What the John Lewis Christmas Ad Tells us About Managing Customer Expectations

December 4, 20189min

Winning and retaining customers is a big deal – brands want to paint their company in the best possible light to attract customers, and it shows.

Christmas ads are a significant part of large retailers’ marketing efforts. John Lewis has become synonymous with this time of year, and allegedly the Christmas ad this year cost the retailers around the £7m mark.

And yet, what do these adverts actually have to do with the brand, other than building awareness? Are they providing the right message to customers, or are they breeding unrealistic expectations, ultimately setting themselves up for their own downfall?

Elton John and grand gifts

Take the John Lewis advert as an example, the stylish advert takes us through the journey of superstar Elton John’s rise to stardom; from childhood to present day and all the fantastical moments in between. The production finishes with a picturesque shot of Elton’s family on Christmas Day as he opens the extraordinary (and likely expensive present) of a grand piano. The tagline simply reads ‘some gifts are more than a gift’.

There’s no doubt that the advert evokes an emotional response from the viewer, but by building up the significance of the experience and painting a picture of perfection, are they going too far? If the message to customers is that some gifts are worth more than just a gift, what will be the customer’s reactions should their experience fall short of what they’d hoped?

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of customer service best practices, to help retailers identify customer’s needs and manage their expectations, in order to deliver a positive customer experience.

Empower your frontline staff

If customers are dissatisfied with their service, the call centre will likely be their first point of contact, which is an important responsibility for the agents to take on. These members of staff set the tone in terms of how the customer views the brand. A friendly and empathetic attitude is a great thing for an agent to have, but without the knowledge to back it up, customers will quickly become frustrated.

From a customer emotion standpoint, the person making the complaint will likely become frustrated if nobody has the knowledge to answer their question. If there’s a problem with a product or a delivery hasn’t arrived on schedule, the customer will rightly want to know how this has happened and what can be done to resolve the issue.

Call centre agents are always going to have to deal with problems they can’t solve, but with the right knowledge and training, there shouldn’t really be questions they can’t answer – brands have to make sure agents are given the resources to answer complicated questions. Providing they implement them thoughtfully, brands can even consider using technologies like Virtual Assistants to ease the burden of handling low-level queries, meaning agents can focus on the more challenging tasks.

Delivering on promises

Modern customers are savvy to the customer service process – they understand that when they phone a call centre, the member of staff on the end of the line isn’t going to be the one to come out and physically fix their problem. What they do know is that the agent should listen carefully to their issue and follow through with the resolution they offer (like arranging for a next-day delivery of a customer’s late order) because if they don’t, frustration is bound to follow.

Of course, follow through isn’t just for promises. If customers give feedback at the end of the process, this should be followed up too, so they know their input is making a difference. Engagement at every stage of the journey lets your customers know you’re not just listening, you’re reacting, which is definitely the right way to manage customer expectations.

Going the extra mile

If a brand can deliver value in every interaction, they will develop that trust, and if a brand can offer smooth communications, easy-to-use processes, and a frictionless customer experience, they will start to build brand advocates.  

Brands should make life easy for their customers, and employees have a huge role to play in this. While this seems like an obvious statement to make, when you start to dig into some fairly common situations, it’s amazing how many brand interactions require serious effort from the consumer – like repeatedly having to chase up a problem despite being promised a call back.

Instead, brands should always be thinking about what they can do to meet and exceed customer expectations. At a business level, this requires taking a hard look at processes to refine and improve them. But from an employee perspective, this means giving agents the tools to measure customer emotion, understand their own performance, and becoming great representatives for the company, so that they can truly go that extra mile.

Don’t give your customers reasons to leave

Brands wondering how to identify customer needs and expectations don’t have to tie themselves in knots to find solutions. They simply need to be honest in what they can deliver and attentive to customer’s needs.

Whilst some retailers may feel that one sub-standard interaction won’t cause a customer to take their business elsewhere, Accenture found that 61 percent of customers stopped doing business with at least one organisation last year due to a poor customer experience. One negative experience, is one too many.

The John Lewis advert sets the bar very high in terms of customer expectations, which leaves them – and other brands implementing similar marketing techniques – open to criticism. As such, it’s important that the customer experience that brands offer match up to expectations they’ve set, so that they’re not overpromising and underdelivering. By empowering workers to be knowledgeable, and giving them the tools they need to go the extra mile, brands can manage and even exceed customer expectations.

Russ Pedder

Russ Pedder

Russ Pedder is Retail Lead at Rant & Rave.

