Friday, October 30, 2009

This is NOT a Halloween Horror Story

It seems to me that it is a stock joke to refer to the Post Office and it's workers whenever you want to give an example of poor customer service. How many times have you listened to a comedian tell some horror story of trying to get something accomplished at the local Post Office? Well I want to tell of a different story.

Let me give you the set-up. The Rev and I are planning a vacation this next summer. After nearly two years of dealing with the aftermath of the flood, we want to get out of Dodge. In fact, we want to go far, far away. That means I need to get my passport renewed because it expires February 1, 2010.

I'll admit it - I've been dragging my feet. I just didn't look forward to the hassle. I imagined I would have to go down to the Post Office, get in line, and deal with a bored office worker who's only goal was to get through the day so they could escape to their home.

Well, I'm very happy to tell you that was NOT my experience when I finally went out today to get this off my task list and get the Rev off my case. This ended up being a very pleasant and enjoyable interaction with a very lovely and competent lady at our main Post Office. Her name tag said she was Kim and I'm sorry now to say that I did not get her last name.

I had gone online and visited the State Department's website about passport renewal so I had what I hoped were the proper forms all filled out. I had my old passport and I was ready to mail everything in to start the process. I just needed two passport photos. The site said that many post offices were able to take the photos and when I checked our Post Office website it said they provided that service so off I went to the post office. I figured I would just get the photos taken then I would step off to the side and prepare my package to be sent off to the Passport Processing Center.

When I got to the post office I was relieved to see a sign that assured me they could take my passport photos, but I couldn't see where that might be done. I must have looked a bit lost as I stood away from the counter checking out the area because Kim called to me from the counter and offered to assist me. I told her that I was renewing my passport and needed photos.
"No problem - I can do that for you." "Let's see what you have there.".
I emptied my envelop of forms and materials on her counter and she took over. She checked my form to make sure it was complete and signed. She took my photo, she got me a mailing envelop to send it in and pointed out the address where it needed to go. She reminded me that I needed to include a check for $75 to the State Department. In short, she walked me through the whole process and she did it with humor and a smile.

Kim didn't just do the minimum. All I really asked her to do was take my photo. Kim took it upon herself, as a professional should, to see to it that everything was in order and sent off correctly. When I left, I didn't have that nagging feeling that I left something out. I knew it was done and done right. Kim sold me more than 2 passport photos and postage for a letter.

I'm thinking Kim may reappear in one of my training sessions with my sales staff. She is an excellent example of excellent customer service.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Enjoy. And when the day is done I wish you -
PEACE.
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