August 28, 2017 (RARC-WP-17-010)

  • Understanding, attracting, and retaining customers is necessary for the Postal Service to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
  • The OIG researched four postal customer satisfaction surveys and found that measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty provide a robust picture of brand health and growth potential.
  • Enhancements to its surveys could give the Postal Service an even more nuanced and comprehensive view of the postal customer’s total experience.

Happy customers are critical to the survival of any business, the U.S. Postal Service included. If residential and business customer alike are content with mail delivery and their local post office, they will continue to send and receive mail and packages via USPS instead of seeking digital alternatives or using other shipping providers. To understand customer needs and to gauge how well it meets them, the Postal Service surveys its customers at various touchpoints. Four surveys are particularly important:

  • The Business Service Network Survey polls large business customers.
  • The Customer Care Center Survey measures the phone helpline.
  • The Delivery Survey assesses the delivery experience of residential customers and small and medium businesses.
  • The Point of Sale Survey measures the retail experience at post offices.

Last year, 1.7 million customers completed these surveys, and their responses were rolled into a dashboard metric called the Customer Insights (CI) Index. The CI Index factors into the Postal Service’s pay-for-performance system and is reported to Congress and the Postal Regulatory Commission.

Because the CI Index serves as the barometer for postal customer satisfaction, the OIG researched the four underlying surveys to find out if they do a good job measuring the customer experience. Our research found that the Postal Service has a robust and evolving survey program, which clearly demonstrates its commitment to understanding its customers’ needs. Minor enhancements to the surveys, such as allowing customers to leave contact information for follow-up and employing hot alerts to immediately notify managers of negative responses, could help the Postal Service act quickly on feedback and improve the customer experience.

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Comments (14)

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  • anon

    I usually go to gurnees ports office but my mother inlaw is handicap and she needed me to send a packet over night . I go in to zions location and their was no air conditioner, long line and a unfriendly cashier. Tori gave me such a bad experience here directing me on how to send the package over night. She was unfriendly, with a negative attitude and rude. Costumer service is so important please provide proper training. Best regards, Nadia

    Sep 18, 2017
  • anon

    Re: "Click-N-Ship" I don't know what the USPS is putting in its drinking water these days. I ship out a lot of packages (as an individual, not a business) - mostly gifts and merchandise returns. For years I have been happy to use Click-N-Ship for this purpose: I keep some boxes in the basement, I got myself a nice digital scale, and had set up a helpful address book. Just closed up the package, weighed it, filled out the online form, charged it to my credit card, printed and attached it, and gave it to my husband to drop off on the way to work. The process was easy and service was generally reliable. This evening I discovered that Click-N-Ship was now only available for use with USPS brand boxes - WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!??? My shipping goes out in many different sizes of boxes, and often is shipped back in the same heavy-duty plastic bag it came it (which of course costs less). I do my shipping at home when - shocker - my post office is closed. And I hardly ever go to the post office anyway. Do you really expect me to maintain a complete set of USPS boxes at all times, and wait until new boxes arrive before I can ship? To use Priority Mail even when I don't need to? (Which is most of the time.) To pay extra to use a box when a bag works just fine? To keep an enormous amount of stamps on hand so I have the right combination for each package? To use a box that's way too big because the smaller one is not the right shape? Seriously, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?! Up until now, I was actually pretty happy about the Postal Service, but you've lost my shipping business. Fedex works just fine, and provided I'm not in a hurry (which again, is most of the time), they charge about the same amount as you would, and often less. I would imagine that you're going to find a big drop in packages originating at residences. And maybe that's the point - maybe so long as you get shipping from large businesses, you're no longer interested in shipping from the residential market. Which is kind of outrageous, since you're supposed to be serving the entire public. Fortunately, I have a backup that is still happy to make my shipping as easy as possible. But I still think you're making a big mistake. p.s. Ironically, there's no place on this website or, I believe, the USPS website, for contacting you by mail. Which is too bad: if I forget to copy and print out my message before I send it, I'm just out of luck.

    Sep 12, 2017
  • anon

    Inconsistency on delivery times and mail arriving two or more weeks later than elsewhere. Depending on which postal employee has our route, we either get our mail around 4 p.m. or almost 7 p.m. or anywhere in between. It's never consistent day to day. We also have two recent episodes of mail arriving late or not at all. One was a lump sum distribution check from a large Financial institution which was postmarked more than 2 weeks earlier to go 90 miles from Boston MA to Eastham MA. The first check was cancelled and re-issued two weeks later, both the original cancelled check and newer one arrived the same day. Most recently we expected a wedding invite that was mailed from the Atlanta area that was delivered to relatives in TX, NY, and MA again more than two weeks ago, we've yet to receive ours. Who knows what else we haven't received. In summary we're not impressed with the Postal Service, and don't know if the problem is local or elsewhere, but we suspect local based on other problems we had with held mail in that we were told we didn't have any after being away two weeks, then after insisting that the Post Office must have misplaced our mail finally received a tub full :-(

    Sep 11, 2017
  • anon

    The rent on our po box went up from $140.00 to $166.00 for the next year. Why? Last year it went up only $4.00. At this rate you are pricing yourselves out of business. It's no wonder people have turned to alternative ways of tending business. The post office in Conroe, TX. 77305 is not all that great. Not friendly. We believe either they or our carrier holds our mail for two to three days sometimes before delivery. We always got some kind of mail every day and now, at times, it is a lot of mail delivered all at once. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Tommy Largent

    Sep 07, 2017
  • anon

    Recently, due to the structural integrity of the building, the post office in the county seat of Cadiz, Ohio 43907 was abruptly closed. The nearest physical post office is 7 miles away. How can the postal service allow this to happen ? Please help !

