My local newspaper has won all kinds of awards for “best community newspaper.” I like it. I like reading about local successes, what’s happening in the schools, what topics have readers’ shorts in a knot. I subscribe, even though many areas get this paper free, just because I want to make sure I get it.

Ha, ha. Good luck with that idea, because I have the world’s worst newspaper carrier. For a while, he delivered the Wednesday paper on Thursday. Then Friday, but without the Friday paper. Sometimes I got the Wednesday paper on Saturday, and the Friday paper later in the day. The weekend paper (with a good carrier, delivered Saturday or sometimes Sunday) might or might not be with it.

Sometimes I call the office, not to rant and rave but to mention I didn’t get the paper and could they please drop one off. This time I called to report I had not received a single one of the three papers. I told the circulation person about the on-going problems. She promised to send out the missing papers and speak to the carrier.

Wouldn’t you think this would be a good opportunity to try for a little good will? Include with the papers a note of apology? Maybe include a coupon for a free coffee?

Nope. The three papers were rolled up and left on the doorstep late in the day (well after the conversation), without any indication they should have been there days earlier. The person delivering did not ring the bell to apologize and hand them over. The circulation person did not call the next day to make sure they got there. She did not call on the Wednesday to make sure the paper arrived. (It didn’t.)

Don’t let your customers feel the same sense of disappointment in you.