Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Post offices removing clocks to hide long wait times

The clocks in America's 37,000 post offices are being removed, according to a Dallas spokesman for the US Postal Service. Stephen Seewoester. But the slow moving quasi-government agency isn't fooling anyone.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, free registration required:

Seewoester said the wholesale clock clearing is part of a "retail standardization program" launched last year that will give the public-service areas a more uniform appearance, whether the post office is in Fort Wayne or Fort Worth, "like Starbucks or a McDonald’s.”

A customer-service expert at Texas A&M University questioned the wisdom of taking down lobby clocks.

"It’s silly," said Leonard Berry, a professor who holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership and whose papers include The Time-Buying Consumer. "I guess they think people don’t have watches."

"Removing the clocks is actually removing a service," Berry said. "Research consistently shows people think they wait in line longer than they actually do whether there’s a clock there or not. It’s better to invest in making sure the wait time is shorter by improving operational efficiencies."

One way to speed up service is to toss out union rules that prevent sorters in the back from pitching in when the postal office front counters are jammed with customers. Supermarkets, including union shops, move staff around as situations warrant.

Thanks for the link: Respublica

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Unknown said...

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