If there is an example of a business refusing to adapt with the times, it’s the United States Postal Service. But for ongoing support of the US government and us taxpayers it would have drifted into oblivion years ago. Void of competition for decades, the USPO is failing miserably in meeting current needs; forget about expectations. Worse, the only solutions it offers involve cutting services (again) and raising rates (again). And a FOREVER stamp? Really?
I was reminded of the frustrations several times within an hour recently as I grabbed our business mail heading out the door to, of all places, the US Post Office. A huge envelope someone had waited in line and purchased postage for, had been mis-delivered to North Main Street instead of South Main Street. Happens ALL the time. Also in the mailbox: a handful of returned letters with expired addresses and forwarding orders.
Off to the city’s main post office where building repairs snatched the close parking spaces. This government services business greets its customers through a nasty entrance covered in grime and fingerprints routing you to a line that is, by mid-morning, winding out the front door.
The SELF-SERVICE Center machines are broken leaving customers no alternative but to deal with postal workers. Everyone stands in line facing a list of demands via posted signage. NO CELL PHONES. NO PUBLIC RESTROOMS. PASSPORT APPLICACTIONS ACCEPTED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. NO MAIL WILL BE HANDED OUT. Huh? NO ONE-DAY HOLDS.
To be fair, there is ONE positive message: THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING! An entire half of the business area is roped off. It formerly provided those now reduced or eliminated postal products and services.
At the main counter, one of three available clerks (for 5 stations) is explaining to a dear elderly man “No, we don’t do special delivery anymore.” To which he replies, “What? You got rid of that too?” The nicer, more customer-friendly clerk at the next station explains, “I tell people it’s now express or second day delivery service.” Wasn’t that once a given?
One gentleman is complaining because he mailed his bills before deadline in an envelope provided with a printed and correct address but the USPO mis-delivered, he missed the bill deadline and now has a surcharge to his account. He’s asked to step aside and wait outside another door that remains closed the entire 20 minutes I am in line.
You get the picture. If given a choice, would we demonstrate ongoing patience with any other business (or employee) that treats customers this way? Wouldn’t we be more impressed with being told what CAN be done for us as opposed to what the business (or employee) can’t or won’t do? What about the off-putting signage that insults the very people who pay the salaries and light bills to keep this operation in business?
Every worker and business in America is providing a service, meeting a need, or both. You simply can’t continue to do business the way you’ve always conducted it and expect to profit and stay viable into the next decade. Eventually you’ll ‘NO’ yourself out of a job.
What got you here, won’t get you there!
If your business is merely holding steady or on the decline, if you continue to cut services while raising rates….if you are failing to meet the needs of the world, prepare for free-fall straight into the history books. THAT should be enough to keep you from GOING POSTAL!!
~ From the desk of Becky Morlok ~