Did you get a chance to see your local Santa Claus this year? If so, how did he seem? Was he excited to mingle with kids and kids-at-heart, or was he bored out of his mind? Was his “Ho ho ho!” heartfelt, or did his festive greeting fall flat? If you pay close attention, you can spot the subtle differences between the so-so Santas who only do it for a paycheck and the cheerful Saint Nicks who genuinely love what they do.
While there are hundreds of Santa gigs around the world each year, the best Santas know it takes more than rosy cheeks and a fuzzy suit to make children’s eyes sparkle with Christmas magic. That’s why the most dedicated Kris Kringles go to Santa School. You did know there’s a Santa School, right? Think of it like a CUNA Council Conference, but for jolly old elves who like to network and swap tips and tricks of their yuletide trade. Last year, 40 students boarded an Alaskan cruise ship and attended School4Santas, also known as the International University of Santa Claus.
Believe it or not, even though Santa School is specialized and seasonal, it teaches sales and marketing tips that have the potential to boost your credit union’s service levels all year long.
Here are just a few:
1. You need to be able to adapt your experience to match the customer’s needs. A Hollywood Santa appearing on stage with celebrities needs to conduct himself very differently than a local mall Santa interacting with young children. The more Santa tailors his style to his clients, the more likely he is to be hired again the following year. The same goes for your credit union’s frontline. Training them to speak to every member the same will guarantee they consistently lose at least half of their audience. Teach them how to observe people and communicate authentically based on each member’s personality and current mindset. Remember: No matter how much the product or service may benefit them, an upset member who’s having a bad day doesn’t want to be cross-sold.
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