Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Carpe customer

Interesting day.

I had to run a few errands which included finally mailing my sister's Christmas present. (yea, not my strong suit) So I dropped by the local UPS store to mail the package.

As I enter I am greeted with a warm "hello" and "how may I help you." The young gun behind the counter then helped me to complete the slip detailing where my package was to be sent.

"Fill in this, that, that, and your phone number, but no email. You don't have to fill in your email."

So I thought that was a little odd. Then another customer came along and he went through the same drill of overly communicating the unnecessary box labeled Email.

After observing this guy a little while (I was there way too long) I came to the following conclusion. He was attempting to avoid having to explain their email policy, or hear a customer complain about privacy. I am guessing he had a bad experience before with a customer and thinks the best way to handle the situation is to just come right out and say we don't need your email thus avoiding conflict and eliminating any chance of collecting ANY email.

OK, then I go across the street to pay a bill at Fifth Third Bank - not my bank, they just have our mortgage. While there, I got a very friendly hello when I walked in, another hello when I got to the counter, then the unthinkable happened.

A seemingly young (same age as the UPS guy) woman looked at my check I was paying with and said "will there be anything else Mr. Nichols"? (which I love when people use my name, don't we all) But that is not it. She noticed my check was from Union Planters/Regions/AmSouth and immediately went into a sales pitch. Telling me all about their savings rate, yada yada yada.

The point is that Mrs. 5/3 was trained to utilize every encounter to turn a customer into an opportunity. However, Mr. UPS almost insisted not putting down my email address when this could clearly be utilized for future marketing or just plain old customer service.

The real shame is that I am sure UPS counts on collecting email addresses, otherwise why would they print it on the form? But due to a poorly trained guy, future revenue may have been lost.

As for Mrs. 5/3, I was looking to change banks anyway, maybe they have room for my $2.15.

Take care.

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