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Paul Ainsworth

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Advertising and Guest/Sponsored posts:

For Masterclass enquiries:
Tel: +44 20 86386491

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN


Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


vape: vape mods store harry potter voopoo drag theme is a vape worse than a cigarette smok t priv 3 300w bubble tank vape possession of an e cigarette in missouri best vape stores near me e cigarette store calgary best vape mod tanks discounts for ecig city water vapor pens without nicotine uwell valyrian 8ml replacement glass vision eternity ecig can you bring a ecig on a plane ecig juice cheap vibe e cigarette usa ecig cheap salt nic vape juice worlds biggest ecig ecig reddit new rta ecig site google ad diacetyl in vape juice 2017 what is the best 200 watt ecig saturated vapor pressure equation absinthe vape juice smok vape how to use best peach flavor vape juice nike vapor strike 4 low mayo clinic vaping beard vape the one voopoo drag nano pod mesh rda vandy vape smok i priv kit voopoo drag 2 brightness reddit drip tanks for mods vape society supply reddit best vape clones lg he4 review vape alien mod uwell store new york ripe collection how to get a free e cigarette smok replacement vape tools smok tfv4 triple coil uk vape juice nicotine content uwell rba vaping birdy uwell crown 2 coils amazon chalk dust ecig juice atomizer low uwell crown voopoo drag 2 mini firmware update voopoo drag 2 custom themes download wiesbaden hot springs voopoo vinci not reading coil voopoo a1 protection voopoo 80 watt vape vaping industry news

male enhancement: sexual enhancement for her devil boner fish oil libido alpha stack reviews drugs for erectile dysfunction liquid viagra drink 10 inch thick cock alpha boost pills hands and penis size man to man sex how to make your penis look big super 1 pharmacy when does a penis stop growing dick sizes around the world men inhancement big mens dicks should i take testosterone booster breast size increase best sex toy for man natural enlargement pills black and white girl errection viagra connect us types of penies epic male reviews viagra samples for sale does magnum blood flow work best way to increase blood flow viagra lowers blood pressure glossier first order promo code viagra for premature ejaculation battery powered penis pumps high blood pressure causes ed homemade penis pump how to make sildenafil citrate at home penis me please sildenafil 20 mg generic rhino male enhancement pill goated meaning stamina rx walmart no erection in the morning vitamins for penis enlargement genital warts can include quizlet how to measure penis big benis viagra single packs price hormone balancing herbs running penis skin rash on penis a way out penis small penius alpha boost testosterone booster boron supplement amazon soft penis pics anabolic king viagra compared to cialis sexual power medicine for men yohimbine amazon

cbd oil: cbd online cbd oil sacramento cbd oil free trial maximum dose for lisinopril cbd arrest cbd tiredness cbd oil for fibroids can cbd oil help a cold shark tank cbd oil episode cbd oil feeling how old do you have to be to buy cbd in texas nj marijuana green roads cbd stock symbol best cbd vape oil brands 100mg cbd gummies stand in definition cbd oil and pain relief recoil magazine beta caryophyllene cbd is cbd legal in france cbd oil and fasting green roads wellness deli melbourne cbd cbd oil solutions coupon nib dentist sydney cbd does cbd oil help nausea how to use cbd tinctures cbd living freeze ebay effect id pure cbd oil wholesale australian arthritis cream cvs how to make cbd oil using cbd isolate powder esay meaning stand by me definition delta receptors is cbd oil legal in the military treat synonym aleve vs cbd oil epileptic psychosis green machine cbd pods simple wikipedia prices on cbd oil marijuana plant pic cbd oil for libido why medical marijuanas should be legal essay cbd illegal in california eaz cbd oil marijuana and liver can cbd oil help insomnia thc percentage washington dc cbd oil cbd study hemp oil cbd vs cannabis oil cbd is cbd oil relaxing how to choose a good cbd oil koa san antonio reviews cbd in hempseed oil natural life cbd

weight loss: chinese medicine for weight loss 6 week weight loss programme 3 day workout routine for weight loss weight loss planning calculator 1500 calorie meal plan for weight loss healthy smoothies for weight loss are oranges good for weight loss detox diet weight loss awaken 180 weight loss reviews hyperdrive weight loss pills glucomannan weight loss review best otc weight loss pills 2019 artichoke extract for weight loss 1200 calorie diet weight loss results medical weight loss new orleans best cooking oil for weight loss one day water fast weight loss medallion weight loss modesto ca weight loss hair loss fatigue super skinny diet pills b12 injection and weight loss weight loss percentage keto weight loss one month cold foods for weight loss chamomile tea for weight loss melissa peterson weight loss hcg injections for weight loss cost affordable weight loss meal delivery weight loss pill cambogia weight loss problems fitbit weight loss plan best adhd medication for weight loss coastal medical weight loss centers green tea supplements for weight loss isagenix weight loss results magnesium and weight loss chia seed drink for weight loss oxycodone and weight loss 12 pound weight loss what diet pills work best for men best fiber pills for weight loss prostate cancer weight loss weight loss pills obese new you weight loss postnatal weight loss pills weight loss on wellbutrin algae pills for weight loss orihiro night diet pills review jadera diet pills the best pills to lose weight mexican diet pills for sale al roker before weight loss starcaps diet pills grapefruit juice benefits weight loss upper pills quick weight loss center diet recipes ideal fit fat burner reviews fish oil and weight loss