It’s Not Always So Obvious For Your Customer

UPSThere is a UPS Distribution Center right down the street, about two minutes away. Convenient, huh? Especially since I’m moving cross country and need to ship my belongings home.

A couple weeks ago, I attempt to drop off two boxes at this location. It seems like such a helpful option to drop it off right where it will be shipped out, rather than going to a store and then having to pay a bit more for it to be shipped to the distribution center.

Since I work during the week and they close at 5pm, it makes it difficult to stop by. But, they have Saturday hours so on Saturday I went!

When walking into the customer part of the distribution center, there are many conveyer belts and shelves. It definitely isn’t your regular UPS store. The representative approached me asking how she can assist. I said that I’m here to ship two heavy boxes and need to know where to put them. She then says,

“Obviously, we only do pick up here on Saturday. It says on the hours of operation sign out front. You can’t ship from us. You have to go to an actual USP store.”

Baffled, I asked why and she didn’t know–just that they don’t ship from there on Saturdays.

And, their sign on the front of the store was really small. Plus, it’s on the “Hours of Operation” sign–I’m not actively looking at this when I approach a store that is clearly open.

So, back in the car I went and off to the local UPS store about 20 minutes away.

Yesterday, I packed up another box that needed to be shipped but only had about 20 minutes before I needed to begin work. I knew I’d have no time to get to the store and back. So, I looked online and saw that the distribution center said they ship packages. I figured I’d try the distribution center one more time to see if they’d help me…and if not, find out why it says on their website that they do.

When going back to the store, they help me with the boxes and I’m able to ship them, no problems.  I share what happened on the other Saturday and the representative informs me that they don’t ship on Saturdays to allow the franchised stores in the area an opportunity to make more money.

But, on this day, I have my packages on the conveyer belt and within 10 minutes, I am back in the car, heading to my desk to start work.

Overall, the distribution center may want to revamp their customer experience. While this was convenient and I gave them my business despite the situation, you can bet I’ll keep this in mind in the future when I go to ship and have more time to figure out what company to use.

This is a great lesson in what we share with our customers–ways that seem obvious to us, who work at the company, may not be so obvious to those that do not. Don’t stiff your customer because of this!

[custom_author=jenny]

Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

2 comments

  • Great example Jenny. And an interesting story as well. I just went to a UPS distribution center yesterday and they couldn’t have been more helpful. Three lovely ladies in the UPS brown attire eagerly moving about, hustle, bustle and doing a bang up job representing UPS. And yet, when I go to my local UPS store much closer to my house I meet negative Nancy every time. Proving once again that UPS is far more than a company that moves boxes. The are in a business of pleasing people but it MUST start with their front line. Without a positive workforce, one dedicated to pleasing people, businesses don’t work. Thanks for your post. (and inspiring me once again — my writing wheels are moving fast now). xoxo

    • And, I love hearing about your positive UPS story! The kid at the store I went to was helpful but it wasn’t anything above and beyond. Two of the same businesses, different locations–does this begin with management? Maybe they are not empowered? The UPS store that I did go to as well, the guy wasn’t too talkative or thrilled to be working. Just took the packages, my money and called it a day.

      I can’t wait to see what your writing wheels send out next, Doug! 🙂 🙂

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