Like post offices around the world, the Swedish post office has really suffered since the advent of email and the introduction of competitors to the market. Not only does the Swedish post compete with companies like DHL and UPS, but there is also CityMail, a local mail distributor that deals with company post.
But the decision the company took in the mid-2000s left me laughing so hard, I still think about it now and then – like today when I had to go pick up all of my on-line Christmas packages.
Here in Sweden, for a long time, the Swedish post office ran both a mail/package delivery service and a banking service. You could pay your bills at the post office, for example. Most companies had what is known as a ‘Post giro’ an account you pay into to pay your bills.
It became obvious to everyone about 8 years ago that there was not going to be a lot of money in the Postal industry in the future, but that banking was still something that was bringing in a steady cash flow.
So one day, the Swedish postal service decided that they would not longer provide postal services at the post offices, and only offer banking services.
Now see, this is the point when the Swedish postal service should have picked up the phone and called me. You see, I would have told them this:
“Silly post office, you are forgetting that most people pay their bills at the post office because they are going there to drop of their packages/mail and want to kill two birds with one stone. If they are going somewhere just to do banking, they are probably going to go to the bank!”
But they didn’t call.
Instead they did an awesome thing. They opened a bunch of mail counters in local grocery stores. So now, you can go and pick up your packages while you go grocery shopping. The opening hours are much more extensive, and you can also ship your packages at these counters as well. Did I mention what a win this was for us customers! Really. It is great.
Sadly, things did not go well for the Swedish Postal service. Most of the post offices were pushed to closure. While many companies used to have on their invoices that you could pay via the bank or post office, most now only say bank. Why? Because no one goes to the post office anymore.
There is still a Swedish post office. Their mailmen and women come and deliver mail to your doorstep 5 days a week.
And while sometimes things get a little hectic at the mail counter when you to pick up your packages –especially the last day before Christmas – the Post office’s solution has been great for customers.
But in the end, if your company is called The Post, it might not be good business to decide you no longer want to work with ‘The Post’.