Vocalabs Newsletter: Quality Times

Issue
101

Krampus Gets VoC Feedback

SANTA: Krampus, please close the office door. I’ve called you in here to discuss some feedback we’ve been getting about you in our Voice of the Children program. I’d like you to listen to this recording and think about how you might have provided a better Christmas Experience.

(recording starts)

INTERVIEWER: …thank you for that feedback. Can you tell me the reason for your rating?

CHILD: Because he hit me with a stick.

INTERVIEWER: He hit you? Who hit you?

CHILD: The mean old guy with the horns. He said I was naughty and hit me with a stick on my bum and it hurt.

INTERVIEWER: I’m sorry to hear that. Was there anything else?

CHILD: He said he worked for Santa and said he knew I was naughty, but Santa is supposed to be nice! Santa would never hit me with a stick.

(recording ends)

SANTA: So, Krampus, how do you react to that?

KRAMPUS:  I don’t understand what the problem is. I was just doing my job.

SANTA: I see. And what exactly to you think your job is?

KRAMPUS: I punish the Naughty children. You reward the Nice ones. That’s what we’ve always done.

SANTA: It’s 2016, Krampus, we need to change with the times. You do remember that we adopted a new mission statement?

KRAMPUS: “To provide an outstanding Christmas Experience to children worldwide.” You know I never liked that. It’s a bunch of management consulting baloney.

SANTA: Like it or not, Krampus, Joy and Merriment are core to the Christmas brand, and that mission statement has been adopted by the Board of Elves. We can’t be spreading Joy and Happiness if you’re going around spanking kids with sticks.

KRAMPUS: Birch rods. I put a lot of effort into making sure we have the right sticks with just enough flex and bounce.

SANTA: Look, the point is that you are not providing the Christmas Experience today’s children expect. We’re losing market share to Halloween. This isn’t the 1880’s, when we didn’t have any competition and didn’t have to worry about whether kids had a Merry Christmas or not. I need you to think about how you can give every child, Naughty or Nice, an outstanding Christmas Experience.

KRAMPUS: My job is punishing the Naughty children. Do you really think those kids are going to give me a good survey score afterwards?

SANTA: Just because Christmas is still the biggest holiday around doesn’t mean it always will be. All the research shows the same thing: in the 21st century, holidays are about family, togetherness, and having a good time. Reward and punishment are out. We need to adapt to modern sensibilities if Christmas isn’t going to go the way of All Saints Day.

KRAMPUS: You don’t really think we’d be acquired by Halloween?

SANTA: It seems unlikely, but don’t underestimate the ghosts and goblins. They’re ruthless. So you see, we need to change with the times. A lot of the stuff you do might have been fine back when you started your career, but it’s not OK now. Now it’s called child abuse, and parents go to jail for it.

KRAMPUS: You know they can’t do that to me.

SANTA: Yes, yes, we all know that as a supernatural creature you’ve got blanket immunity to all laws, including the laws of physics. I couldn’t do my own job without it. But what I’m trying to tell you is that times have changed, and you need to change with them. Or you’re going to be out of a job.

KRAMPUS: Oh, now I see where this is going. You’ve been trying to push me out for the last hundred years. This is just the latest. Really, Santa, ever since you got that Coca-Cola contract you’ve been insufferable. I’m just as much a part of Christmas as you are.

SANTA: Nobody is trying to push you out. If anything it’s the opposite. You were here before I was, and helped me learn the ropes. I’m trying to help you, but it’s getting harder and harder to find a place for you in the modern Christmas. You need to get on board with the new vision. If you don’t, you won’t be pushed out. You’ll just wake up one morning and discover that none of the children know who you are anymore.

KRAMPUS: (long pause) Jesus…

SANTA: Yes, we’re even struggling to keep Jesus part of the Christmas celebration. We can’t take anything for granted anymore.  And that’s why it’s so important that Krampus be perceived as contributing to the outstanding Christmas Experience we have to deliver.

KRAMPUS: OK, look, I get the message. I have some ideas. My job is to punish the Naughty kids, right? Maybe that doesn’t need to involve spanking them with a birch rod. What if I just scared them instead.

SANTA: Hmm…interesting idea, and the competitive analysis we did on Halloween shows that it might work.

KRAMPUS: Exactly! The kids get a little scared, but afterwards getting scared was fun. It can add a whole new dimension to the Christmas Experience.

SANTA: Ho ho ho! I like where this idea is going. Put together a team of elves to flesh out the details…

KRAMPUS: …we can do some A/B testing….

SANTA: Let’s figure out the best way to pilot this in next year’s Christmas Master Plan. But remember, if the Voice of the Children study shows it’s not working, better have a plan B.

KRAMPUS: Right. I’m on it, boss.

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