Andrew Nunnelly

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I work in San Francisco. My parents live in Florida. When it comes to getting back home for the holidays, this means that there are literally thousands of miles (and customer experiences) separating me from enjoying Christmas Day with my family. Sometimes it takes a miracle or two to actually get there.

From shopping and shipping to fighting crowds and flying, there’s no lack of stress created by the trek through this time of year. We all have experiences pulled straight from “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” we’d like to forget, and every year, we expect there will be more to come. While many companies continue to focus on the sales-opportunity the holidays present, some are getting creative to ease the pain—or eliminate it all together.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite pieces of holiday customer experience miracles. Merry CX-mas!

1. Delta’s In-Flight Safety Video

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Following Virgin America’s lead (and also assuming some travelers might be facing long delays), Delta decided to lighten the mood for the holiday travel season. They’ve taken (some alarming) information we’ve heard over and over again and somehow made it fun to watch. Even if you’re a Scrooge, it’s hard to make it through this video without at least cracking a smile. This pleasant surprise for weary travelers even has a celebrity cameo — and I don’t mean Santa Claus.

 

2. IKEA’s “No Empty Chairs at Christmas’

“No one should be lonely over Christmas if they don’t want to be” — that’s the premise behind IKEA’s online network, “No Empty Chairs at Christmas.” It gives people the chance to either host a Christmas feast or attend another if they don’t want to spend it alone. It’s a shareconomy — or chaireconomy — story that truly warms the heart!

 

3. Uber’s Christmas Tree Delivery Service

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Getting a Christmas tree home from the nursery, woods, or parking lot near your home is not always the easiest task. That’s why the car-hiring-app, Uber, teamed up with Home Depot to deliver trees on-demand in 10 cities across the US — ornaments not included. They called it #UberTREE, and by the looks of it on Twitter, there are a few more jolly people in the world.

 

4. Travelocity’s Gnome

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Sometimes all a 4-hour flight delay or an hour-long wait at baggage claim needs is a little comic relief. Isn’t that why they invented Twitter? Not exactly, but there are some brands out there who seem to have fully embraced this notion, and one that’s leading the pack is Travelocity. You’ve probably seen their now famous Gnome on TV, but you might not know that he has a significant web presence. His twitter handle, for example, embraces the frustrations and cliches around travel and makes you laugh — instead of scream. He’s gearing up for the holiday travel season and the 31,923 anxious travelers who follow him.

 

5. Amazon’s Sunday Deliveries

Remember when the US Postal Service was about to end Saturday deliveries? With the help of Amazon, they’ve done a 180 just in time for the holidays — hello, Sunday deliveries! In the New York and Los Angeles areas, residents will be able to receive Amazon deliveries on Sundays at no extra cost from the USPS. This means customers in these cities have a better chance of getting their Amazon gifts by Christmas than ever before. Don’t live in one of the two largest cities in the US? Don’t worry! Amazon plans to continue to roll out this service to new locations in the coming year.

 

6. Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line

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From Thanksgiving to Christmas (and even Boxing Day), turkey reigns supreme at many a holiday feast. Yet, it’s not the easiest thing to cook, and even when you know exactly what to do, things can go wrong. That’s why Butterball — kings of poultry — started the Turkey Talk-Line in 1981. This toll-free number is staffed by real human beings who are turkey-cooking experts and can talk you off the culinary ledge. Don’t believe this is real? Try calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372).

 

7. Hilton’s “Presidential Holiday”

Not all holiday deals will actually save you money, and the Beverly Hilton’s $45,000 “Presidential Holiday” is testament to that. The emphasis for this incredible experience is wholly on “Presidential” — starting with the police motorcade that will greet you at LAX and escort you to the hotel. From there, you’re on to the Presidential Suite where a Christmas tree awaits you, setting the tone for a few days of living like the Commander in Chief in Los Angeles. For those looking for a slightly more Vice Presidential experience, the hotel is also offering much cheaper holiday packages — one of which includes a gingerbread cooking class with the Beverly Hilton’s executive pastry chef.

 

8. WestJet’s Christmas Miracle


If you’ve been anywhere near a computer in the last two weeks, then you might be one of the nearly 30 million people who has watched the above video. The synopsis: Flyers were asked what they wanted for Christmas, and when they arrived at their destination, those presents were miraculously waiting for them on the baggage carousel. Not just a brilliant marketing campaign, it was a real experience enjoyed by real people — and captured for the re-enjoyment of you and me. If only this would happen on my flight back home to Florida this year.

From everyone at Medallia, we wish you a wonderful holiday season — with at least one customer experience miracle. If we’re missing your favorites or have a story you’d like to tell, share them in the comments or on social media using #CXmas!

Photo credit: s_herman