I do have a lot of fun with the Year of Letters. Here’s a shot of me mailing a letter to Steve Carell from his hometown of Newton, MA on Day 7.
There are two things that are becoming very clear through doing the Year of Letters. The first is that if you are already pretty busy with work and you are writing a book, doing a blog that also involves writing is probably a terrible idea. My work on the book has definitely suffered from this project. It’s odd too, because I thought it would actually help me think creatively every day and sit me down to write.
I envisioned that it would take me 20-30 minutes every day to write the letter, take a quick photo and post everything, but you can probably double that time at a minimum. Maybe I’m just slow and inefficient. It often takes up to two hours to do everything involved with writing the letter and posting it online. I’m not complaining, just telling you how it is.
The other thing I learned is that something is really messed up down at the Post Office. Most of my letters go to places within the United States and I would estimate that the average letter takes one week to arrive. That in and of itself seems higher than I would have imagined. And on top of that some letters have taken nearly a month. Ironically a letter I sent to Finland arrived within a week – they seem to know what they are doing over there.
Last week I received an undeliverable letter. It was a letter I sent on January 24th! It took nearly 3 months to be sent back to me. It was a letter to the manager at a FedEx Office in Ft. Lauderdale, FL – telling him how impressed I was with one of his employees. I know FedEx is a competitor to the USPS but come on, deliver their mail for crying out loud.
Anyway, as luck has it, I will be back in Ft. Lauderdale this week and my hotel happens to be across the street from this very FedEx location, so I will go hand deliver it myself. Ms. Postmaster, please be on the look out for my invoice to you for the delivery charges that I am incurring to deliver this letter on your behalf.
Stay tuned this week to hear what happens.
Posted in Sunday Letters, Sunday Notes
Tagged blogging, FedEx, Ft. Lauderdale, handwritten letters, mail, snail mail, the Post Office, USPS, writing, Year of Letters
Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves. ~ Steve Jobs
I tried to stealthily snap this photo of Chris hard at work.
Customer experience has probably never been as important as it is now. With online marketplaces commoditizing the vast majority of products and services, it’s the customer’s experience – whether face to face or online – that dictates whether they will publicly praise or shame you.
I had some items to ship on Friday and headed to FedEx. They were awkwardly shaped, so I needed to get them boxed up. I’m terrible at these kind of tasks, thankfully Chris, the FedEx team member that helped me, was awesome. It was refreshing to see a young person take his job, and more importantly his responsibility, seriously. I decided to drop his boss a note.
It’s funny – I called back hours later to get the name of the manager and Chris answered – he’d been there all day at that point and still sounded as polite and professional as he did at 9am. I didn’t tell him I was writing this letter to his boss…I just asked for the manager’s name.
Just a note to tell you how impressed I was with a member of your team. I stopped in on Friday with two large items that needed boxed up and shipped and a young man named Chris did a fantastic job – from making sure that I got the right kind of boxes to guiding me through my shipment options. He took care of everything. His badge said that he was a trainee – I’m sure he’ll be moving up in no time. Please let him know that his professionalism and attention to customer service made an impression on me.
Keep up the good work,