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Chapter 2 Postal Operations
1. Customer Feedback Analysis
The Postal Service uses a variety of means to communicate with customers about products, services, and policies. Corporate Customer Contact handled more than 63 million customer inquiries via telephone, Internet, and mail. Of these, nearly 2.2 million were customer issues documented and electronically sent to the appropriate local Post Office or district Consumer Affairs unit for resolution. Reports containing customer feedback are available for postal managers to analyze trends for appropriate actions.
The Privacy Office has led the Postal Service effort to protect the value of the brand that consumers have grown to trust. In 2005 the office and the mission expanded to include specialized support for policy and procedures. At that time, it was renamed the Privacy Office, Consumer Policy and Strategy. This year it accomplished four key goals in the areas of privacy and trust.
The office extended its responsibility to oversee consumer policy initiatives, while continuing to support all Postal Service Privacy and Records Office (Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act) objectives. In February, for the second year in a row, American consumers ranked the Postal Service as the number one agency they trust to protect their privacy in the 2006 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government conducted by The Ponemon Institute LLC. The study measured the level of confidence Americans have in 57 different government agencies that routinely collect and use the public’s personal information. Not only did the Postal Service retain the top spot, it also received higher customer satisfaction and trust scores. The Postal Service earned the top privacy trust score of 82%, an increase of 4% compared with the previous year. The overall average trust score was 47%.
The corporate and government IT environment was transformed as the impact of data breaches moved to the forefront in 2006. The Privacy Office worked closely with Information Technology and the Inspection Service to provide technical and policy guidance on privacy aspects of critical new data security initiatives. It also supported essential corporate communications efforts designed to increase employee awareness of Postal Service privacy policies and personal responsibility for compliance with information security requirements.
The Postal Service established its new support role for consumer policies and procedures by providing extensive operational and administrative support for the redesign of the International Inquiry and Claims function. The office developed streamlined procedures for processing inquires and claims using reduced locations and complement. It assumed operational responsibility for processing all final Headquarters-level customer appeals and implemented new systems for processing inquiries, claims, and appeals at new locations. The new systems have substantially increased the speed, accuracy and efficiencies of insurance claims processing and appeal resolution. The redesign successfully reduced resource requirements while improving customer service in a function essential to continued consumer trust.
The Records Office responded effectively to the new, complex FOIA planning and reporting requirements established by White House Executive Order 13392, Improving Agency Disclosure of Information. A comprehensive review of Postal Service FOIA operations was conducted in compliance with the new policies. Results of the review became the foundation of the Postal Service’s Report and Improvement Plan, which set forth specific milestones for improving program administration and operations. It includes objectives, timelines, and metrics for improvements. The FOIA Report and Improvement Plan is available at http://www. usps.com/foia/welcome.htm.
3. Customer Outreach and Mailer Liaison
A. NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM
The Postal Service directed and supported the National Postal Forum (NPF) in Orlando, Florida. Attendees included more than 6,000 business customers and exhibitors. The NPF theme was “Where Knowledge and Innovation Connect.” The forum provided attendees with insight into the vision, plans, and priorities of postal and mailing industry leaders. Postal executives and industry leaders led discussion groups that addressed issues of interest to periodicals, package, and advertising mailers. Sessions covered topics such as address management, costs and rates, and prevention of fraud scams.
More than 2,900 participants attended more than 130 NPF training and education program workshops. Eleven certificate programs were offered as part of the Postal Service’s commitment to continuing education. The event also featured four full- and half-day symposia on address quality, global packages, marketing to Hispanics, and periodicals. The NPF educational program was complemented by the exhibit floor, which featured hundreds of companies displaying the latest in mailing supplies, services, software, automation equipment, and systems.
B. EVENT MARKETING
Event marketing serves as a key strategy for achieving Postal Service sales and marketing objectives. Now in its eighth year, this program continues to evolve and grow, offering added value to the current customer base and creating significant new revenue contributions. Event marketing continues to be the best marketing and sales tool for face-toface interaction with thousands of potential clients and customers. It has proven to be an effective avenue for the Postal Service to explore new markets and design new customer solutions.
The Postal Service sponsors a NASCAR Busch Series team. The sponsorship helps build new business relationships and project a positive image. The display of Postal Service logos on cars racing in NASCAR events provides significant publicity and brand advertising value at less cost than traditional advertising.
D. POSTAL CUSTOMER COUNCILS
Postal Customer Councils (PCCs) enhance working relationships with local businesses, helping the Postal Service to better understand customer needs and create wider awareness of postal products and services. Current PCC membership exceeds 100,000 businesses. Support is offered through the PCC Web site at usps.com/pcc, the monthly