Management consulting guru Peter Drucker famously said of business management, “What gets measured gets done.” And the U.S. Postal Service seems to follow that maxim, using performance indicators and other types of measurements to improve performance in many aspects of its operations. But we recently found it could benefit from more such measurement in one area – its Premier Office Program.

This program was launched to establish about 3,100 of the 32,000 total post offices as core retail facilities offering the highest level of standardized service and the best possible customer experience. Participating offices were picked based on revenue and location to ensure all areas of the country have access to a Premier Office. We reviewed the program because the Postal Service plans to expand it to improve customer service in other offices.

Our recent audit of the Premier Office Program determined the Postal Service lacks a comprehensive methodology for evaluating performance. Postal officials look at customer survey results, but this one indicator isn’t sufficient to measure the program’s effectiveness. We recommended management establish a more robust evaluation methodology that includes customer experience, cost efficiency, and revenue metrics.

We also found the physical appearance of some of the offices we visited did not reflect their premier status – chipped countertops, broken glass, empty retail displays, and litter were evident. To be sure, it takes a lot of spit and polish to keep such a large network of facilities tidy. But the Premier Offices have access to special repair and alteration funds not available to other post offices (although managers at half of the offices we visited were unaware these special funds exist).

Clean, tidy, well-stocked public areas are considered critical to the overall goal of the Premier Office Program. While alternative access sales are growing, our research shows people still highly value visits to their post offices. So, it makes sense to give customers the best possible retail experience. 

Have your say. Are you familiar with the Premier Offices Program? Does the cleanliness of a facility influence whether you use it? What other qualities are important to you in a Post Office or any retail business? 

Comments (23)

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  • anon

    the lobby of our post office zip code #77459 Missouri city, tx is always trashy. there is trash over flowing out of the trash cans onto the floor. the outside looks as if no one mows or trims the hedges. we need someone to keep it looking nice and clean. if you need help, employ school kids or pay a professional to keep the area looking nice

    Oct 11, 2017
  • anon

    Hello, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day post office issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on their website.

    Oct 12, 2017
  • anon

    Issue today was at the Danville, VA post office located on Teague Court. I had to take our companies monthly bill out to the bulk mailing office. On my first trip, I found the door locked and all the lights off. I left and came back almost an hour later. This time the door was still locked so I had to go to the main office. There was a long line and a post office worker who asked if anyone was just picking up mail out of the side door. I stepped over and told him that I needed someone to unlock the bulk mail office. He told me that the bulk mail person had to go to another branch to work today and that they did have anyone. He went to talk to his supervisor who told him that I would have to bring it inside. I told him it was heavy and that we had a SIPS account and everything was ready to go I just needed to hand it someone where I was parked at the bulk office. I waited at the window for the supervisor, David Swing, to speak to me about this when I spoke with him he told me the same thing that I would have to bring it inside. I walked all the way back to my car and carried 2 very large and heavy trays back to the main office. This was totally unacceptable. First of all there should have been a note on the bulk mail office door explaining the situation and secondly, if this is a service that the USPS is going to offer then they should make sure it is available to it's customers. I am very disappointed in the customer service I received today. I have had other issues similar to this in the past and have never complained but something really needs to be done about the poor customer service in the Danville, VA office.

    Sep 25, 2017
  • anon

    I am a director of a facility that is an instructional site for Stockton University. Our facility is next door to the post office in Woodbine, New Jersey, 08270 This post office is filthy, outside and inside. It is always filthy. I have complained in the past to postal workers in that building, but nothing is ever done to even attempt to clean it up. I have been next door to this post office for 13 years. I live in Ocean City, N.J. 08226. That post office is very old. But it is CLEAN. I don't feel like I have to wash my hands after touching anything in that post office. Surely something can be done to clean up the Woodbine NJ post office. I am appealing for help to clean the post office so that the public can show more respect for the location.

