Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Delivering Customer Service to the Letter

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Delivering Customer Service to the Letter

Article excerpt

NEALE Parmenter chuckles when he walks through the parcels section of Coffs Centralas Australia Post shop.

That is because the Australia Post postal manager for retail services is walking over the exact spot where he started his working life as a teenager 38 years ago.

After finishing school at Coffs Harbour High, Nealeas first job was as a management trainee in the old Coffs Harbour Waltons store, now the part of the Coffs Central shopping centre which houses the post office.

aIave moved about 10 metres in 38 years a via Sydney,a Neale said.

He spent 14 years in post offices in the Eastern Suburbs like Bondi, Rose Bay and Vaucluse before moving back to the North Coast as the Coffs Harbour postmaster in 1994.

He is now the longest-serving person in the role of postal manager for Coffs Harbour in the history of the local post office, which had its official opening in 1908.

The popular businessman has worked for Australia Post for 33 years and been the local postmaster (now postal manager) for 18 years.

These days his responsibilities cover the retail shop and the private boxes, while Australia Post also has a Coffs Coast delivery manager to look after postmen and women.

Neale joined the postal service only five years after the old PMG (Post Master Generalas Department) had been split into Australia Post and Telstra in 1975, so he has seen and is still seeing enormous changes in the nationas communications and information transmission networks.

There were still two telegram delivery boys on the strength when Neale was a postal clerk at Bondi Beach in 1980 but by 1994, the telegram had gone the way of the dodo, replaced by faxes, emails and mobile phones.

Online shopping has led to a huge boom in the number of parcels being handled by the post office, with a 15% annual growth in this section of the business.

AusPost now provides track-and-trace services for parcels and packages, but letters and parcels are just the beginning of the services now offered by Australia Post at Coffs Central, where work starts behind the scenes at 5am as the first mail of the day is sorted into boxes.

Identity services are an important and growing part of the work undertaken by Neale and his staff of 17.

They carry out all documentation for the issue and renewal of both Australian and British passports, saving locals a long trip to a capital city or to the consulate in Canberra.

They also carry out all the administrative functions for issuing Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Conduct of Gambling certificates for those who have completed the training. They perform the same functions for WorkCover tickets required by tradesmen.

The post office, not the courthouse, is now the place to go to apply for important documents like birth certifi- cates, marriage certificates and death certificates. …

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