This story from WestJet is a case study in how to create an insanely great customer service story, and ensure that it’s completely documented for use on social media. The video was released yesterday, and already there are over 1,400,000 Facebook views. The story has been shared on Mashable over 250,000 times so far.
This was the basic idea: The airline set up an interactive video terminal in an airport where families flying on WestJet got to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Then, a support team of more than 150 employees at the destination airport took on the task of finding all the gifts at mission-impossible speed, wrapping them, and having them ready when the planes landed.
More importantly, they had camera crews on both sides to capture the initial responses to the ‘Santa kiosk’ and the reactions of moms, dads and kids when the presents were delivered. If you type ‘Westjet Christmas surprise’ into Google today, you’ll get more than two pages of links about the story including Mashable, HuffPost, Newswire, DailymailUK, CalgarySun and more.
It’s hard to estimate what this kind of exposure is worth to the airline, but it would have to be in the tens of millions of dollars. I for one, had never even heard of the brand before. In 2014, we’re going to be seeing a lot of more of ‘outside-the-box customer service as news stories’. If the idea is strong enough, and it’s captured for sharing, it’s a win-win situation.