It was one day last week, the day after the snowstorm here in Manhattan. It was a workday and after I came to the office I remembered i had promised to mail a package to my son in Milwaukee. So I called the nearby post office to check on their working hours.
The woman who answered the phone did not identify that I had reached the post office. Instead, she simply said "Hello?"rather loudly and in a manner than seemed irritated someone had called. "Hi," I said. "Can you tell me when you'll be open today?" She replied, "Who IS this?" in an angry voice so I gave her my name and paused, after which she said--sounding even more irritated--"Is this a CUSTOMER?" "Yes, I said, are you open for business?"
"I don't know yet," she said. There are only two of us here and we're waiting to find out from our manager whether we're working today or not. Why don't you call back in an hour?"
I did manage to mail my package that day, at that post office. Apparently the manager, whoever he or she is, decided that they should indeed work that day.
Customer service at its very best, don't you think? A far cry from the WestJet story of yesterday's blog.
Ah, well. Our US postal service has lots of problems and I guess customer service is one of the casualties of an organization where there is little optimism about the future. And what a shame. It wasn't that many years ago when--with the advent of email--the postal service could have reinvented itself and monopolized the online messaging business.
But that's another conversation.