[credit provider=”By wallyg on Flickr” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/wallyg/1092542955/”]
Fast Company blogger Roberta Matuson recently wrote about an experience at a US post office that exemplifies bad customer service.Apparently, the post office isn’t supposed to give you packaging tape, even though most do provide the service. Check out this memo that a postal worker gave Matuson when she asked for tape:
“This message is for All offices.
When a customer needs Packaging Tape in order to seal a parcel in order to mail it, the process has not changed. SELL THEM A ROLL OF PACKAGING TAPE. No-one (sic) should be taping parcels for customers or giving them tape to seal it themselves. USPS paid for the tape so that it is available for customers to purchase. We have instructed everyone to offer Packaging Tape as the additional item during every transaction.
This past weekend there was a situation in one of our offices where the customer put on a scene because she could not get free tape to tape her parcel. She named 6-7 neighbouring offices that always give her the tape. Unfortunately for the SSA that was doing her job correctly, she had to be subjected to the screaming with other customers in the lobby.
Please refrain from giving the Packaging Tape away.”
The post office exists to provide a service, not sell office supplies. A piece of tape — which it used to provide anyway and customers had come to expect — was the only thing keeping these customers unsatisfied. It’s not worth it.
Consider Amazon, a company that knows how to keep customers happy. When Jeff Bezos’ online retail titan cut all of its spending on TV ads back in 2003, it put that money into lowering the price of shipping to help service customers, and it has been a huge success since.
And that was a big move. Providing packaging tape isn’t. Spending the cash on even the smallest of services could result in ground gained in the competitive landscape, just by providing that little bit of value to make the customer happy.
What do you think?