When I was a kid, every comedian had a standard joke about the post office and the punch line was that a letter sent 27 years ago arrived today. The post office used to be massively inefficient.
Now, the USPS is a model of efficiency. Mail can reach its destination the very next day.
Netflix built its business model on the reliability of the post office delivery. Did you ever have to wait more than a day to get a movie from Netflix? Thank the post office.
But now, because of budget calculations, the post office has announced that they will no longer be able to offer next-day service for first-class mail. This is a horrible business mistake and a horrendous branding mistake that will lead to a crisis communications quagmire.
What business consultant would tell its client that is losing its market share to make the service worse?
How can providing less service help bring about more business?
It can lead only to more customer dissatisfaction, which will lead to customer defection. Then the comedians will step in like vultures descending on a carcass.
I, for one, loved the efficiency of the post office – and my very friendly counter people. Now, I think I’ll be forced – by the post office – to pay my bills via e-banking, which is extremely reliable.
My 42 cents may not amount to a hill of beans, but added to the millions of people who already pay bills with e-banking, it will be the bean that broke the camel’s back.
I see a death spiral for the post office – and a fortune to be made by crisis communications managers and branding experts.