Slippage

I know my last rant about the post office hasn’t even had time to congeal yet, but I felt compelled to share (again).

During the last few months, I’ve had many misdeliveries from the post office – we keep getting other people’s mail, an out-of-town neighbor of ours received one of our paychecks and someone in the next city over received my Jerry Seinfeld tickets (yes, I’m going to see him June 27th ! Woot!).

So my wife called the post office the other day to let them know that things were slipping. Finally, she got through the perpetually busy line (other complainers?) and spoke with a very nice lady. The lady took down the following information on this card:


(click to enlarge)

They have our name wrong (it’s “Gammell” not “Gamneoo”) but somehow I remain optimistic – maybe it’s just my sentimental side remembering the good ol’ days of Chuck, the mail carrier of my youth.

But now I get the impression that the post office tries but lacks the motivation and pride of yesteryear (I just wanted to use that word). I hope things change for the better. But how do you overcome slippage?

When things start to slip, here are five quick things you can do:

  1. Talk to your customers. They know when things have slipped and they usually know how to fix them.
  2. Talk to your front line employees. They talk to these same customers all day long.
  3. Make your “core purpose for existing” more concrete and livable. If things have slipped, it could be your core purpose is too vague, unrealistic or unmotivating.
  4. Check for poison. Perhaps some unmotivated employee recently sneaked into your company and polluted the office vibe.
  5. What’s your policy count? Are you addicted to company policies? Do you have policies that exist solely to clarify other policies? Do you use your policies as a shield from the inconvenience of providing profound customer service?

I’m sure there are other ideas, so help me out here. What else can you think of to overcome slippage?

By the way, if you are wondering how I ever got my hands on the card pictured above…it was delivered to us.

Happy Monday!

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2 Responses

  1. Your wife did the exact right thing, one of the two things that a consumer CAN do: complain to the source. The other is to complain to the community in the form of WOM, a posted review, or the business’ authority (BBB or whatever.)

    I’m a critic by nature/profession, so I’m always telling the poor Teller, Checker, Clerk or whomever something like “it’ll be good for your performance review if you let your supervisor know that your customer wants [the restrooms cleaned– or whatever] and that you said you’d pass along the feedback to them, thanks.”

    Even if they’re the problem (often) it can be worded to take the heat/blame off and might get corrected. This makes them more of a hero.

    I complained 2xweek at my supermarket, about the bad packaging on their house-brand to-go chickens all last winter. By summer they had a new leak-proof package. (The mention of spilled chicken fat+linoleum=lawsuit may have gotten attention.) I’m sure I wasn’t the CAUSE of the re-design, but I thanked every Checker and the Mgr as if I were when they made the change! HA! Good for you and your wife — speak UP!

  2. GirlPie,

    Great story and good advice…thanks for adding to the conversation!

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