• Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    And the problem with using lines like the one above:

    "This didn’t need any confirmation or insurance, did it?"

    Is that it opens the door for a customer to simply say "no" and continue about their business. Upselling should require an actual response from the customer. Customers are programmed to say "no" to salespeople and clerks. We all do it.

    Try using open ended questions to engage into customers wants and needs and suggest services/products that will benefit them based on their responses.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Every business focuses on making a profit or increasing their profits. Every retail store focuses on upselling customers. The PO is no different. But, there's a fine line between forcing something on every customer and upselling a product/service the customer could actually need and use. It would be a waste of time to say "upsell express mail." Clerks should be focused on helping the customer and upselling them at the same time. When done well it's very effective.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    I'm a manager and I agree with you wholeheartedly Chev. The NPA and bonus process for management is a perversion creating counterproductive incentives and encouraging bad behavior.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    If the PS wants to really push Express Mail, then why not advertise it, instead of making it a forced upsell. Look at how successful the flat rate Priority campaign has been. The same can be applied to Express flat rate envelopes. Let the customers see the numbers if they are so great.

    THAT is how you sell Express.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Mystery Shopper is a total waste of time and money.

    I work at an office that is not shopped, and I rarely offer my customers Express. Why? Because when I was a clerk at a large office and did that, the customer would always give a negative reaction like "That's expensive". Like that is something we need right now in our financial state. The only time I would sell Express is if a customer had shown a sense of urgency (What is the fastest way I can get this there? or I have to have this there by Friday). Any clerk knows this, and will sell Express accordingly. If they don't want us selling Parcel Post, then why even have it?

    Extra services- my way of selling extra services is "This didn't need any confirmation or insurance, did it?" It doesn't sound like an upsell, but instead it sounds like I am double checking with the customer to meet their needs. And I am sure I sell just as much in extra services, if not more, by doing this as opposed to using a robotic script.

    Business Connect is another joke. I work in a level 11 office, where I have to make 3 submissions every month. I have only 5 businesses in my town. Can't go beyond my town because that would be considered "stealing revenue" from another office. Don't tell me that most PM's are not just making up half of these submissions. I just laugh when I see that our district has "brought in" $$$$ revenue from BC connect leads, since most of them are made up and the numbers are phony.

    These can be excellent tools if used properly, and not meant as a disciplinary benchmark used to demotivate employees.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Excuse me. You don't agree that SSA's should get a bonus for "doing their job"? I wholeheartly agree. But I also don't think anyone on the management team should either. Aren't they just doing their jobs too?

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Rich, how much are you willing to bet that you will not be able to find the number of extra express mails that are sold by upselling? Funny how you never hear thses numbers, but will hear about the number of clerks who do not offer the service. Even if such a figure did exist, I bet it would turn into a benchmark that each office will have to meet (or be NON COMPLIANT). Another log to sign and fax to tell the POOM how many Expresses were sold that day and so on....

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    If there is anyone out there defending the mystery shopper program, please give me an answer! With all the management positions that look at numbers all day, tell me if the offices that get 100% all the time on their mystery shopper scores are selling more express or special services than other offices, as a percentage of there transactions. I am a relief clerk and work several offices and I can guarantee you that the robotic script followers are not up-selling any more express than I am. If management has some statistics to back up their program, I would like to see them. Instead of forcing us to use this ignorant, robotic, and mostly ignored dialogue, let us read the customer and up-sell what we think they will purchase. If management can't give me the figures to back up their program, then why are we wasting millions of dollars on it?

