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As the holidays quickly approach, many companies are giving back to their customers. Through toy drives, volunteering at local charities or fund-raising, businesses across the nation are pooling their resources to help the needy. Some businesses, however, have chosen to direct their resources to the people that help them remain successful: their customers. And it’s paying dividends.
WestJet pulled off a wildly successful holiday campaign for a few hundred passengers that gained them a lot of exposure and also created a customer experience like no other. In an expertly choreographed and executed plan, WestJet pulled off a Christmas miracle for passengers on two flights. The plan began when they set up a virtual booth at the gate where passengers could interact live with Santa through a video connection. Staff carefully documented each customer and what they wanted for Christmas: everything from socks and underwear to a big screen television. Once the passengers departed, the staff sprinted into action and went on a shopping spree to gather and wrap all of these gifts. Upon arrival, as passengers awaited their luggage at baggage claim, they were met with a wonderful surprise. Instead of their luggage coming down, the baggage ramp was filled with gifts individually labeled for each passenger.
According to WestJet Vice-President Richard Bartrem, “We wanted to surprise our guests with meaningful, personalized gifts when they least expected them.” They could have taken an easy path by gifting plane tickets or the same gifts to each passenger, which still would have delighted the customers. However, their decision to personalize the gifts elevated the experience, and campaign, to a new level. As a result, they created a few hundred lifelong customers that day, and they’ve received massive exposure via news reports, blogs and social media. The campaign’s video on YouTube was posted on December 8th and to date has over 30 million views.
The campaign is so heart-warming and expertly done that many viewers reported that it brought them to tears. So sit back, drink your hot chocolate and enjoy one very creative customer experience: