Live from the 2017 National Postal Forum - The Wrap Up

Megan Brennan, the USPS PMG and Jim Cochrane, the USPS CMO and CCO hosted an awards luncheon for the best innovators in the mailing industry. Next Pitney Bowes CIO, Roger Pilc, introduced Jeanne Bliss who spoke about "beloved" companies.

Tue May 23 09:39:00 EDT 2017

Like they say, save the best for the last.

That turns out to be very true for National Postal Forum 2017, here at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Megan Brennan, the USPS PMG and Jim Cochrane, the USPS CMO and CCO hosted an awards luncheon for the best innovators in the mailing industry. The “2017 partnership of growth” award went to United Healthcare, who are using informed delivery and publicly professed to the power of combining physical with digital to the Win-Win-Win situation they created for themselves, the healthcare providers and ultimately for patients and their families.

Following the award ceremony, Roger Pilc, Chief Innovation Officer of Pitney Bowes, got on stage to introduce the guest speaker. I will share those insights with you, but let me first share the three areas of innovation that Roger chose to highlight as part of his introduction.

Three Innovations of digitally transforming the customer experience

Roger shared how mail + mobile is driving tremendous response rates with only a 5% increase on average in overall costs. Dairy Queen used this approach to drive almost 250 thousand impressions over a period of 3 weeks, with a click through rate of 1.08% vs. industry average of 0.86%, as part of their Grill and Chill campaign.

He also talked about innovations in cross-border shipping where retailers use a SaaS solution that offers shipping rule flexibility and APIs made available through the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud to simplify software integration and shipping logic customization.

Finally, he shared how excited he is about the USPS’s Informed Delivery platform and how Pitney Bowes is collaborating with the USPS to drive customer acquisition by delivering an Interactive Personalized Video experience.

Next up after Roger was Jeanne Bliss, Founder and President of CustomerBliss, and the Co-Founder of The Customer Experience Professionals Association and author of “I love you more than my dog”. She shared her insights into what it takes for a business to become one that is “beloved” by its customers.

5 values to becoming a beloved business

Jeanne challenged the audience with a fundamental question “Are customers telling your story?”

According to her, any business needs to embrace the following five values.

Believe – Do you believe and trust your employees and customers? Zane bicycles for example sells $3000 bikes and never asks for any collateral of people who come into their stores and want to try one it. All they get is “have a nice ride”. They are seeing that their customers return the favor, with over $14000 in customer lifetime value on average. In a similar vein of trusting customers without question, displays unedited customer comments and reviews on their website. 

Clarity of Purpose – What pushes your YES button? This is about having a set of criteria about what you will do and not do in the market. IKEA, for example, designed the price tag first so that that a new college freshman can afford a chair for her mom to sit on when she comes visiting the dorm. Similarly, Griffin Hospital plays calming music in the parking lot as a way to design an experience that puts the wellbeing of their patients and families in the forefront.

Be Real – Is your business about people or accounts? USAA for instance decided to have new recruits eat the same meals as soldiers. Southwest Airlines decided to mock fictitious “Northwest airlines” standing as #1 in customer service in their ads.

Be there – Are you there where your customers need you? ZARA initially invested in product speed rather than advertising in order to get new fashions to the market as fast as possible for its clientele. Again, Zane bicycles gives away bicycle parts free to its customers.  

Say Sorry – Be willing to swiftly respond with humility and solve the problem if something does not go right with a customer. University of Michigan health system decided to apologize to its patients and families and as a result, the number of claims dropped by more than half within a short time of their instituting this policy.

Are customers telling your story?

At Pitney Bowes, we believe in “doing the right thing the right way”. I think that fundamental value that every employee imbibes says something about the reason we have enjoyed a long tenure (almost 100 years) as a Fortune 500 company.

Everyone on our team will be heading home with the satisfaction of the interactions we enjoyed at the show with our clients as well as partners, particularly the USPS, and hope that you had a similarly great experience at the show as well.

We hope to see you soon.