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 7 months ago

    In cambridge mass our office used to operate in one building with a postmaster and approx.6 to 7 supervisors. We now have less employees due to cuts of at least 20craft jobs over the past 19 years Ive been there,better technology, and lower mail volumes.Now we operate with 3 Managers and at least 15 supervisors and another building to pay for rent. We all heard of the RIF planned for cutting management but none has yet to be cutting any management jobs. I served and love my country and used to be proud of the USPS now however I feel we greatly lack in providing services(the whole meaning of our existance). The postal service needs to be investigated by the Audit team or any outside entity and finally all the dead weight at the top will relieve some pressure from our operating costs. We cannot keep cutting services to the public or we will lose even more$$. When will Postmaster Potter finally step up to the plate and do a RIF in management. Thankyou

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Like so many ideas that originate out of Headquarters the Mystery Shop program is a well intended idea gone completely awry. Like virtually every other measurement or benchmark we institute the measurement becomes the meaning rather than serving as a descriptive tool.
    Many of these things play well in the theoretical environment of business or marketing classes but in the real world scripted selling just annoys people. Unfortunately this is just another instance where senior management assumes that everyone but them is stupid.
    The problem isn't Mystery Shop or any particular problem, it's a hidebound, autocratic corporate culture that smothers initiative and independent thought. For years those of us in the field have been treated as if we're stupid, incompetent or thieves - that kind of thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

  • Reply to: Who We Are and Why We Blog...   5 years 7 months ago

    Excuse my impertinence, but I thought the USPS OIG was supposed to be an independent entity that weeded out fraud, waste and abuse, at ALL levels. Why does it seem like your office is only gunning for rank-and-file workers, who for the most part, are only where they are because of management? Why don't we ever hear about waste at management level? Hasn't anyone looked into the practice of detailing EAS to other offices for no other reason, it seems, than to collect per diems, that I know must range into the millions of dollars annually. Or has anyone questioned how a RIF could occur in the EAS ranks, yet no one actually lost their job (according to the NAPS website)? It seems you are just trying to fulfill the PMG's goals of slashing the people that actually process the mail while bad managers just get moved around.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    30 years and counting as a manager and I have seen so many of these types of programs come and go and this one should go the way of all the others.
    I do not agree that clerks should get a bonus for doing their job though!
    The clerks are there to provide a service to our customers.... to get the customer through the line and to give them the answers to the questions they might have.
    We do have to make sure what they are shipping is not hazardous though, but if it looks like a flat or letter than I do not think they have to ask the question.
    My clerks feel as though they are stealing from the customers when they "Up sell"..............
    I like the idea of local management or internal shops being done and having the clerks highlight a specific item weekly..........changing it so that the customers (regulars) just might listen to see what is new and not the "Same old Same Old" they hear now.........
    You need to address this issue and stop this program as it now is done, but I feel you won't and you are trying yourself to justify your position within the Postal Service just are the "Others" are doing that make us do this day in and day out!!!!!!!!!!
    Shame on them and shame on you for taking a paycheck every two weeks to justify such waste in a time when we should be looking at every dollar spent and the return that we get for each of them.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    So you asked and everyone gave you about the same answer.The customer doesn't like it the workers are ashamed of it and the Union doesn't approve of it (the mystery shopper)when will the USPS ever listen to what we all have to say.Get rid of mystery shopper!Open your ears USPS! and listen.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    As a level 22 Postmaster
    The mystery shopper program was a good idea in its time, but it is completly dated and obsolete.
    1.The program should be revamped and done internally to save all the expenses associated with the program, Retail/Marketing programs in all Districts are already doing DIM weight and test mystery shops so why are we paying someone to do something we already do. This is something that the Business Development Team should be doing.
    The program should do DIM weight shops, and incoporate a random verification of parcels at the offices to check for short paid items in the office to capture Revenue.
    2. MOST IMPORTANT-customers hate standing in line, and often turn away WE need to incorporate the SSA Revenue Goal system into the mystery shop program and create an incentive for the sales associates to increase their productivity and revenue. These personnel need to be rewarded if they capture the most revenue and process the most transactions in a set time period. If sales associates had incentive to achieve a reward for moving the line and upselling we would ensure much more revenue. Right now the only incentive managers have is to issue discipline and as former sales person I can guarantee you that DOES not work in sales. We cannot treat the Retail Units like a Carrier Unit it just doesn't work and many of the upper level managers are operations people and need to be trained to think outside the box in Retail.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    When the measure of a program is determined by how well the person hired by the Postal Service is treated,something is wrong.

    Greet the customer. Ask them how soon they want the package to get there and then help them accordingly.

