Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Counterfeiting, Customer Service, Business Ethics, and Lessons Learned - Part Two

"No slogan." Hmmm, strange, I just looked for the slogan for the United States Postal Service and on their home page none was found. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe that's a bad thing. Maybe a little bit of both, eh?

Well, after my counterfeiting ordeal yesterday, read about it here, much of my day was wasted playing a detective ala Miss Marple from those wonderful PBS mysteries. I say, Miss Marple, because our hair is the same color and we share the same grim overall facial expressions.

Miss Marple aside, I frantically prepared the rush job Altar Card order to take to the USPS for Express mailing for delivery within two days to satisfy my retailer's customer wishes. I carefully packaged the altar cards securely to ensure they would travel undamaged.

Then, off to the post office went I.

A long line of people waited for service there. It was 3 PM and I had better things to do than stand in that line. But, I spotted two postal clerks working whom I had dealt with before.

I felt in good hands.

So, the line moved lightning fast, the postal clerk was in a genuinely good mood as usual, shipped my parcel at a reasonable price, and recommended that I take a stack of their mailing boxes FOR FREE to use in the future. That was great news alone. Then, she told me that I wouldn't have to pay extra for Delivery Confirmation this time like I usually do because it comes included in all Express Mail shipping transactions.

It all was too good to be true: a pleasant professional experience with the US Post Office, reasonable rates, free boxes, and it appeared that my customer just may get their Altar Cards by the Wednesday deadline.

Today, I checked online at the USPS website's Delivery Confirmation page. The package was already in Corpus Christi as of 11 am. That meant that the customer would probably receive my mailed package in under 24 hours from way over here in Ohio.

Yep, Time Warner and Cashland step aside, and watch the big boys like the infamous US Postal Service show you what good customer service is all about. And, unlike the others, they don't even have a slogan that I could see!

"The Power of You" is absolutely correct. Customer service, business ethics, accountability, competition, and market forces will make the inept companies bust sooner or later. It's tradition. It's the way of nature, I believe. No matter how good the improved "mousetrap" is, if there isn't good customer service, good supervision, and good management, a company will fail before too long - most of the time anyway.

And, the popular, fallible counterfeit detector pens that are passing errant judgment on so many daily, will go the way of the lie detector. Out of the limelight, but still around.

When FedEx and UPS entered into competition with the USPS, they knew they had to mature. And, they obviously have.

As a graphic designer turned fledgling small businessman, I'm trying to learn the ropes of business and ethics, and good customer service.

I think I'll try to do it the post office way. And, I am open to suggestions to any good businesspeople out there reading this. I may just publish your comments for others' benefit too.

Well, thanks for hanging in there to read about this true tale of my woe. I hope you have a pleasant evening, and if you have to run an errand ...

please don't ask me to go with you.

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