To: Michael Eskew, CEO of UPS
From: A former customer
Re: Big Disappointment from Big "Brown"
Sorry to bother you, I can only imagine how busy you
are. I have some suggestions on how you
should run your business. By the way,
for the record, I have no experience running a global company. Furthermore, I am not an expert by any means
in the art of package delivery or supply chain services.
With that said, I do have a few recommendations based on
some first-hand experiences that I have had with your company. Recently, your company lost or
"misplaced" or "failed to deliver" a package (whatever your
employees want to call it) that had time-sensitive tickets to a major sporting
event. Besides seriously disappointing
the people who were planning to attend the game, your company’s failure to
deliver the package by the agreed upon delivery date resulted in the loss of
about $200. Needless to say, it’s not a
great deal of money but enough that it is worth mentioning.
However, it’s not the initial mistake of losing the package
that is so disappointing. After all,
mistakes do happen. Instead, it is the
way your customer service reps handled the situation. To make a long story short, after hours of
being transferred from one rep to another, they finally conceded that there was
nothing they could do to rectify the situation, and besides refunding me the
delivery charge, I was told I needed to live with the disappointment. No joke.
So, here’s my recommendation for you. Stop spending millions of dollars on your
"Brown" ad campaign. All the
marketing in the world won’t convince a disappointed customer that UPS is
worthy of their business. Stop investing
in technology upgrades unless you can invent something that prevents you from
ever losing packages again. Stop
worrying about your competition and what they’re up to next.
Instead, have someone sit down with every customer rep in
your vast organization and make sure they know how to use common sense and help
someone who has just been royally screwed over by the missteps of your
organization. Have these people learn
that the power of one customer’s disappointment is more powerful than a
compelling 30-second spot during on TV. Tell them that all customers, especially those being royally screwed,
should be treated as though the company’s bottom line depended on their
Mr. Eskew, your organization, and its reputation, is only as
strong as your weakest link. And that
weak link just cost you a customer.