Taking Care of Customers

Our Consumer and Industry Affairs group is responsible for USPS customer interaction and support for individual consumers, small businesses, large corporations and commercial mailers. The Office of Consumer Advocate and Customer Relations serves to confirm the “voice of the customer” is accurately represented to the organization and is focused on ensuring that each and every customer has a positive customer experience. The primary objective is to improve customer interactions with USPS and position “the value of the mail” in a consumer and business environment. In addition, the group develops a strategic direction, policy improvements, program enhancements and standardized expectations to field consumer and industry contact operations.

Consumer and Industry Affairs reaffirms the importance of customer service and shares customer insights through monthly videos, weekly messaging, training, tools and resources that inform and engage employees. We’re continuously working to improve our standardized complaint handling and resolution process, which provides guidelines encompassing initial contact through resolution. A better resolution process for the customer increases their overall satisfaction. We want to improve processes and enhance systems in ways that support timely and thorough resolution of customer concerns and inquiries.

Customer Care Centers — When customers call the Postal Service’s 1-800 number for assistance, that voice they’re talking to is a postal employee. In FY2015, for the first time, our Customer Care Centers were wholly operated by the Postal Service. All four of our Customer Care Centers were restructured and are staffed entirely by USPS employees. Throughout the year, our toll-free service numbers received a remarkable 53.4 million calls, of which 37.1 million were handled through the self-service interactive voice response system. Sixteen million callers, about 54,200 per day1, requested additional assistance from an agent.

To further enhance the total customer experience, a new “virtual hold” technology was introduced in March 2015. Instead of being placed on hold, a customer gets a callback when an agent is available. During the first six months after implementation, 2.7 million customers opted for a virtual hold. Customer Care Centers provide information and resolutions that simplify the mailing experience for our customers and are dedicated to providing outstanding service and support.

Business Service Network — The national Business Service Network (BSN) is dedicated to providing the best customer experience to over 20,000 of the Postal Service’s largest customers. The BSN encourages a proactive approach that fosters a one-on-one relationship with our customers and serves as the essential link between them and postal operations. By understanding our customers and translating their business needs, the Postal Service not only meets but continuously exceeds expectations by providing excellent service, communications and information to our most valuable customers.

Security Comes with a Stamp — Despite the many changes to the Postal Service since its inception, there is this constant held by its customers: Americans have the right to mail and receive letters and packages with every expectation that no one will tamper with or steal their mail. The Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement and security arm of the Postal Service, helps deliver on that expectation.

The Postal Inspection Service helps ensure the safety, security and integrity of the U.S. Mail. It’s their mission: support and protect the Postal Service and its employees, infrastructure and customers; enforce the laws that defend the nation’s mail system from illegal or dangerous use; and ensure public trust in the mail. Our Postal Inspectors investigate postal-related crimes, such as identity theft, mail bombs, postal robberies and burglaries. And they protect against the use of the mail to launder drug money, defraud customers, traffic in illegal drugs and exploit children.

The Postal Inspection Service also maintains a state-of-the-art National Forensic Laboratory, comprising highly trained forensic scientists and technical specialists who play a key role in identifying, apprehending, prosecuting and convicting individuals responsible for postal-related criminal offenses. They provide scientific and technical expertise to the criminal and security investigations of the Postal Inspection Service.

Carrying out that mission also means ensuring postal employees, customers and some 32,000 postal facilities are safe from criminal attack and the nation’s mail system is protected from criminal misuse. Whether dealing with mail thieves in colonial times, stagecoach robbers in the 1800s, gangsters in the 1930s, the Unabomber in the 1980s and ’90s, or anthrax mailings in this century — Postal Inspectors are there.

If it has anything to do with ensuring the safety, security and integrity of the nation’s mail system from criminal misuse, they do it. And they’ve been doing it — and doing it successfully — since the nation was founded nearly 240 years ago.