    Sep 13, 2017
  • anon

    Hello Jane, Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day post office issues are outside of our jurisdiction. If you have not already done so, please try contacting your local Post Office. If you have already done that, try contacting USPS Customer Service, (800-275-8777), or file an online complaint with Customer Service on the USPS website.

    Sep 14, 2017
  • anon

    Today, 07/22/2017 I went to the station at 5755 Kittery Dr. C/S, CO 80911. I arrived at 10:07am and there was one person ahead of me in line, but there was no one at the service counter. We waited about 10 minutes and people started to line up behind us. After the first 10 minutes and no one came to the service counter, I went to the counter and asked in a loud voice if there was any one there. Two minutes later, a woman came out and acted surprised there was no one at the service counter. She announced she would find someone to help as she was not signed on to the registers. After another five minutes she returned and helped those who were only picking up or dropping of mail, and within a few minutes more a man came for somewhere and started helping us. The woman ahead of me was just dropping off a package so she was helped by the first person and I was next. I was helped by the man and I was just paying to post a priority mailer which was handled rapidly, but it wasn't until 10:27 that my transaction was finished. His name is Ricky and he was very polite and helpful, but did not offer any apology for any delay. I have avoided using this USPS station in the past because of the lack of conscientious customer/public service that is commonly displayed there. I have also heard from various other people that this style of treatment is common at this location. I believe someone should be made aware that the customer/public service standards at this location have slipped dramatically. Please do something to bring the USPS back to be the best as what it used to be. I actually expect nothing will be done, but at least I have been able to leave a comment others may read to let them know they are not alone in their negative experiences at this location.

    Jul 22, 2017
  • anon

    Well,where do I start......apparently the mailman and mail woman can't read!!! Countless times my mail has been delivered to other mailboxes, packages aren't always delivered and I check the tracking number and it says it was delivered!! But not at my house!! They never ring the bell to let me know if and when it is delivered if I'm lucky!! Mail delivered any time of night!! I'm talking anywhere between 6 to 9pm!! I had a credit card that my bank had notified me they had mailed,never received it and someone was using it and had to go through the aggravation of getting it fixed!!!! I'm thinking of suing!! And reporting to the news channel. I'm sure they must have put it in someone else's box and they used it !!! I also get someone else's mail too!! It is disgusting and disgraceful what is going on!! There should be an investigation into what is going on in the 222 Flatbush Avenue Station Ryder!!!

    Mar 31, 2017
  • anon

    If the international rates for packages wasn't so expensive I would be able to send packages but at the current rates I can't. Also the domestic rates are getting too expensive also and I cannot mail as much as I want.

    Mar 09, 2017
  • anon

    The last 3 times in 2 weeks I've been to the Cordova, TN 38018 USPS office the line has been out the door. Definitely not enough clerks. There are only so many things one can take care of at a kiosk. More staff please!! The staff there is pleasant but never seems to speed up when the line is very long.

    Jan 13, 2017
  • anon

    I was trying to save a buck by using USPS to ship my envelope of momentoes to new York. I made the mistake of requiring a signature to receive. my fault. ive tried to have this package redelivered 4 times the post office in flushing new York never made anymore attempts to deliver my pkg after several on line request along with email and text notifications........... all for nothing! they never tried to redeliver I even had the recipient go to the post office to physically pick up the pkg but its out for delivery they say. so now my stuff is just floating around out there. not even returned to me! this has been over a period of three weeks ....... meaning before holiday rush. I WILL NEVER USE USPS EVER AGAIN FOR MY SHIPPING NEEDS!!!! IT WILL BE UPS FROM NOW ON ..im very unhappy and should get my shipping fees back for incompletion of this delivery!

    Nov 25, 2016
  • anon

    I am treated very well at the Shortsville and Manchester New York post offices. The people that work there are very helpful and make sure my mail is sent out and delivered properly. I enjoy viisiting both of these post offices.

