on Dec 27th, 2010
in Post Offices & Retail Network
| 7 comments
It’s a couple days after Christmas and all through the house, still no creatures are stirring. Well, some of us are. After all, it’s back to work for most of us. Postal employees were especially busy this time of year. In the holiday season, the Postal Service delivered nearly 16 billion cards, letters and packages across the country and sent mail around the world. Post Office lobbies were also a busy place, with 97 million customers visiting. But more than 47 million customers skipped the trip to the Post Office this holiday season and took advantage of the Postal Service’s online shipping at www.usps.com. The Postal Service touches everyone regularly, but even more so during the holiday season. We would like to hear about your “Mail Moment” experience with the Postal Service over the past few weeks. What made it memorable? Was it a positive experience? If not, how can the Postal Service improve?
on Jun 21st, 2010
in Post Offices & Retail Network
| 15 comments
The economy has changed dramatically over the last 12 months. The Postal Service’s financial situation has changed, as well as its target markets and the fortunes and requirements of its customers. If the Postal Service gathers appropriate data to fully understand customers’ needs and desires, and offers relevant solutions, customers are more likely to choose the Postal Service as their primary supplier of mail products and services. The customer experience includes attributes such as access, convenience, products, services, price and relationship with the Postal Service. Unpleasant experiences can reduce brand loyalty. Understanding and addressing these customer “pain points” is critical to helping to increase customer retention and revenue streams. The challenges are to ensure that every potential and existing customer with a need for postal products and services is aware of the Postal Service’s ability to deliver value, and that the Postal Service captures sufficient information to respond to their needs. Whenever and wherever possible, the Postal Service must understand what customers want and need, and they must meet customers’ expectations. If the Postal Service is to move toward a “best in class” sales organization, it needs to focus on excellence of execution and delivering value to customers.
What can the Postal Service do differently to better understand customer needs in various markets? What can the Postal Service do to enhance the positive customer experiences and reduce the negative experiences? We’re excited to begin the conversation and hope you’ll chime in with thoughts and comments along the way. This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Office of Audit’s Sales & Service team.
on Jun 7th, 2010
in Post Offices & Retail Network
| 13 comments
A number of media news articles in the last year have examined reductions in Post Office retail hours around the country. They report that some Post Offices are cutting back or eliminating Saturday hours, opening late in the morning or closing earlier in the afternoon during the week. The Postal Service faces significant legal and political constraints when it tries to close Post Offices, but faces few constraints when it acts to cut back on the hours a facility is open. However, eliminating hours amounts to a partial scaling back of retail service. When contacted by media, local Postal Service spokespersons have said districts have no specific targets for reducing hours and potential savings have not been calculated. After notices are posted that a Post Office plans to cut hours, some districts refuse to provide the media with a list of facilities where hours have been reduced, citing competitive issues relative to UPS and FedEx.
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), has come out against this approach, noting that cutting hours is a sure way to make the Postal Service’s financial condition worse. She said the Postal Service should be doing more to attract business, rather than making it more difficult for people to mail packages and letters because of reduced hours. So, is cutting Post Office hours the best way for the Postal Service to address declines in mail volume and the limits it faces on closing Post Offices? Is this part of a national Postal Service strategy or taking place solely by Post Offices on their own directive? Does the Postal Service owe the American people a real accounting of the service cuts it is making? What do you think? This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).
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