Going postal for customer service

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Sharon McCrea, Malmstrom Air Force Base postmaster, has wanted to be a postal worker since she was a child.

“I have always admired postal workers since I learned about the Pony Express,” said McCrea, originally from Billings, Montana. “It intrigued me how these men were able to deliver mail on horseback across the country.”

McCrea began her first job as a postal worker in Missoula, Montana, and continued working at the post office on and off for about ten years in different locations.

“I have really enjoyed working in this entity of the government,” McCrea said. “I can honestly say I truly have appreciated this job more than any other job.”

McCrea began working at the Malmstrom contract postal unit on base eight months ago.

“The advertisement for this job went out to the community (of Great Falls), and I missed it the first time,” she said. “At that point I understood many people had already applied, and it was a very valued position, but when I heard (the position was still open) a second time I took a chance and applied.”

McCrea is currently the only person working at the post office on base, and is eager to understand all aspects of what people need before bringing in others to join her team.

According to McCrea, one of the main goals she wants to implement is to serve customers the best she can quickly.

“This post office is a lot more convenient than driving to the one off base,” said 2nd Lt. Eboni Simpson, 12th Missile Squadron missileer. “I can quickly stop here right before or after work.”

McCrea said she is willing to do anything to make another person’s life easier.

“The majority of the time I stay open for lunch,” McCrea said. “Many people who come here are busy and don’t have time to wait. Their priority is to get in and get out and I try to accommodate my schedule for them.

“If someone stops in before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m., I am more than happy to meter a package or accept one if the mail truck has not left,” she continued.

According to McCrea, she really values the aspect of customer service and making the interaction with others a good experience, and will go as far as playing music whenever she can to allow people to decompress and feel refreshed when they walk out.

“It’s very calming and (the atmosphere) is so relaxing whenever I come to mail something off,” Simpson said.

The post office can get pretty busy because at times the equipment may fail or the internet is down.

“Daily, I assist about 75 customers with 300 pounds of mail going out,” McCrea said. “All mail that comes in throughout the day in time for collection heads to its destination the same night.”

The post office is located in Building 72, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Eventually McCrea plans to hire people to join her postal team in the hopes of further improving a customer’s experience.

“A lot of people may feel they have no experience that fits this type of work, but I disagree,” McCrea said. “If they are a mother raising two kids, then put that on the resume. Raising children shows me that they have experience in paying attention to even the smallest of details, because working here there are a plethora of things going on from filling out different forms, balancing accounts and even handling arriving and departing packages.”
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