    Jun 07, 2016
  • anon

    The people and service at the my local Post Office is "GREAT" the people are very friendly and willing to assist anyone that asks. The only problem I have with this USPS is access. The doors do not open automatically and don't have any handicap assistants which makes very hard to get in with a wheelchair or scooter. I've had to wait for someone to come from the parking lot to hold the door open so I may enter. The need for one of the doors to open at the push of a button would be so helpful. Thank You,

    May 10, 2016
  • anon

    Post offices in manhattan are never well stocked with anything and have poor customer service. There aren't even pens available to the customers and the employees refuse to provide any when asked.

    Feb 16, 2016
  • anon

    I recently visited a Premier office in Brighton Mi. To say the least the lobby looked like a frat house on a college campus. The windows looked like they haven't been cleaned since the building was built. Cobwebs in just about every corner, black soot coming out of the heat registers. Floors looked like they were mopped with muddy water. Window sills had a inch of dust on them. I saw they janitor out there "cleaning" and he looked about as excited as a turtle running in a race. I asked one of the window clerks about the cleanliness of the lobby and they said if you think that is bad, you would freak how bad its is in the back. They said the morning janitors job for 8 hours was to clean the lobby. That's all he does. This person should get fired for stealing money from the Post Office. If this is the way you display the USPS to the public, it has to be pretty bad on the work floor.

    Jan 06, 2016
  • anon

    I have found out that if you do post on here, absolutely nothing will get done!

    Jan 09, 2016
  • anon

    On MANCHESTER street, 77012 (nearest intersecting street being Broadway) is a filthy, smelly, dark post office which is often unmanned despite posted hours 9-4 and "OPEN" signage. Closure occurs sometimes from 2 pm-ish to maybe 3 10-ish or sometimes 3 pm-ish to 3 45 pm-ish or other non-regular blocks of 30+ minutes of time, yet the "Open" sign remains posted. Probably not safe, either. I've never been able to find anyone there, although others waiting in line have said they saw a woman occasionally in the back.

    Dec 07, 2015
  • anon

    What: add auto stamps machine, pen machine

    Oct 31, 2015
  • anon

    The United States flag at the Houston based post office is flying a shredded flag. It saddens me to see that my own government would represent the U.S. like this. It wasn’t only the flag that was in disrepair, it was also the condition of the building. I thought I was in a third world country going in to this place. In addition, the staff reflected the sentiment of the frayed flag, poor exterior and interior – poor service. Couldn't add the pictures but the address is in Houston on Almeda Rd - Medical Center Station

    Sep 29, 2015
  • anon

    Loud misbehaving employees ruins quality of life for well behaved employees. This problem in my opinion is very real and overlooked.

    Sep 25, 2015
  • anon

    Sorry, Harry about your missing tiles. Our office is missing some brain cells. Hopefully they're on back order.

    Sep 15, 2015
  • anon

    It is embarrassing. Our office has missing tile, 24 hours a cone is on the floor to let people know the floor is wet in the box lobby as the AC duct work leaks from condensation. This condensation has put mildew and popcorn ceiling falls onto floor. Concrete sidewalks need patching leading into the post office. Noting the AC problem has bigger safety issues in the back side of the office. This has been reported last winter, nothing done about it. Regarding retail products, the office personnel attempt to utilize the space to display retail products but the space available to them is extremely limited. Not the best situation at all. Suggestion: revamp offices to truly accommodate the retail products and properly display.

    Sep 14, 2015
  • anon

    The fact that 3,100 of 32,000 post offices were selected as "Premier" struck me as very odd. What are the other 28,900?? Not worth my time to visit? Can't get the job done? Or what? Sub-par?... thanks a lot; I really want my local post office categorized as being less than Premier--NOT!

    Sep 14, 2015
  • anon

    It's interesting to note that UPS is running a survey on their UPS stores.

    Sep 14, 2015

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