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In 2004 the Postal Service invested in sales skill training and development, with particular focus on sales management, sales effectiveness, and sales skills.
2. Business Service Network
The Business Service Network (BSN) provides customer service to the largest business customers of the Postal Service, which represent more than $38.7 billion in total revenue for National and Premier Accounts, or 56.2 percent of 2004 total revenue. In 2004 the BSN focused on enhancing technology, driving user adoption of its customer relationship management (CRM) application, improving data quality, and increasing customer satisfaction. As a result, 9.4 percent more customers contacted the BSN in 2004, and there was more than a 50 percent increase in the number of customers using the online service. BSN results in 2004 exceeded the prior year's Customer Satisfaction Index for National and Premier Account customers.
The BSN also trained 405 external customers and 438 customer support team members to enter, monitor, and/or respond to customer service requests. Employees were challenged to improve the quality of data in the BSN information system, which resulted in a 30 percent improvement in customer satisfaction.
3. Customer Relationship Management
In 2004 the Postal Service focused on two primary CRM opportunities: improving the quality and increasing the quantity of customer information to drive outstanding customer interactions and improving the customer experience by making it easier for customers to do business with the Postal Service. Throughout the year the customer ID service was integrated with business applications and databases containing customer information. The integration process provided information on data quality that drove improvements in the completeness and accuracy of customer data.
The second opportunity was the deployment of a major addition to the Customer Gateway. This one-stop-shop for Postal Service information and access to systems such as PostalOne!, Mail Tracking and Reporting, and the Integrated Business Service Network was launched in late 2002. In 2003 a new customer registration service was implemented to provide large customers with a single logon ID for access to the services offered through the gateway. By 2004 this service gave customers the ability to manage access to selected, online Postal Services.
4. Marketing Technology Development — Small and Medium Businesses
In 2004 the Customer Care Dialog program mailed five issues of the Preferred Access Business Advisor and a CRM piece. These mailings promoted the value of mail, provided information on postal mailing options, and drove customers to www.usps.com for more information. A Preferred Access Customer Outreach was a test in four cities to interest high prospect, small and medium businesses to sign up for a subscription series of locally managed workshops on mail-related issues. These tests were successful. The Postal Service also sponsored a Small Business School — a Public Broadcasting System television series that aired weekly on some 200 channels and reached 900,000 small business customers. The series provided information on direct mail, Package Services and other postal solutions that meet the needs of small and medium businesses.
5. Customer Connect
The Customer Connect program leverages the carrier's relationship with customers in an effort to increase revenue through lead referrals. Thus far, there are 1,562 participating offices across 78 districts (approximately 15–20 offices per district).
Carriers with 10 or more businesses on their routes are encouraged to submit two leads per month. Currently Priority Mail service is being emphasized. Customer leads with a potential of one to 10 packages per day are contacted via telesales by an assigned district coordinator. Customer leads with a potential of 11 plus packages per day receive a personal visit from a sales representative. Customers receive follow-ups by sales personnel within four days of leads being submitted by the carrier.
Most Americans buy and use postal products and services through retail outlets, i.e., Post Office locations. Each day the vast majority of the more than seven million Americans who visit Post Office locations and contract postal units simply buy stamps, mail packages, and collect mail from a Post Office Box. More Americans, however, are now obtaining stamps or other Postal Service products through alternate channels — by mail, online, from an Automated Postal Center, traditional vending equipment, and through more than 40,000 consignment locations, including ATMs, supermarkets and other authorized agents.