Is It Counter Intuitive To Think The Postal Office Is Alright?

I mailed some packages the other day at the Post Office in Libertyville, IL, and saw a sign inside their office which read as always, service to our customers is our #1 priority. The sign went on to say that No financial challenge or uncertainty will change that.

I know it’s common for some consumers to take shots or criticize the post office – it’s an easy target. Comedians and people in the media will also take their shots at this institution. Who is there to defend them? On the other hand, should the Post Office be defended?

First, it only costs 44 cents to mail a letter. From my perspective, I think it’s certainly a reasonable cost if not somewhat inexpensive. In fact, I would not mind raising the price for mailing a first class letter if they could keep that price the same for at least 3 years.

Post Service image from Greelycounty.org

Ok, before you accuse me of being counter intuitive, for the most part, the Post Office seems to do a good job. Yes, you have to wait in line from time to time for stamps or to weigh a package but generally that only occurs around the holidays or tax season.

In terms of mail delivery, they appear to do a fine getting it from Place A to Place B. Sure you hear horror stories of lost mail although those are exceptions. Millions of pieces of mail are properly delivered before you hear negative news about a mail carrier (usually a male postal worker) losing a bunch of mail.

Conventional wisdom might say they suffer a bad image because of their mail service but that’s not my service experience. I generally receive a letter that was meant for a neighbor next door and vice versa although that may only occur once a year. A few mistakes over the course of the year are not something I would fret about.

I may visit six or so offices in the Chicago area during the course of a year and usually my visits occur where I’m greeted by a friendly associate. Generally, the associates are pleasant, personable, and a lot less formal and serious than they used to be. Perhaps they are more customer centric than they were years ago?

Once a large organization or a public institution gets a reputation, especially a negative one, is it difficult to shed that reputation?  It’s vogue and fun to criticize the post office. Who in their right mind would ever defend such an institution?

I wonder how others feel about the post office. Do you think they get a bad rap? Alternatively, do they deserve their less than sterling reputation? Do you experience friendliness at your local post office as I do in Libertyville, Grayslake, or other locations in Lake County, Illinois?

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

3 Responses

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