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 7 months ago

    Lets be realistic. The emphasis on ridding the P.O. of injured/limited/light duty is high right now. This is due to the rising costs of maintaining these employees. These costs have risen by over 17% from last year and will continue to rise as the P.O. in their game of blame continue to increase the workload without regards to safety of its employees. Management is trying to divert the fact that their costs have risen by 33% over last year by singling out these employees. They are treated terribly and although a percentage of them are milking the system with the increased workload the percentage of honest injured employees is rising. These employees did nothing wrong other than go to work one day and were fulfilling their obligation to work for their employer. I know for it happened to me and since my injury of about a month ago I have been berated by tyrannical managers and treated like dirt. Remember, it could happen to you anytime, any place.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Nine (9) steps required for the perfect transaction, including asking the customer to consider renting a
    P O Box, ironically, since our station is on the hit list and may be closing soon. This is way more than "Would you like Fries?". Customers are annoyed, SSA's (Window Clerks) are demeaned, and overall service declines. I do not like sounding like an autobot, but am given no choice, facing discipline for going 'offscript'. Please give SSA's a little credit for dealing with customers with intelligence and efficiency, and not treating the customers like an assembly line.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    It should not be part of the mystery shopper. Look around, if they want it, let them buy it. I feel less bombarded at the checkout in the grocery store. It looks like we were taken over by Big Lots now. Why are we so determined to be in the retail business??? Pictures, stationery, ties, colored boxes, handbags, pins, pens, and stuffed animals. When will it all end??? I just want a weight and a price and maybe a few stamps without the APC in the lobby. Next, please!!!

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    I resent trying to be sold things I don't want or need. I don't know how you could make more money by mistreating and losing customers.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    The mystery shop program is a waste of money.Most window clerks know their jobs and can usually read a customer in the first few seocnds of a transaction. When a customer asks, "Send it the cheapest way." The window clerk should not be obligated to offer Express Mail first. Offer Priority Mail and the Parcel Post. Customers want a quick and easy transaction.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    its the most stupid thing that i have to do. i mean come on is it liquid or hazardous when they are mailing a 1 oz flat. I fail the mystery shop every time. One time its for not describing what tape does or i didnt explain what insurance is for, please if you own a car or a house you know what insurance does. Just cut it out and see just how much revenue goes up in retail units. Im the steward in my office, I tell all window clerks when they fail the shop to say they asked the questions because its there word against the shopper anyway and disipline can be beat everytime.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Here is the question: Should the mystery shopper program include items generally viewed as “upselling”? I don't know what it means. Should the shopper go in and ask for a product like Express Mail? Should the shopper ask a general question and write down whether the clerk tries to push Express Mail? So much for clarity.

    The Postal Service should have a basic and fundamental assignment of trying to be helpful to people and telling them all reasonable options, even making suggestions thought to be helpful. Upselling is an attempt to take advantage of someone, for your own profit. That should be against any code of honesty or morality or ethics.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    I do not work in a mystery shop office. I am routinely greeted by my customers with- "No, no, no, and no, I do not want insurance and I do not want Delivery Confirmation, and I do not want any stamps or packaging supplies. Just Mail my package the cheapest way."

    That is before I say anything!

    Regular customers are sick of this robotic nonsense, and dread facing the barrage of questions.

    In smaller offices we know what our regular customers are Mailing, what services they want, and how to help them, without following a script.

    They do NOT want to feel like they are ay McDonald's when they come to the Post Office.

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    What a waste of time! You need to stop this program as soon as possible. No wonder why the lines are long. Let us go and mail our parcels without all the hubba bubba. We know how we want to mail it and don't need any upselling!!!

  • Reply to: Mystery Shoppers   5 years 7 months ago

    Either shop all PO's or none at all. Tired of hearing customers say-they never ask me that at so and so office. Are we not all the same post office?
    This lame program needs to be let go. It's embarassing for the clerk and obnoxious for the customers to listen to over and over and over again. They can't stand it. I refuse to confuse elderly and foreign customers with the hogwash we have to say. Mystery shopper program is one of many blackeyes on the postal service just to justify some white collar overpaid job.

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