How many times have you checked your Facebook page today? Twitter? Or maybe you’re an Instagram person. Social media is a big part of many people’s lives, and it’s also becoming a common way for customers to contact the U.S. Postal Service.

Customers might use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to comment on a particular retail experience, seek information on a product or service, or ask USPS to respond to complaints and questions. Collectively, the Postal Service’s social media accounts received more than 390,000 posts in fiscal year (FY) 2016.

Because of the instant nature of digital communications, users now expect responses to their social media inquiries within one hour, seven days a week, according to research. This presents a challenge for businesses and organizations that lack staff to respond 24/7. Still, it seems organizations are striving toward comprehensive customer service across all channels — voice, email, text, Internet, mobile, and social media — as research suggests this approach is essential to satisfying customers.

Our recent audit report found the Postal Service has not effectively responded to customer inquiries through social media, and its response time – when it does respond – is taking too long. In addition, we found USPS closed about a quarter of its Facebook inquires as “not actionable” when they were, in fact, actionable. It also automatically deleted some Facebook and Twitter posts from its dashboard before a social media agent had reviewed.

While staffing its social media program is a legitimate concern for the Postal Service, we recommended USPS develop an immediate plan to address resources and staffing shortfalls so that all actionable customer inquiries are addressed within a six-hour target. We also encouraged greater coordination between USPS’ Social Media Operations Center and the customer care program, which is a separate organization that handles telephone or website customer inquiries.

Please answer our poll at right, and also let us know your thoughts on these questions:

How do you use social media? To communicate with friends and family or to reach out to organizations and corporate entities with customer inquiries? What do you consider a reasonable timeframe for a response?

Comments (7)

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  • anon

    Great write-up, I’m regular visitor of one’s website, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

    Jun 05, 2017
  • anon

    June 2, 2017 - So, just how LONG does it have to take to install a postal carrier access lock in an electronic intercom? At a month or more. We're STILL waiting for it to be installed despite phone calls or our zip code branch (Chicago 60640), filling out the necessary form at said same branch, and making several follow-up calls to the branch AND alerting the carriers on the route and STILL nothing! The tenants now are so irate they are alerting their congresspersons. As the property manager for the address, I am alerting this blog that you've clearly got to look into the Chicago Postal Maintenance Department and be sure these people are actually ON the job as they have not been answering the phone and a voice mail cannot be left, based on the number we were given for them. I would describe my tenant's resolve as "someone is about to get sued." Not following through on the work to be done in a timely manner hints at money fraudulently being paid yet getting NOTHING in return.

    Jun 02, 2017
  • anon

    So on 4-28-2017 I paid for signature confirmation and 3 day delivery of my taxes being mailed to Fresno, Ca. As of today it has not been delivered and says it is "DELAYED" !!! So the IRS is NOT taking deliveries of taxes being mailed to them ??????? Very convenient! I presented my receipt to the local post office where I mailed them from and the "manager" was of NO help. I ask him to contact the post office in Fresno, Ca., he refused. He took my name and number and I have YET to hear from him. This is unacceptable!!! I can't get an answer from ANYONE due to only getting an automated response when you call the IRS. I called the IRS local help line, which she told me to go to the local post office and they could notify the Fresno, Ca post office and see what the hold up is. I followed her directions which lead to a DEAD end. I would greatly appreciate any help I can get in finding out just why the IRS isn't receiving any deliveries of taxes being mailed in !!!!

    Jun 02, 2017
  • anon

    Thank you for your message. The OIG is an independent agency of the Postal Service and day-to-day mail delivery 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.

    Jun 02, 2017
  • anon

    New York NY has to be the most unorganized place in all of the US. Hi have something get lost and all I get is a sorry is unbelievable. How a tracking number just saying processing through facility and that's it no other update it's been 30 days and counting. Just the worst I've had things pass through other facilities with no issue when ever I see anything go there I have to pray it passes through quickly it's like the longer it stays the least you will ever get to see what you ordered. Just not right!

    Jun 01, 2017
  • anon

    The new "informed delivery" system appears completely unnecessary. If we are getting letter mail, why do we need to be informed of it? But the added work and maintenance of this system will add to the cost of regular mail. This appears to be a case of merely doing something because it is digital.

    May 31, 2017
  • anon

    I think it would be a great way to communicate with the public. I think really though the incompetence of the postal workers and the Men's thieving has to be addressed first.

    May 31, 2017

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If you have used social media for a Postal Service-related issue, was the response satisfactory?

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