There’s no denying it: Looks matter. Appearance creates a first impression that is hard to erase. And when you’re talking about postal retail facilities, how they look is essential to the U.S. Postal Service’s business.
Unfortunately, too many retail facilities have fallen into disrepair.
The Postal Service leases and owns more than 30,000 retail facilities nationwide. A Post Office lobby is the principal business office of the Postal Service and often the only close-up view of postal operations many customers get. Its appearance directly affects the Postal Service’s public image.
Our recent audit report on the conditions in retail facilities in the Capital Metro Area – the first report in a series on all seven U.S. Postal Service areas – found that many of the 20 buildings we inspected (the Capitol Metro Area has 2,600) had appearance problems, roof and lighting issues, security concerns, and potential Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations related to building safety and security.
We found some deficient conditions in leased facilities were partly due to landlords failing to perform or adequately complete requested repairs. Also, local management didn’t always give high priority to cleaning, general maintenance, or repairs, nor to concerns for health, safety, and security. Local customer complaints were not logged, and posters about safety and security were not always displayed at facilities.
Our report lays out some specific recommendations for working to improve not only the appearance of retail facilities, but also their safety and security. We noted that doing so would not only improve USPS’s image and customer satisfaction, it would also boost employee morale.
We have projects under way in the other regions and once we are done with retail condition assessments, we will move on to plant assessments. We welcome your feedback. What have you seen at your local facility?