In My Case, USPS Delivery Was Anything But Special

Jan 28 • Front Page, Social Media, Trending • 4634 Views

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Social Customer Service has been a huge emerging trend for brands over the past 3 years. Singular social media managers, agency teams, large social media response teams—or some variation of all three— represent thousands of brands online with the goal of providing helpful, responsive customer service via social media.

On Wednesday, January 22, 2014, I reached out to the United States Postal Service’s Twitter account to inquire about a package I had ordered. Their website informed me that my package was scheduled for delivery on January 21, the day before.

 

 

I reached out to their Twitter account because I know that’s the best way to get a company to respond. I provided all the necessary information for the USPS team to be able to identify precisely what the issue was, and get back to me with an answer. The game changed when I received this response:

 

 

Transit delays? I’m a social media manager, so allow me to translate this tweet. “We don’t know why your package hasn’t been delivered, but we won’t admit it.” Still, while I was snappy, I was willing to forgive, if I could receive a credit on the two-day shipping I had purchased (and subsequently not received).

 


But then…

 

 

Are you kidding? So now, an employee of the merchant I had purchased services from has informed me that the particular product I purchased does not have the ability to be refunded, even if the package wasn’t delivered on time. I decided it was time to alert my 758 followers of the situation.  

 


But, I’m not unreasonable, I just want my product, so I asked for some more information.

 

 

Uh oh, now I’m really upset. Because my new friend CB had been thrown into battle unarmed and underprepared. This isn’t his/her fault. I blame the strategy. The USPS clearly doesn’t have a customer service escalation policy that can solve any problems, or even provide peace of mind to customers who are searching for information on their shipments. So I got mad…  

 

And voila, this article was born! Although… the USPS did respond to my tweet in eloquent fashion.

 


For the record, I still haven’t received my package. I’m going to have to go to the post office in person and retrieve it. This is an incredible lesson for brands: it makes no sense for you to have a social media customer response policy that avoids customer questions and doesn’t provide them with any real information. I have a choice when I ship, just like every customer has a choice when they make a purchase. Social media gives you opportunities to speak directly to your customers; don’t lose their trust the way the USPS lost mine.

 

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