Customer Service…. Is it lost?

Just a few days ago I had to visit the post office because I was trying to complete a passport application. I’ve never had a passport and I’m planning on visiting Canada in a few months so I started to research the process. Like any responsible consumer I visited the government website, completed and printed the necessary forms and then located the nearest place to bring the application and additional paperwork. The closest place happened to be a post office. I thought to myself… “this isn’t that difficult. Just stand in line for a few minutes, drop off the application and pay the fee”…. Wrong!

After waiting in line for 20 minutes I get to front, pull out my application and before I can even say a word I hear “You don’t have an appoint… you need an appointment……. NEXT!” I was literally dismissed and the postal clerk was ready to move on to the next person in line.

Well, I don’t go away that easy and I argued about why I need an appointment for something that should take 60 seconds?  I was ignored!

Next I asked how I would go about making an appointment. I was told to call the manager (who’s door was 3 feet to my left).  I dialed the number while standing at the postal counter 10 times and it was busy each time. I expressed this frustrating experience to the postal clerk (as if he cared) and he said.

“Try an eleventh time”

I then walked the 3 feet to my left and knocked on the managers door in hopes that I didn’t need an appointment to talk to this very important person behind the door with the peephole. She answered and I explained that I wanted to make an appointment. She pulled out her book and I was told that the next appointment was in 2 weeks.

At that point I left…… I figured it was the best thing for my sanity.

After asking a coworker I then drove to the Sarpy county courthouse and was in and out in no more than 5 minutes (including the walk to and from the car). GREAT JOB SARPY COUNTY COURTHOUSE!


So what is the reason for telling you this frustrating tale? Because as I look back on the experience, if the postal clerk had been a little more “human” or “caring” in his response and if the postal management had a little common sense in their customer service practices I could have left a happy consumer rather than one more person with a complete understanding of why they are bankrupt.

This whole experience is just a lesson to anyone that has contact with customers on a daily basis that the slightest bit of attitude or rudeness can totally turn the customer experience in the wrong direction. This goes the other way as well. If an unhappy customer keeps a level head and everyone treats each other with a little bit of respect, everyone can walk away satisfied.

Seems like common sense…. I hope it catches on.

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