“We just try to help out”
Positive problem-solvers with a sense of service and feel for social media. Do people like that really exist? Of course they do, for instance in Bergen.
Text: Kristine Askvik Photo: Paul S. Amundsen
JEDS has only just parked her scooter on the street, removed her helmet and stepped inside when Jan Fredrik Jacobsen meets her with a parcel in his arms.
JEDS? Yes, the employees at PostNord’s new store in Bergen use customers’ initials when talking to each other.
“We always try to make an extra effort for our regular customers. They appreciate it when we show that we recognize them,” says Maria Mossestad.
PostNord’s second store in Norway opened on Bergen’s Klostergaten in July 2019. Kristoffer Hegland, Siv Kristin Stakkestad, Maria Mossestad, Thomas Schjønningsen and Jan Fredrik Jacobsen are involved in creating something brand new together with the residents of Bergen.
It’s a new chapter for PostNord in Norway, and there’s a huge cast of characters. Like the regular customer who was pregnant when the store first opened.
“We’ve followed her along the entire way. Now she has the baby with her when she comes in. It’s really sweet. We also have a little boy who comes in to pick up parcels for his mother every week,” says Maria.
“I don’t think we’re doing anything out of the ordinary. We just try to help people the best we can.”
–Jan Fredrik Jacobsen
Sticking with the literary reference, you might say the new store is a brand new genre. It’s a distribution point, a customer center and an information desk all in one. Both a physical and online service. Just as our shopping and parcel needs change, our stores have to change too. That’s their motto. This is a problem-solving store.
Jan Fredrik mans the distribution counter and tells us about a woman who received a delivery to her home but who had wanted to collect it from the store, and how he simply offered to walk over and pick up the parcel from her house.
“Another customer received two big parcels. She had her dog with her and couldn’t carry both parcels herself. So I said I could help her carry them home. I don’t think we’re doing anything out of the ordinary. We just try to help people the best we can.”
“We’re always on the customer’s side and try to take care of everything for them. We can’t guarantee that we’ll manage it, but we always try. What’s most important is that we have patience and are solution-oriented. It’s also important to acknowledge mistakes when they happen.”
“Some are a little surprised that they can chat with us.”
The store is just a short walk from Torgalmenningen, the main pedestrian street in downtown Bergen.
It’s noon and Maria and Jan Fredrik are registering the day’s parcel deliveries. They mark them with the customers’ initials and sort them onto the proper shelves. Everything is finished in 15 efficient minutes. The blue cupboard doors are closed. The chaos that lasted for several minutes is over.
Just moments later, the door of the store rings open.
“Oh wow, it looks so nice and new in here,” says the customer.
In the office, further back in the space are Thomas Schjønningsen, Siv Kristin Stakkestad and Kristoffer Hegland. They answer questions received via email, chat and social media. They can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Trustpilot. The store answers all questions that come to PostNord Norway via Facebook.
“I think the customers feel it’s more personal when we respond via Messenger instead of email. Some are a little surprised that they can chat with us,” says Thomas.
Amalie Ersland Vestbø is team leader for the customer center and social media at PostNord Norway. She says what a great job the employees at the Bergen store are doing, as are those in Oslo.
“We’re seeing that we’re starting to get customer recognition. Our goal is for customers to feel like they know the employees here. We post pictures and video clips on social media. Both stores have very high customer satisfaction ratings,” she says.
Customer Alradie Mohamad Zain visits the store to pick up a chair he purchased.
“It’s much more convenient now. I used to have to walk further to pick up parcels. And the last time I was here, they even offered me some candy.”
We work here
From left to right: Maria Mossestad, Siv Kristin Stakkestad, Jan Fredrik Jacobsen, Kristoffer Hegland and Thomas Schjønningsen.
About the store: This is PostNord’s second store in Norway. The first store was in Grünerløkka, Oslo, which opened in October 2018. The purpose of the stores is for PostNord to be more accessible to private customers.
Watch the video from the store
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