The United States Postal Service is hemorrhaging money. It has been for years. Part of their solution now apparently involves making it more difficult to access their services.
As Knightdale officials learned last week, the USPS has decided it will no longer provide mail door to door in residential subdivisions. Instead people in new subdivisions who want their mail will have to visit what amounts to a self-service post office somewhere in their neighborhood.
The cost savings are clear. Mail carriers will no longer have to motor up and down every street in the development, Time requirements are lessened for the post office on the backs of their customers who will have to deal with the shortcoming in customer service.
That hardly seems like a wise move by an agency that would like to attract more customers, rather than pushing them away.
The post office faces huge challenges to be sure. Email has made communicating information much less costly than a first-class stamp. And improvements in technology allow businesses to invoice customers without affixing postage to an envelope. And, it allows individuals to pay their bills online without putting anything in the mail.
If the postal system wants to regain some of the ground it’s lost to today’s technology, it should focus on providing more customer service and not less. Strong customer service trumps shortcomings in a great many other areas. Politicians with strong constituent services often have a smoother road at reelection time. Businesses with strong customer service attract and retain customers even when those customers may have to pay a little more for the service.
People appreciate good customer service. People leave institutions that provide poor customer service. It’s just that simple.
If the USPS is going to enforce its new delivery rules, it somehow expects the bottom line to improve. We think they’d be hardpressed to make that happen if their once-loyal customers are looking for other solutions.