Incoming Postmaster General Donahoe Tells Senate Customers Come First

“Leaner, Faster, Smarter” Motto Going Forward

WASHINGTON – The incoming postmaster general told a U.S. Senate subcommittee Thursday that one of his highest priorities would be to improve the customer experience, making the Postal Service “leaner, faster and smarter” in the years ahead.

Deputy Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, who will become the nation’s 73rd postmaster general on Monday, said he is looking at all the ways the Postal Service deals with its customers. “Every interaction with us,” he said, “with a carrier, a clerk, at a kiosk, at a contracted desk or online must be a great one.”

Addressing the current state of the Postal Service, he acknowledged that the past several years have been challenging but there are significant accomplishments that should not be overlooked. He pointed out that the Postal Service achieved $3 billion in spending reductions in 2010, for a three year total of $10 billion and despite reaching the lowest career complement since 1970, “service levels, customer satisfaction and trust in the Postal Service have never been higher.”

Donahoe, a 35-year postal veteran who has served as deputy postmaster general since 2005, said the $8.5 billion loss the Postal Service experienced in 2010 was “a stunning number” but were it not for two legislatively mandated payments, $5.5 billion to the Retiree Health Benefits Fund and a $2.5 billion non-cash workers compensation adjustment, the loss was less than $500 million, a “significant accomplishment,” especially in light of a 6.6 per cent mail volume decline.

“If you look at the aspects of the business within our control,” he said, “we have done well in responding to economic conditions. We have an opportunity to turn the corner and produce regular operating profits.”

He said the legislation introduced by the subcommittee chairman, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation (POST) Act of 2010 would provide the Postal Service with “the flexibility to implement necessary business strategies faster and more effectively” and that the bill had his wholehearted support.

“We don’t want to be a burden to the American taxpayer, and the POST Act helps ensure that won’t happen,” Donahoe said.

Looking ahead, he told the subcommittee “My personal vision is that of a profitable, nimble Postal Service that competes for customers and has a well defined and valued role in an increasingly digital world. Part of that vision is to ensure the Postal Service will always be a resource to every American business and be valued and trusted at every American residence.”

He concluded, “Our goal is to remain viable for a long time (and with the help of the Congress), we will be able to do just that.”

6 thoughts on “Incoming Postmaster General Donahoe Tells Senate Customers Come First

  1. It would be nice to get our mail in a timely fashion. We have to distribute mail to the other tenants in our building because it is boxed incorrectly. We have checks missing almost every month and it makes it very difficult to make payroll with no monies coming in. I have contacted my local post office and I was told it would be handled. Well, so far no go. I feel sure if the postal carrier did not get their checks each month, there would be hell to pay. Sorry, but is very frustraing to one in business not to be able to get the mail.

  2. It doesn’t matter if every interaction with a carrier, a clerk, at a kiosk, at a contracted desk or online is great if the Post Office doesn’t deliver the mail. The check for our property tax was dropped in the box at our city’s main post office on August 24, 2010. In looking at my check register in late November, I noticed we didn’t have our canceled check back and the payment was not reflected on my bank statements. After a call to our county treasurer’s office (located in the same city where the check was mailed) it was determined that our check had not been received. We were told they would look into the matter. Somehow, our check appeared on December 1…postmarked November 29, 2010! We then were assessed a late charge because our tax had become delinquent as of September 30, 2010 and the post office was indicating it hadn’t been mailed until two months later. The irony is that the check we mailed at the same time, on August 24, 2010, to our son in New York City was received by him and cashed on August 31, 2010. Now, thanks to the Postal Service, we have a delinquency for taxes on our record and they don’t seem to want to admit to any wrongdoing in the matter, which is what it would take to clear our record.. “Service levels, customer satisfaction and trust in the Postal Service have never been higher.” Not really.

  3. Yep. Same old story. Do more with less and smile while we scew you. I feel like a animal who takes a beating and then I’m told to be nice to my customers.

  4. Now that I’m retired, I will be out on the street watching many of you to see if I can catch you goofing off. I am also planning on becoming a mystery shopper so when I come up to the window I can get some of the window clerks in trouble and maybe fired.

  5. Thats really whats lacking now! At your station it goes like this CLOCK ON GO STRAIGHT TO YOUR CASE!! NO TALKING!! Carry all mail including 3rd and 4th bundle and dont ask for a overtime slip! ALL routes have been added to so theres no time for forwarding mail or doing mark-ups properly. We are running on the streets and theres no time to chit chat with customers!! Please dont talk to me,,im busy!!! You think customer service sucks now..just wait!

  6. I hope he is serious about this. Someone needs to Share this with Akron, Cleveland, and surrounding areas. and Medina. Lines out the door no one to back up the one window clerk. Im just glad that I Got to be that Clerk. Thanks to my customers for your understanding and patience.

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