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Best practices: Product knowledge makes a difference

Culpeper, VA, Retail Associate Scott Hicks
Culpeper, VA, Retail Associate Scott Hicks strives to educate customers about USPS products and services.

Scott Hicks knows a lot about USPS products and services.

The Culpeper, VA, retail associate, who was recently named Northern Virginia District’s Retail Associate of the Year, has learned to anticipate his customers’ needs.

“They want to know when their Priority Mail package will arrive and how much it will cost,” says Hicks, who also explains USPS insurance options.

Hicks is prepared when customers are unsure of how to mail certain items. For instance, if customers want to use Media Mail but the contents don’t meet the criteria, Hicks educates them on what qualifies and what doesn’t.

Knowledgeable employees help USPS fulfill its goal of providing world-class customer experiences, according to Retail and Customer Service Operations VP Kelly Sigmon.

“As postal employees, part of our job is to educate our customers on our products and services and make sure we can answer their questions and meet their needs,” she says.

Hicks has three tips for his colleagues:

• Know the mailing restrictions. “Customers can’t mail things like cigarettes and alcohol,” he says. “You have to ask the hazmat questions to get customers to share more information.”

• Promote USPS products and services. If Hicks notices certain customers making frequent visits to mail packages, he suggests the free carrier pickup service. “They’re not aware they don’t have to come in,” he says.

• Treat people the way you want to be treated. Showing respect can go a long way, he says.

“Stay informed as much as possible,” Hicks says. “If you don’t know something, then look it up.”

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

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