The U.S. Postal Service's retail network includes 32,000 facilities and in fiscal year (FY) 2012 it had 840 million customers who conducted 1.7 billion transactions. The Postal Service’s Retail Customer Experience Program — anonymous shoppers who conduct transactions at post offices and evaluate their experiences — helps identify and correct conditions detrimental to customer satisfaction that may inhibit revenue growth at larger retail facilities. The Postal Service spent $3.7 million on this contracted service in FY 2012.
Our objectives were to evaluate the effectiveness of the Retail Customer Experience Program and identify opportunities to improve customer service and generate revenue.
WHAT THE OIG FOUND:
The Postal Service has an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the Retail Customer Experience Program by placing a greater emphasis on customer satisfaction and revenue generation. The program is a valuable mechanism for determining whether retail operations are complying with organizational priorities and understanding conditions at retail offices that may adversely affect customer satisfaction and revenue growth. However, the program scoring system focuses mainly on compliance and does not sufficiently factor in customer satisfaction and revenue growth variables. The Postal Service can improve the Retail Customer Experience Program's effectiveness by increasing the emphasis on customer satisfaction and revenue generation variables in its scoring system. Such changes would likely improve customer satisfaction, promote customer loyalty, and correct deficiencies observed by mystery shoppers that were reported as lost revenue opportunities.
We estimate the Postal Service could generate $15.4 million in additional revenue in FY 2014 if it placed greater emphasis on revenue generation and customer satisfaction variables in the scoring system.
WHAT THE OIG RECOMMENDED:
We recommended the Postal Service place greater emphasis on customer satisfaction and revenue generation. Key considerations should include updating the scoring system to increase emphasis on the personal interaction between the window clerk and customer to improve customer satisfaction and revenue generation, reassessing the 5-minute wait time in line standard, and updating guidance to reflect the objective of the program.