I wish I had a nickel for every person who asked me if I was worried about the longevity of the mail house industry due to the rise of the internet. Um…. no. Mail houses are amazing. The average person has no idea what steps are taken to deliver a letter or a package. If they did, they would be blown away and probably ask the mail house owner if they can bring their kids’ class in for a field trip to see the afternoon mail in action.
With the rise of technology, the collection and delivery of mail/packages is getting more efficient. That said, like all businesses, mail houses need to adapt to stay competitive in this technology world. Here are a few ways for you to stay competitive:
Spend 3 Hours a Week doing Industry Research (and encourage your key employees to do this too)
You can use this time to research your competition, to gain industry knowledge in the shipping industry, check out the newest publication in USPS Postal Explorer, look for software or equipment to improve current operations, research your local job market for employee retention, look for cheaper utility options, etc.
Remember to stay intentional with your research, you don’t have time to lose focus and get lost browsing in the never-ending depths of the internet. Hold a weekly meeting where you and your team can share a small tidbit about what you researched that week. With a more knowledgeable team, you will be able to land additional customers, unlock new revenue sources & cut your current costs.
Research not your thing? Attend the National Postal Forum instead.
Explore other Revenue Sources
Most mail houses have added printing to their full-service mail house. But don’t limit yourself to letter collection and direct mailing! There are a lot of really profitable add ons to your already successful business. Here are a few more revenue generating ideas (our favorites in bold): international consolidation, PO box pick up and delivery, on-site mailboxes, scanning PO box mail for snowbirds, fulfillment, shipping, subscription boxes, statement printing, print brokering, intercity delivery, etc. Look for those value-added activities and ask your current customers for feedback. The more revenue streams funneling to your bottom line, the better!
Don’t forget to look outside of your local community for revenue. With the rise of the internet, your customer base increased drastically from local customers to national and global.
Jump on the Tech Train
Have you ever read the book Raving Fans by Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Bowles? If not, I highly recommend it. It is one of the best customer service books of all time. This book is about listening to what your customers really want, not what you think they want.
And guess what mail houses? Your customers want you to jump online.
Customers are checking out your online reviews, they are going to your website to request a quote, they are making purchases online & shipping packages online. If your online presence is weak, you better adapt and be quick to stay competitive!
- We suggest adding a live chat option to your website so your clients can communicate with you quickly when visiting your website to request a status update or a quote.
- It’s also time to switch from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online to save on bookkeeping time especially when it comes to billing your clients for postage.
- My Shipping Post is designed to help you keep up with customer demands easily and effectively. Your clients can ship packages through you to help streamline your backroom process and add big bucks to your bottom line. You can even make money on packages you don’t pick up.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of online presence! Meeting your customer’s needs in person and online can be the difference between thriving and surviving in our quickly changing market.