Listening to your customers builds business value

I visited my friendly neighborhood US Post Office recently to officially mail in my tax returns.  One envelope was for the Feds and one envelope was for the State.  An elderly women in front of me had a package to mail.  It was a rectangular package, about two feet long and about eight inches wide.  Sort of a long shoe box.

As she made her way to the counter, the postal employee asked her how she’d liked it mailed.  The answer?  “Cheapest way.”  Then the next question.

“Would you like it delivered Express Mail?”
“Is that the cheapest?”
“No … would like you like Priority Mail … delivered in 2-3 days?”
“Is that the cheapest?”
“No …  would you like First-Class Mail”?

By now the patron was getting a feel for the routine.

“No thanks”, she said.
“Would you like insurance?”
“Does it cost more?”
“No thanks”
“Would you like Delivery Confirmation?”
“No, just the cheapest way”

“Confirmation of delivery?”      “No”
“Signature Confirmation?”        “No”

“That will be $4.55”

On my drive back to the office, I made a mental list of my clients and wondered if my ear was a tin as this postal worker’s ear.  Your customer base is a key driver for building business value.  How well are you listening to your customers?

Leave a Reply