Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good-bye Post Office

Have you noticed there are fewer ads on television for the US postal service? I think the only one running currently is for flat rate boxes.  It's a good thing the Post Office isn't wasting money on advertising.  They might want to spend it training some of their workers on basic customer service things like courtesy and maybe even how to properly up-sell.

There is a window clerk at our local post office who always asks me if I want to rent a PO box, have need of extra boxes, or want to ship my parcel via express mail. Every time I am there, I get the same, tired, monotone spiel. I'm sure she has no interest in whether or not I actually want or need those services. Her manager said she has to offer them so that is what she does, sour face and bored attitude all the way.

Not long ago, I had to mail about twenty certified-mail envelopes. In case you haven't used certified mail recently, it's expensive. I don't object to the expense. The extra dollars cover the special handling. I do object to the reaction I get whenever I have a large mailing.  On this occasion, I was refused service by two window clerks, twice on the same day.  They were "too busy." Wait a minute!  The US Postal Service was complaining about being too busy?  

So much about where we decide to do business is influenced by the folks who perform the service. The jolly young man in the flat rate box ad seems happy to assist his customers. He is helpful and pleasant. All the good will created by that ad is squandered if the consumer doesn't encounter the same attitude when they walk into their local post office.The flat rate ad might get me in the door of the post office but finding out the clerks are "too busy" to wait on me makes sure that I avoid it as much as I can.

Businesses get into trouble because they offer bad product and/or lousy service. At my local post office, I know where the problem lies and it isn't with the product.