Do you keep information from your customers? I hate to pile on the post office, but they really hurt their sales efforts.
I recently needed to purchase a certified letter for a business document I was mailing. I made the purchase at 10AM. I was instructed to go to the U.S. Postal Service website, usps.com, enter my tracking number and I would be able to see the letter’s delivery status.
That sounds easy. It wasn’t.
I figured that it would take a few hours to get into the postal service’s computer system. I waited till 3pm to check transit status. When I entered my tracking number I saw “Not Found” in big red letters. Maybe I needed to wait a little longer.
I tried at 4:30pm. Again, no information. That’s when I called the local post office. After 40 rings (yes, 40) the phone disconnected. Google is wonderful. I googled the district post office and got the phone number for the District Secretary. I called to report the post office not answering its phone and asked about why I couldn’t locate my letter on line.
The secretary assured me someone would get back with me. It’s been 24 hours and I still have no response. Here’s where it gets interesting. I also found a toll free national customer service number for the U.S. postal service. After being on hold for an annoying 25 minutes, I was able to speak with someone. I asked why I was unable to see my letter’s transit status on line. His answer surprised me.
He explained how certified mail works. It’s gathered in a pouch and then at the end of the day, the pouch is sent to a transit center where the mail is entered into the post office’s computer system. He obviously knew that delivery status would not have been available during the day. Why didn’t the district secretary know?
Most importantly, why didn’t the clerk tell me this very important piece of information? I would have been less confused and worried had I known that it wouldn’t have been until midnight that my letter would enter the computer system.
When you work with customers, what is information that they need to know to make their buying experience a good one? What information, if you withheld it, would confuse them and detract from their buying experience?
Customers need to know what “normal” is so they can prepare for it. They can adjust their inventory if they know that it’s normal for a delivery to be made in 10 days. They can’t adjust if they think a delivery should be made in 5 days and you need 10.
Outline all your requirements for your customers before you enter into a working relationship with them. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to serve them well, or not. You probably want to build long-term customer relationships. You will certainly fail if you keep information from your customers.
Best wishes for your sales success!