The Customer Service Survey

Data Driven Service Delivery Model Audit for Santa's Workshop

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2010-12-22 14:52

Executive Summary and Recommendations

This audit of Santa's Workshop has been conducted using our proprietary Feedback-Action-Recognition-Teamwork model for implementing the Data Driven Service Delivery Model. In each of the four major categories we have identified strengths and weaknesses of Santa's Workshop, and make recommendations for improvement.

Category: Feedback

Observations: Santa's Workshop has no formal customer feedback mechanism in place. There is considerable unsolicited feedback, in the form of "letters to Santa" sent by current and prospective customers; however, analysis of a random sample of these letters shows that they mainly consist of demands for specific products, and few contain any concrete suggestions for improving the customer experience. Customers may be inhibited from supplying negative feedback out of a concern that they could be retaliated against.

Recommendations: In the near-term, Santa's Workshop should implement a mechanism for tracking spontaneous feedback contained in "letters to Santa." This can be done manually or through a commercially available natural language processing package. Long-term, we recommend a formal customer satisfaction survey be conducted after each holiday season, with survey responses tied to the specific gifts given to each customer and the elf responsible for making the gift decision for that customer; this will facilitate analysis of highly effective elves ("HEE") for the Recognition program we recommend below.

Category: Action

Observations: While Santa's Workshop has developed highly sophisticated data mining and analytics tools for its signature "Naughty or Nice" list, we note that none of these tools have been applied to tracking internal processes or customer satisfaction levels. Considerable in-house expertise exists for creating data-driven process improvements, however, it needs to be refocused for maximal impact.

Recommendations: We recommend using the same technology applied to the "Naughty or Nice" list to evaluate the effectiveness of individual elves; this will be driven by the customer feedback collected through the mechanisms we recommend in the "Feedback" section above. Leveraging the powerful "Naughty or Nice" branding will help sell the program internally by emphasizing that this is part of the Santa's Workshop culture: we suggest using a similar-but-different name such as the "Pathetic or Productive List."

Category: Recognition

Observations: Certain members of Santa's team have gained considerable recognition for their achievements; but this has been limited so far to reindeer. We could find no instances where an elf was given any sort of recognition for individual accomplishments (except for Santa himself, of course), and there is little opportunity for an elf to be promoted to reindeer. This lack of individual recognition is highly damaging to elf motivation, and misses a significant opportunity to encourage maximum achievement throughout the organization.

Recommendations: Santa's Workshop should embark on a program to identify Highly Effective Elves ("HEE") through internal metrics and customer feedback, and offer these elves public recognition. This program should include both financial and nonfinancial rewards, and could eventually expand to commissioning new Christmas stories focused on HEEs in much the same way the "Rudolph" story singles out one particularly effective reindeer.

Category: Teamwork

Observations: Santa's Workshop tries to maintain the brand image of a small family-owned company, when the reality is that it has grown into a globe-spanning organization with significant management challenges. While the Workshop remains true to its mission of "spreading joy to children everywhere," the current tool for measuring customer satisfaction--seeing their faces light up on Christmas morning--is highly labor-intensive and not consistent with the state of the art in psychometrics.

Recommendations: Santa himself needs to provide leadership to his Workshop, and embrace the current tools available in categories like Real-Time Satisfaction Measurement (RTSM) and Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM). This leadership will help overcome the organizational resistance among the other elves to changing the Christmas Tradition: the organization needs to understand that traditions evolve as technology advances, and this will lead to a more efficient and globally-competitive Workshop.

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