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Best practices: Why first impressions matter

Best practices
Madison, WI, Retail Associate Lisa Johnson smiles during a recent transaction with a customer.

Lisa Johnson understands the value of great customer service.

The Madison, WI, retail associate says she strives each day to deliver good first impressions — a guiding principle of the #PostalProud initiative.

“I always greet customers with a smile,” Johnson says. “I want them to feel important, even if they’re buying just one stamp.”

Retail and Customer Service Operations VP Kelly Sigmon says employees like Johnson help USPS fulfill its commitment to provide excellent experiences.

“When we welcome our customers, it lets them know we value their business,” Sigmon says.

Johnson has two hints for fellow employees:

• Be observant. If a customer seems to be in a bad mood, Johnson starts the conversation carefully.

“I never ask, ‘How is your day?’” she says. “I might mention the nice weather or compliment them on what they’re wearing.”

• Be helpful. “I never say, ‘I don’t know,’” Johnson says. “I say, ‘Let me find out.’”

Johnson says initial encounters matter.

“If customers get a good first impression, they are going to come back,” she says. “But if you make a great impression, you engage them and they come back to purchase products.”

“Best practices,” a new series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, will appear regularly in Link.

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