Posts can use a number of proven strategies to increase sales…from being more customer orientated to offering new products and services.

Guyana Post Office Corporation

1) Improve the Customer Experience

Any customer will continue to buy in stores where they are made to feel welcome. If you want customers to come to your post offices, you will have to give them a reason – interesting products and a welcoming experience.

Tips:

  • Create a welcoming environment and greeting approach.
  • Expect your employees to be engaging and involved in the business and with customers, on a personal level – know their names.
  • Ensure a top-down, walk-the-talk understanding that when it comes to customers – everything matters. Pay attention to quality. Pay attention to the small stuff (minute details) and the big stuff will take care of itself.
  • Exceed customer expectations. What keeps a customer coming back is the small stuff – the sincere customer greeting as he came in and the “thank you and please come again” when he left.
  • Empower your staff to correct mistakes and misinformation quickly and efficiently, taking direct responsibility for the errors made and subsequently taking corrective action.
  • Promote corporate activities and brand values that are consistent with “making a difference”, socially responsible endeavours as environmental stewardship, consumer protection, human rights, and diversity.
  • Be involved in the neighbourhood, community activities, which can also serve as team-building activities for employees, and send out a positive image of the company as a whole.
  • Invite experts that are related to your products to your store.

2) Involve Employees and Customers

Involve you customers, partners and suppliers as active members of your brand. Increase customer loyalty by giving them a voice. It also tells them that you care about their opinion. Give them control. Give them a “feel-good” or comfort about your brand. Create a sense of community among your employees as well as your customers.

Staff of l’Office des Postes d’Haiti

Tips:

  • Invite customer to post their new product ideas  on your website or tell you what wrong with current products.
  • Allow consumers to suggest particular local items they would like the store to stock.
  • Reward customers for great ideas.
  • Create a FaceBook community and reward them with special offers.
  • Involve customers in your advertising and promotions.
  • Use innovation circles to generate new product ideas.
  • Hold product and how-to seminars.
  • Hold monthly focus coffee groups – offer good customers an opportunity to come in and tell you what you are doing well and what you can improve on.
  • Take the pulse of your store – customer comments that are received via any mode are acted upon by the next day.
  • Customer don’t want to wait in line at the checkout. Work with the UPU to give your sales people the technology and the ability to take payments.

 3) Sell Products that People Need, Want and Will Pay for

Involve you customers, partners and suppliers as active members of your brand. Increase customer loyalty by giving them a voice. It also tells them that you care about their opinion. Give them control. Give them a “feel-good” or comfort about your brand. Create a sense of community among your employees as well as your customers.

Office Supplies for Post Offices

Solar Powered Products

Solar Powered Radio

Tips:

  • Ask your territory managers to talk to local leaders to find out what people need, what products they have trouble getting, etc.
  • Make arrangements with large retailers in urban areas so that the Post can act as agent to sell their key products in rural areas.
  • Talk to Government departments and NGO’s and act as agent for them to deliver information and products throughout the country.

4) Market by Word-of-Mouth

Like it or not people today are connecting and socializing differently. Facebook has changed everything. In a constantly connected social web, people are tweeting and facebooking their every activity, happening or even mood change.

If all you are doing is updating your store Facebook page and posting dull updates about meetings or products or services; then you are missing the boat.

People will generally respect the product opinion of people they know. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM), also called word of mouth advertising, is an unpaid form of promotion. Allow your satisfied customers to publicize your products.

Bangladesh Market

Tips:

  • Expand your Facebook page from an advertising channel to social outreaching with rich lifestyle content for your target market.
  • Look at the “lifestyle” of your customers and how that ties-in with your products.
  • When your customers buy online, ask them if they want to tell their friends what they just bought and link them to Facebook / Reward them if they do it.
  • Allow customers to “like” your products on Facebook and display the results in your bricks-and-mortar store.

5) Get Digital

Mobile has expanded. You need to interact with your customers in their way. Don’t ask them to  disconnect at the door and walk back in time when they enter your post office.

Mobile Phone Store, Burkina Faso

Tips:

  • Make sure that your web site is updated.
  • Add product reviews.
  • Allow consumers to buy online while in-store and have it delivered to their home or pick-up at the post office.
  • Give your sales people more product training, information and technology to take payments and help buyers search for specific products or have the merchandise shipped to the customer.

6) Give Customers Delivery Options

Consumers today do not want to wait six to eight weeks for delivery and even two-day and three-day shipping is dying. More and more consumers are buying expensive technology items online and they want them right away. Posts can provide better service by delivering parcels at the customer’s home and collecting any duty on behalf of Customs. Alternatively, customers should be able to order products at the post office and also pick up parcels at the post office.

MSC Trading, Haiti

Tips:

  • Act as agent for large retailers which are in urban areas to take orders and deliver in rural areas.
  • Use a catalogue or posters of key retail products that the customer can order.
  • Make sure that you have a supply chain infrastructure that can get it to the customer very quickly.
  • Offer next day delivery for free. The retailer will pay for postal shipping and the post office also gets a commission for the product sale.
  • Give customers the option of home delivery or pick-up at the post office.
  • Make sure that you have a flexible return policy.

7) Expand the Reach of your Business

Today’s consumers are time-starved and are always multi-tasking. Make the most of their travel time by offering them the ability to reach you in unusual locations.

Tips:

  • Allow people to download a free order app.
  • Create virtual mini-stores by advertising your key products on busses, trains or bus stop posters –  add individual QR codes and let customers buy via mobile smart phone (Check out Tesco or Yihaodian).
  • In the same way, allow people to order directly from your flyers or catalogue (IKEA).

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