InsideOut Online

Highlighting the Houston District


From the November/December issue of the Houston InsideOut

The Season of Customer Service

There are a number of things that I want to go over:

 First is Serivce:

We are in the service business and as discussed in previous issues of the Houston InsideOut customer service is vital to the success of our organization. During the holiday season we have an increased opportunity to exceed our customers’ expectations due to the increase in activity. We can exceed their expectations in our lobbies.  Be creative and share ways we can move customers through the line. Sadly, the Holiday Season is the only time some of our customers come to our lobbies. Whatever the experience at that time, will set their perception of us long after the season is over. We want our customers to come back. Do we need to have dedicated windows for non-revenue transactions?  Do we need to schedule appointments for passports and only offer the service at certain times of the day? Do we need to have a book or two of stamps available in our pocket to distribute to individual customers who are there just for stamps to eliminate long lines? Do we need to have special events on Saturdays or Sundays, in retail units to reduce the lines on Mondays? All suggestions are on the table and as long as we are using productive means to accomplish our targets,  I am all in. In addition to retail, timely delivery is very important. Again, some of our customers’ perception will be driven by how well we do delivering their mail. They will come back to us after the holidays, when we exceed their expectations on delivery. No delayed mail in processing and no delayed mail in delivery are key components to keeping our service high. This is not your first holiday season. Learn from the previous years and put in place a plan to win. Hand in hand, supervisors and craft, we can make a difference in many of our customers’ lives this season. Who wants to receive a late present in the mail from a loved one?

Next, is the Business:

We are also in the retail business and this is our money season; the majority of our revenue is generated from the increase in sales of our products and services. This is great. We must however, remember this is also a time to save. How did we handle it last year? What steps could we eliminate? What systems can we put in place to ensure we are tracking individual productivity? What dedicated transportation can we put in place? Do we need parcel runs? Do we need to change our staffing model to give us more extended run time on our machines?

All these questions and more, are what we must focus on to make this season a success. The recent announcement that we lost 15.9 billion dollars in fiscal year 2012, should concern us all. This is a great organization and now is the time for all to come to the aid of the organization. Individuals must step up and do their share. Selfish intentions may provide short-term enrichment to the individual. The cost is not limited to the individual. When you are part of the team, the cost is shared by all.

Last, but not least, is People:

This is the holiday season. Many in our personal lives are in full celebration mode. We are taking time to spend money and time with our families. For those in retail as we are, the nature of our business calls for us to be on the job. That is not easy. It is so important we appreciate our people and the sacrifice they make this year, and every year to ensure our customers are taken care of. Because of the increase in mail and the increase in customer traffic, we should never lose

site of the sacrifice each employee makes. We are never too busy to thank those that get it done. We should go overboard in thanking them, management and craft; every day, every hour, for what they are doing. Without them, without you, we could not survive. Know that we are a great team, comprised of great individuals, and capable of great things. Know that I recognize each and every one of your contributions. Know that it takes the whole team for us to get through this. Talk to your families and let them know how much you are needed. I will continue as the District Manager to  ensure we show how much you are appreciated.

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