Customer Service Tips for Entrepreneurs Hidden in Christmas Movies

What Christmas Movies Can Teach Us About Customer Service | Greatest Story Creative for Business

Did you know there are great, hidden business lessons in your favorite Christmas movies?

Let's take a closer look at 3 holiday classics that make us laugh, make us cry, and - as I'll show you today - can teach us how to be better at customer service.

Christmas Movie #1:

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)

What the movie, Miracle on 34th Street, Can Teach Us About Customer Service

The Customer Service Problem: 
Serving Prospective Clients + Customers Well

If you remember, this is the 1994 remake starring Mara Wilson. In the film, Kris Kringle, an elderly man who claims to be Santa Claus is hired by a Macy’s-esque department store (Cole’s) in New York City to be “their Santa” for the holiday season.

Kris starts telling children and their parents about where they can find toys that Cole’s doesn’t have or are too expensive. An angry mother goes to the General Manager of the store to alert him. She then surprises him by saying this:

How Miracle on 34th Street Teaches Us About Customer Service
“Tell your Santa Claus he made a Cole’s shopper out of me. Any store that puts the parent ahead of the almighty buck at Christmas deserves my business. I’m coming here for everything but toilet paper and bananas.”

This inspires a hugely successful ad campaign for Cole’s featured in the movie - one that blows their bargain competition away.

Cole's campaign is simple but powerful:

“If we don’t have it, we’ll find it for you.”

So what we can we take from this in the professional world?

The Movie Lesson: 
Practice "if we don't have it, we'll find it for you" to build brand loyalty.

To me, this is all about giving your prospective clients the best help possible: taking them on if they are a good fit or being intentional about referring them to someone who may be a better one. I’ve had to do this several times this year, due to capacity, project scale, fit, etc.

Each time, it’s always a value add to give someone a referral to a person, to more helpful information, or both.

The thing is - sometimes you will be the right fit for a person, but not always the first time or for every project or need. The thing to remember is that it’s not about one sale - it’s about a relationship that could build a lifetime of brand loyalty. That’s something worth far more.

Christmas Movie #2:

Love Actually

How "Love Actually" Can Teach Us About Customer Service

The Customer Service Problem: 
Communicating Effectively with Clients + Customers

When it comes to Love Actually, I’m thinking of the famous “gift wrapping” scene. Alan Rickman’s character, who is married, tries sneakily to buy a necklace for his office secretary from the store clerk, played by Rowan Atkinson.

As you’ll see in the below clip, the clerk makes this purchase and its gift wrapping a painfully long, drawn-out process, which is clearly the worst nightmare for Alan Rickman in this moment.

(I’ll leave out the fact that this storyline is a total bummer and we’ll just focus on the business lessons here.)

You can watch the scene here:

And what we can we learn from this from a business perspective?

The Movie Lesson: 
Pay attention to your client/customer's social cues for more effective communication and a more positive client experience.

Whether you work closely with clients or only occasionally interact with customers, do your best to read their emotional and visual cues. Clearly, in the scene from the movie, Alan Rickman is in a hurry and very upset the gift wrapping is taking so long. What’s tough (but also funny) to watch is how oblivious Rowan Atkinson is, not to mention how crazy true it is that packages can get super over-wrapped these days.

In the real world, try to read the room when you’re talking to a client or customer. This might be as simple as picking up the phone to have a conversation if email is creating confusion, or choosing to ask how someone is before you launch into a business discussion. The result can be a more productive conversation for both of you, and a better experience/impression of you from the client's perspective.

Christmas Movie #3:

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

What "Home Alone 2" Can Teach Us About Customer Service in Business

The Customer Service Problem: 
Making Your Clients/Customers Feel Appreciated

Kevin McAllister’s been accidentally separated from his family (again) and this time - he’s on his own in New York City. Armed with his dad’s credit card, he heads to a premier NY toy store: Duncan’s Toy Chest.

Its owner, Mr. Duncan, checks Kevin out at the cash register and tells him how all the Christmas purchases are going towards a local kids charity. Moved by the story, Kevin donates his own $20 bill.

From there, Mr. Duncan does something special and meaningful for Kevin in turn. He gifts him an ornament of two turtle doves. He tells Kevin he can give one of them to a friend, and keep the other, as a symbol of friendship.

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

Later in the film (spoiler!), Kevin does exactly this - giving one of the doves to his friend, the homeless woman he meets in Central Park. The ornament gets a new life as a special, meaningful gift that solidifies their newfound friendship.

So what does that mean for us?

The Movie Lesson: 
Give your version of the thoughtful ornament to your clients to make them feel appreciated and inspire their continued support of you.

Let me put it this way: have you found ways to show thoughtfulness, love, and appreciation for your clients or customers this year?

This can be everything from big gestures (client gifts) to small things, like a well-timed thank you email.

This all about asking yourself - what ways are you showing the people who support your business that you care about them, and what ways can you be (and afford to be) more generous with them?

I hope you enjoyed this little Christmas business lesson from Hollywood. Thanks so much for reading!

Wishing you a very, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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