually purchase.
Revenue is the stage of customer experience where the user actually makes a purchase. Now, I know some of us like to be surprised on Christmas morning, but we’ve already discarded our child-like wonder for gift-getting greed, so let’s continue down this rabbit hole, shall we? Unlike with a business, you aren’t going to have any way of knowing what people got you. You may have an idea based on the list you provided, but we want a sure thing. You may have to bend your morals a bit here, but there are a couple of things you can do to ensure your ideal gifts have been purchased.
- Check that Amazon history. Getting access to someone’s Amazon account is as simple as telling them you don’t have prime. Login, check their purchase history, and bam! You know if your efforts have paid off.
- Engage in Christmas espionage. Everyone wants to know what they got for Christmas. Finding out what you got is as simple as finding out what someone else got and trading information.
One gift is good, but this isn’t our first rodeo. We are going for the gold. We want gifts on gifts on gifts. And just as with actual customers, it is much easier to get someone who has bought for you in the past to buy your ideal gift again. See, they are already familiar with your hints. They know how you put your lists together. You just have to run them through the process again.
Don’t teach an old dog new tricks, teach a new dog the same trick. It’s called reinforcement or something. I don’t know, you’ll have to ask our clients over at Fetch about that one.
Get ready to bring out your “ooh” and “aah” faces because it’s time to show some appreciation. Make sure to be gracious and thankful no matter what you open up. Just because you didn’t get your perfect gift the first time doesn’t mean you should make that person feel bad about their gift. You might close them off from trying to give you a good gift in the future.
Being an excellent gift giver yourself could also take your reputation to the next level. Most everyone will take the time to find the perfect gift for you if you take the time to get an excellent gift for them.
MINDSCAPE Customer Experience
This piece may have been for fun, but this customer experience framework can put in some work in the real world. MINDSCAPE’s top focus is customer experience and we’d be happy to examine your process and help you improve your current experience.
Yeah, we do that.