Companies are using the “Santa Claus” method to win over customer service reps, i.e. showering them with practical and affordable gifts.
Here’s how it works: After a customer service experience, customers are asked to choose a reward for the representative who helped them based on their performance, per The WSJ.
- For example, men’s grooming company Harry’s offers a coffee, a long lunch, or a gift card. Home Chef, a meal kit company, even has a goldfish as one of its options.
So, are these reps drowning in goldfish? No one is actually getting a new aquatic friend. The gift options correspond with tiers (i.e. goldfish = okay, gift card = great), and employees who rack up the most high-value digital “gifts” are eventually rewarded with an actual gift.
- Typical gifts include sporting event tickets, snacks, and gift cards of the employee’s choice (meaning they could, in theory, get a fish if they chose a pet store gift card).
Why it matters: Companies are desperately trying to hire and retain customer service reps right now—it’s the eighth-most in-demand job in Canada for 2023, per Randstad—as they need workers to field queries while e-commerce and work-from-home stick around.
- Unfortunately, the job is less attractive than before. Workers in the industry have reported a spike in bad customer behaviour since the pandemic basically melted our brains.
Bottom line: Per a Robert Half survey, 39% of Canadians seeking a new job are doing so in search of better perks and benefits. Not sure if gift cards are quite what they meant.–QH