Many of Santa Claus’ work-related challenges stem from his location.
It simply doesn’t get much more remote than the North Pole where the longtime toy manufacturer and distributor and his brand are firmly entrenched.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Claus says, “so it became important to create better communication strategies to facilitate our work.”
That work begins long before any manufacturing or distributing takes place. Part of the Santa Claus operation’s unique selling proposition is its ability to take toy requests from all over the planet.
“Traditionally, we relied on hand-written letters but the process became too cumbersome,” Claus says.
Recently, the North Pole-based organization, like most organizations, has embraced video communication. By leveraging video call platforms, Claus says he is overcoming many of the challenges related to operating from an extremely remote location.
“The bottom line is we’re staying more engaged with our customers,” he says, adding the demographic his organization targets is “young, accustomed to video call platforms like Apple FaceTime and Skype, and bring an expectation of being able to connect face-to-face easily and quickly.”
As such, Claus and his team have rolled out several options for video communication engagement:
This platform allows Claus to engage in live video calls with children, which can be recorded and provided via email for record-keeping purposes.
Video Calls with Santa via iTunes
Through this app, $2.99 on Apple’s iTunes, children can conduct interactive video calls with Claus that are automatically recorded, according to the app description on iTunes. “Just select a call and start speaking with Santa! Whenever you’re done answering a question, tap anywhere on the screen, and he will say his next line of dialogue. Calls are automatically video recorded! It’s that easy!”
For $29.99 up to six kids in different locations (think cousins living across the continent) can conduct a group video call with Santa Claus. When the call is over it can be downloaded.
Schedule live video calls with Santa via this website. Parents can prepare Santa Claus with appropriate information to make the call more productive—child’s school name, friends’ names, pets’ names, hobbies, for example.
For this site, Claus shares his calendar which parents can reference as they choose a desired date and time for a video call. Then the child just logs onto the site’s “Santa Cam” at that time to talk one on one.
“Santa Cam” via Video Chat with Santa
If it’s all about options, this site facilitates live video or instant messaging chats with Santa Claus using common IM and video chat applications such as Skype and FaceTime. Claus can also record a customized video message to be delivered by email to the child via ImSanta.org.
For Claus’ North Pole-based facility, better engagement through video communication has led to a more efficient operation.
The big hurdle was simply breaking from old habits and traditions while getting used to new forms of communication—something that can be challenging for non-millennials, Claus acknowledges, stroking an exceedingly long white beard.
“The bottom line is it’s how my customers want to communicate, so it’s where I need to be.”