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Customer Service News
16 Dec 2010

Father Christmas gives Facebook and e-mail the cold shoulder

Global mystery check: only one in three Santas reply

Nine out of ten e-mails are sent by auto-responders

Varying response quality
Only one in three Father Christmases reply to wish lists sent to them by e-mail or Facebook. And when an e-mail is actually answered, then it’s almost always an automated standard text. On Facebook, if you do receive an answer, then at least it’s usually an individualised, mostly detailed message. These were the findings of a global comparative mystery check by seven-year-old Luca-Marie and her big brother Lars from Hamburg on behalf of novomind.

Santa’s e-mail responses disappoint   
The result of e-mail requests turned out disappointing: in six out of seven cases, Father Christmas didn’t bother with a personal response and used an automated reply system instead. Only one Santa Claus paid personal attention to the children’s electronic mail ( One small consolation is that auto-responders send their e-mails immediately.

Facebook takes patience   
Even Santas active on Facebook respond seldom to requests and wish lists on their noticeboards. Furthermore, they require an average of 33 hours to gratify young message senders. Despite this, little Luca-Marie will probably be choosing Facebook Santas from now on, since some of them respond in detail to wish lists—unlike their e-mail colleagues—and a good number of them also respond to the question of whether Father Christmas sometimes makes mistakes and delivers presents to the wrong house. Around half of Santa Clauses deny ever having made a mistake.

Father Christmas is missing his target group
What Facebook Santas don’t seem to realise is that their biggest fans are not allowed to register on the social network site. Facebook does not allow registration for anybody below 13 years of age. Younger children can only reach Facebook with the aid of somebody older, like Luca-Marie with her big brother Lars. It looks like the white-beards still have a lot to learn before arriving fully in the new social media world.

Background information   
The results of this mystery check are based on a global e-mail response and Facebook analysis of Father Christmases performed in December by novomind AG. Representing all children, Luca-Marie (7 years old) from Hamburg sent her wish list to the electronic postboxes of Santa Clauses in a total of eight countries (Germany, the USA, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Australia). She wrote: “This year for Christmas I would like a new bicycle (preferably purple) and new football boots. Could you possibly tell me whether my wish will come true this year?” She was also curious about whether, since there are so many children, Father Christmas sometimes makes mistakes and delivers the wrong presents. She researched a total of 21 Santa Claus websites, writing to them by e-mail or online form. On Facebook, Luca-Marie’s brother Lars (13 years old) posted her questions on the noticeboards of 31 Father Christmas profiles.

novomind AG
innovative e-business solutions for the modern Internet world and for professional customer communication    Since 1999, Hamburg-based novomind has been developing innovative e-business solutions in four disciplines for the modern Internet world. The company is a European technology leader in each of its segments of activity, and covers the entire digital value-added chain in retail and electronic customer communication.

eCommunication (solutions for contact and service centres): novomind is the fastest-growing company in the fields of electronic customer communication and mail management. novomind iAGENT eliminates the need to use multiple IT applications by providing a standardised communication system.

eCommerce (e-shops and zoom servers): novomind advises companies in their choice of system, handles complete integration, and provides support for day-to-day operation.

ePDM (electronic Product Data Management): novomind enables the fast setting-up of customised product databases using novomind iPIM.

eMarketplace (marketplace integration): with its iPOEM software solution, novomind is the only supplier to provide the interface technology needed for quick and easy integration of projects involving high-traffic shops.

novomind AG is currently assisting more than 80 clients. Companies like Targobank, Der Club Bertelsmann, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ernsting’s family, EnBW, gebrüder götz, OTTO and QVC use novomind technology for their customer communication, for boosting their sales, and for making their e-business processes more efficient.
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