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'We are the champions in their hearts'; Kenai Post Office reflects on national competition

Hunter Morrison

Cheerfulness, thoughtfulness and compassion. Those are words that don’t typically come to mind when thinking about the post office. But Kenai area residents may think differently.

The Kenai Post Office recently competed against 128 qualifying post offices in the state for best customer feedback, and came out on top. It then moved on to the Retail Madness National Championship, competing against the top post offices from all fifty states. The Kenai branch placed 32nd in the nation from that competition.

“Even though we’re not in the contest anymore, we’re still getting positive feedback from all of our customers,” said MaryIrene Ray, Lead Clerk at the Kenai Post Office. “The coolest thing about it is that our customers have said 'we might have not won the nationals, but we are the champions in their hearts.' That’s really all that matters.”

In the bracket-style competition, customer feedback from online surveys determined which post offices would advance to the next round. In the first round, the Kenai office competed against a branch in Wisconsin and won. The branch was narrowly beaten out by another post office in the second round.

Ray says they lost by just a 2% margin, with 93% customer satisfaction in the second round. She believes had they received just one additional positive review, they would have advanced to the next bracket. She said completing these surveys with detailed information is important to improving customer satisfaction.

“For the future, we would love to know,” Ray said. “Especially for me, they can come and talk to me because I love to correct the things that we’re not doing right. For the most part we’re happy, because at the end of the day, we love what we do here.”

It is not only Kenai residents who took part in the survey. Ray says that customers from across the peninsula come to the Kenai Post Office not only for their mailing needs, but for its excellent customer service. Some customers have even stopped by just to brighten their day.

“No matter if there’s a contest or not, we are loved by the community, we are loved by our customers,” Ray said. “We are not just a place where you mail your package, we are part of a big family.”

While the Kenai Post Office did not win the national competition, staff say that is not what matters. To them, loving their job and the community they serve is the most important thing.

Hunter Morrison is a news reporter at KDLL