Chapter 2: Postal Operations
M. The Internet:  Transforming the Way We Connect with Our Customers
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Every year the Internet continues to expand and develop its mainstay role in American culture and economy. In 2002, the Postal Service’s Internet channel clearly and effectively demonstrated this fact by the 127 million visitors who came to the Postal Service website at Since its inception, one of the Postal Service’s primary goals has been to bind the nation together through communication. Historically, the Postal Service has utilized the latest, most advanced available technology to enhance service. This odyssey has taken USPS from the Pony Express to Airmail to the cyberspace domain of the Internet and


The events of September 11 and the October 2001 bioterrorism attacks on the U.S. Postal System were unprecedented in their magnitude and the suffering they inflicted. One of the Postal Service’s most daunting challenges immediately following was verifying and disseminating, in real time, the critical information to employees and customers. The website performed this significant role deftly and consistently throughout the crisis.

Then in April 2002, Postmaster General John E. Potter introduced and released a comprehensive Postal Service Transformation Plan. Concurrent with the Plan’s release, the Postmaster General issued an organization-wide directive that “full and effective execution of the plan” be incorporated into all plans made and all actions taken at Headquarters and throughout the field. The Postal Service Transformation Plan factored significantly in the 2002 development and launch of new services and improvements to

The Plan challenges employees to make enhancement, improvement, and customer satisfaction their primary objectives. The Internet channel responded by launching new services to further reduce costs, grow revenue, and build customer loyalty. The channel migrated high-volume, low-value transactions to Established examples of this are the ZIP Code Lookup and Track and Confirm functions. In 2002, ZIP Code lookups and Track and Confirm transactions totaled 39 million and 33 million, respectively.

In 2002, 800,000 customers enjoyed the convenience of completing their change of address online at The ability to “Print Shipping labels with or without postage” was another popular feature. Both are examples of how the Postal Service’s website continues to develop and implement innovative ways to meet customer needs:

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Chapter 2 Table of Contents

A.  Public Perceptions, Customer
     Outreach and Mailer Liaison

B.  Product Development

C.  International Mail

D.  Mail Volume and Service

E.  Mail Distribution

F.  Delivery Unit Operations

G.  Stamp Services

H.  Licensing Program

I.  Commercial Sales

J.  Retail Programs:
     Building the Core

K.  Pricing and Classification

L.  Marketing Technology and
     Channel Management

M. The Internet:
     Transforming the Way We Connect
      with Our Customers

N.  Technology

O.  Operations Planning

P.  Financial Management