Thursday, August 20, 2015

Going Postal

I tried to track a recorded delivery on the Post Office website today.
When you Google 'Post Office' Track & Trace comes back as one of the four most important returns, as selected by Google, relating to the term Post Office.
On the Post Office site it is one of five (and listed at No4) of the Post Office Essentials.
Bear with me...
These to me are indicators of how important both the Post Office and its online customers view the Track & Trace function of the site.
So if you were looking after the Post Office twitter account you may think it worthwhile to stay abreast of its state of functionality - or at least have routes to hand to find out what the issues may be and the fix times estimated?
Or then again... you could regard it as someone else's problem.

This afternoon I tried to track a parcel and got the message that the system was down.
It gave no clue as to when it may return.
So I tweeted the Post Office.

This is how it played out:

  1. how long is your Track & Trace site going to be down for?

Track and Trace is powered by you may wish to tweet them about this. ~ Luke
It's on the PO site - one of the main links offered when 'post office' is googled. Perhaps in your interest to know?

That part is powered by Royal Mail, it would need to be investigated by them as it's their service.
Ah thanks. Does that get ticked as a customer issue resolved then?

In the mean time, I'd tested it for myself - and it was back online. I do wonder why 'Luke' hadn't found the time - I guess he was busy gathering evidence that my problem was nothing to do with him.
I was after a relatively simple answer to a relatively simple question. In return I was getting a lesson in organisational structure.
I'm sorry, but I do find this buck passing at the front line frustrating.
The Post Office and those representing it really can't take so little responsibility for what is clearly an important piece of real estate on their website - and a significant driver of traffic. Who cares who it's powered by - certainly not Post Office or Royal Mail customers.
Here's my advice for a quick fix: 1. Move the Powered By graphic above the fold (old newspaper folk will know what that means, it means in this case you shouldn't have to scroll down the page to discover the Powered By secret... 2. Add a link to Royal Mail customer service, if that's where you would like to point the traffic (aka blame).
Here's my advice for the right fix: Reorganise the business around putting your customer first, but I realise that may be a very large ask for a Thursday afternoon.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?