    Sep 07, 2017
  • anon

    We put our mail on hold. It was delivered 5 days earlier than scheduled and all stuffed in the mailbox. (The door couldn't be closed.) I had instructed that the accumulated mail was to be placed inside my garage, which was unlocked at the time. My son, who was checking our property while we were gone, saw the mail in our mailbox and put it in our house. He notified us that it had been delivered early. I immediately called my post office that the mail was suppose to be on hold. The carrier continued delivery everyday anyway! After returning home, I went to the post office and spoke with the postmistress about what had happened and she confirmed that she was aware of the situation. I received no explanation nor apology for what had occurred. This is a rather small, rural post office where one would expect they could provide competent service.

    Sep 06, 2017
  • anon

    I have 2 different lost idents in 2 occasions and I still don't have satisfaction I went to the Post Office and I was told the case is closed . And I know they're playing games which I don't like. I want my items back or I wanna be reimbursed. Or I will just say that US Post Office is a bad game player.

    Sep 05, 2017
  • anon

    This is some great stuff you've got going on here. I just completed a survey about a delivery experience, in which I complained about the lack of information available to the recipient of a package.

    Sep 02, 2017
  • anon

    I live in Evans, CO, a relatively small town with only one post office. I am having problems with my mail carrier and have written the local postmaster. I did not get a response from the postmaster. I went to the post office 9 days later (8/17/17), the postmaster was not in. I left my name and phone number and still haven't heard from him. Who and where can I write to escalate this matter, preferably outside this post office. Since I wrote the letter, I have been ticketed and am not receiving mail. Thank you, David Bailinson

    Sep 01, 2017
  • anon

    I recently mailed an express envelope that was supposed to be delivered the next day. I paid $28.75 to have this service done. To date, 3 days later, nobody can find this envelope!!! Needless to say, I am VERY upset and there is nothing myself nor anyone at the post office can do about it. The package contained house keys for my 90 year old Aunt, who dropped them in my sons car. So I figured the fastest way to get them there would be by next day delivery.....BOY, WAS I EVER WRONG ABOUT THAT!!! What I want to know is how do I get her keys to her yesterday. She lives on the north side of Chicago and I live on the south side, so you would thinthat mailing them would be a simple and quick process. No wonder you guys are going out of business. PLEASE FIND THIS PACKAGE ASAP... Thank you!!! Also.....tracking # was incorrect!!!

    Aug 31, 2017
  • anon

    I am extremely disappointed in the service I was provided as package never was received but if you put tracking number on your system it states delivered. Well I for one can tell you I never received it. have called CS twice and after waiting almost an hour for pick up ( CS agent was great) she told me I would hear back within 3 days. after 5 days of not hearing back I called again they even gave me the number to the local PO to only call and being told there was no post master at this station only the supervisor which by the way was her she put me on hold and forgot about me.So here we are with a package that said it was delivered on 8/10/2017 it is now 8/30 and still no connect from any of you about my package which was for my grandsons Birthday on 8/13/2017. I would right you all 0. Someone tell me what my next step is. beside never sending a package without a confirmation signature requiered.

    Aug 30, 2017
  • anon

    The Mail used to be delivered to the third party (lost &stolen) ; so i am not the one that i should answer for the consequences of this issue ... thank you

    Aug 28, 2017
  • anon

    I am writing to make a complaint against my local post office location is Peacock Avenue in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The staff at this location is in dire need of new customer service reps. They do NOT offer much help at all. I just experienced an issue with the self-serve machine and my label did not dispense. I asked for assistance and the RUDE man said he can help you as he just pointed to the man on the end! Now I have to leave my credit card information in the machine to walk over to the other side? I myself pulled the receipt out of the machine and NEVER asked if I needed any further assistance. The next customer asked the man to help on the self serve and he just responded I don't know what's wrong with it. It works sometimes and kept doing what he was doing which was NOTHING. I am fuming and I will be going out of my way not to use the post office again. It has happened to me several times. Just extremely RUDE!

    Aug 28, 2017
  • anon

    Thanks for your message. The best thing to do would be to file an online complaint with our Hotline. This will allow us to look into the matter for you.

    Aug 28, 2017

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Contributors

  • Christine Lyons, Kelly Thresher, and Amanda Stafford contributed to this report.

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