WASHINGTON—Despite continuing economic challenges, the Postal Service (USPS) continues to deliver high levels of service, with 94 percent of customers surveyed rating USPS as “excellent, very good or good” in the period July 1 to Sept. 30, 2009.
“Customer service and satisfaction are always our priorities,” said Postmaster General John Potter. “The Postal Service remains focused on its mission to provide universal, affordable service to all Americans.” Potter said he is pleased with the 94 percent rating — the highest in four years — and USPS will build on the achievement to reach even higher levels. Prior to the 94 percent rating, USPS received a 93 percent rating of “excellent, very good or good” for five consecutive quarters.
“We will continue to improve service,” Potter pledged. “In fact, we have implemented an even more demanding service measurement system that will allow us to see more easily where we need to focus improvement efforts,” he said.
USPS is implementing the new Customer Experience Measurement (CEM) program, effective with the start of fiscal year 2010, replacing the Customer Satisfaction Measurement program that has been in place since 1991.
CEM is designed to evaluate the total customer experience, from the buying process through service quality. Insights and information from the new measurement system will allow the Postal Service to pinpoint areas of improvement as well as better adjust to changing customer needs. The new system will allow USPS to collect and analyze data from customer surveys and other sources for a more detailed view of customer feedback.
“CEM will help the Postal Service better understand our customers’ perspective,” said Vice President and Consumer Advocate Delores Killette. “By measuring customers’ experiences across all contact points, the Postal Service will build stronger customer relationships and become a more customer-focused organization.”
Killette introduced the new system at today’s Board of Governors meeting, along with the fourth-quarter national performance scores. In addition to the 94 percent customer satisfaction rating, other highlights of on-time mail delivery scores are:
* 96 percent for Single-Piece First-Class Mail overnight delivery for the fourth consecutive quarter
* 95 percent for two-day delivery, up 1 percentage point over last quarter
* 94 percent for three-to-five-day delivery, up 1 percentage point over last quarter.
Other Board Matters
Also at today’s board meeting, Louis Giuliano was elected chairman and Thurgood Marshall, Jr., was elected vice chairman of the board. Giuliano previously served as vice chairman and was appointed a governor by President George W. Bush in 2004. He is former CEO and President of ITT Corp., where he was responsible for leading the creation of a strategic vision and an effective operating strategy for this Fortune 500 global-industrial company. Marshall, an attorney in Washington, DC, and former member of the Clinton Administration White House senior staff, was appointed a governor by President Bush in 2006.
In his opening remarks, Postmaster General Potter noted that this was the first open session board meeting since legislation passed that lowered the Postal Service’s 2009 payment to the Retiree Health Benefit Trust Fund by $4 billion. Potter said the Postal Service is grateful to Congress and the Administration for the welcome adjustment. “However, we must recognize that the Postal Service faces the same problem again this year and every year in the near future as volume contracts and we struggle to match the costs of an expanding delivery network with revenue received,” he said. “It is clear as we move into 2010 that long-term success will require fundamental, legislative change.”
The USPS Integrated Financial Plan for 2010 will be released next week, as will the Postal Service’s 2009 end-of-year financial results.