UPS' Failure to Communicate

             

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart – or at least I would have if UPS had delivered it on time. Christmas 2013 was a debacle in thousands of American homes when Christmas morning arrived and it appeared Santa didn’t make it. In fact, it was UPS who didn’t make it. Not only did the postal carrier fail to deliver; they also experienced a failure to communicate .

Failure to Deliver
Delivery of packages wrapped in brightly colored paper may not be what Christmas is all about, but it’s certainly what UPS is supposed to be all about. After all, a 2010 ad titled “we (heart) logistics” touted UPS’s exceptional logistics expertise. But come on, UPS, Christmas Eve is arguably the most important deadline you have all year. Isn’t getting deliveries right on that date the very essence of exceptional logistics? Their measly explanation: “demand was higher than forecast.”

Failure to Communicate
It was bad enough that UPS didn’t deliver packages slated for a Dec. 24 arrival until after the holiday, but it also suffered a serious failure to communicate. In fact, many customers tracking packages online thought they had nothing to worry about until Christmas Eve wore on and the packages still hadn’t arrived. Customers weren’t notified that their packages wouldn’t make it until the end of the day.
This left justifiably frustrated customers complaining in vain at UPS service centers throughout the country.

Contrary to the logical conclusion that the company CEO would be out in front managing the crisis, the delivery service did nothing more than deliver flack. The Wall Street Journal took a statement from UPS, which justified the disaster by saying “only a small percentage of shipments” was impacted by the delay.

Well, if that doesn’t make the “small percentage” of Americans – totaling thousands of households – feel unimportant, who knows what would!

Clearly, failure to communicate made an already bad problem worse. If UPS had conducted timely, accurate communication , thousands of Americans wouldn’t still be holding a grudge.
To learn more about the importance of communication in an organization, please contact Hurley Write, Inc.
 
Image via Shutterstock.com
 
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