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The US Postal Service Cares About How They Serve
Dec 15, 2008

Today in the mail I received a post card from the US Postal Service, specifically from Delores Killette, their Vice president and Consumer Advocate.

"Hello, I am the Consumer Advocate for the US Postal Service and I would like to ask a favor of you that may help us provide you and other customers with improved service.  In a few days, you will receive a survey from us asking your opinion on how well the Postal Service has been serving you over the past 30 days.  We will use the results of the survey to benchmark the quality of service we are providing and to help us improve.  The survey is completely voluntary. The results will be kept confidential and it should take only ten minutes or so to complete. I hope you will accept our invitation to participate.  We appreciate your business and look forward to hearing from you." What a pleasant surprise coming from a government agency, whose reputation for how they do what they do is not the best.

Used properly, surveys that solicit feedback from internal and external clients can be very effective.  But your intentions must be “pure” or the process can backfire.  Are you really seeking continuous improvement, or are you eliciting praise?  Your clients are not easily duped; they can see through self-congratulatory mechanisms that, as an aside, typically miss the mark.

Requests for feedback must be ongoing, timely, specific, easy to complete, and limited to vital indicators of satisfaction.  Your goal is to ascertain areas requiring improvement, and the extent to which the improvement would enhance client satisfaction.  Needs that have been satisfied, while gratifying, are not really motivators.  If you are well-intentioned about seeking continuous improvement, you must be inspired by what you are missing, not by the targets you hit.  Properly designed surveys will lead you to these answers.

I can't wait to read the survey......

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"How You Do What You Do", by Bob Livingston

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