USPS Announces Changes to Mystery Shopper Program


Retail Customer Experience Program (RCE) Changes

December 29, 2010

The Postal Service has announced changes to the Retail Customer Experience Program (RCE), previously known as the Mystery Shopper Program, which will begin in January, 2011.  Currently, Retail Associates (RAs) use the Perfect Transaction method to ask scripted questions to customers who are mailing packages, in which RAs offer specific products that provide features and benefits.

* Beginning in January, 2011, RA’s will no longer be required to use the Perfect Transaction method.
* RA’s can customize their questions to best address individual customer needs.
* Product Offerings and Product Explanation categories will no longer be scored.
* RCE Shopper comments for these categories will be provided for informational purposes only.
* In addition, the HAZMAT question will still be required, but instead of asking the question for each individual package, the question will now be asked for the entire customer visit.

The scoring weights of RCE categories will be revised as follows:

Current Weight New Weight
RCE Category towards towards
overall RCE score overall RCE Score
WTIL 25% 40%
HAZMAT 10% 15%
Product Offering 25% 0%
Product Explanation 20% 0%
Promotion & Merchandising 10% 25%
Image 10% 20%
Total Weight 100% 100%

11 thoughts on “USPS Announces Changes to Mystery Shopper Program

  1. Finally usps making a good decision,it’s been years since they made one! Our management made sure they got in one more letter of warning to a clerk two weeks ago for not explaining what insurance is.They want us to treat all our customers like they are five years old.

  2. postal service finally listening to the damn employees, i”ve been tellin my dumb ass supervisor shit for years.

  3. Thank God we are now allowed to be ourselves! May I also add to all of the other comments that the U S Postal Service needs to start being human again. In my office we tried during the Holidays between Thanksgiving and Christmas to brighten the spirit and the mood of the customers as well as improve morale of the RA’s by wearing Christmas shirts and Elf hats and decorated our work station(we are a small office-only 2 RA’s) with Christmas items which I might add DID brighten the holidays up only to be told we were not allowed to be out of uniform because we might get a low score on the Mystery Shopper!!!! WHO CARES ABOUT THAT STUPID PROGRAM——NOBODY!!!!! MY CUSTOMERS HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!

  4. A member sent me the following:

    Happy holidays to all, especially the USPS
    By Jeff Vrabel
    GateHouse News Service

    “Good morning, sir, how are you today?”

    Great, and you?

    “Great, thanks. Just these three?”

    Yep, just these three, please.

    “Anything in here fragile or liquid?”


    “Anything in here perishable?”

    Nope. Not sending any ham today.

    “That’s funny. Anything potentially hazardous?”

    Nope. (This is what I say, although, technically speaking, I’ve found that anything can be “potentially hazardous” if it’s fired out of a large enough cannon.)

    “Anything fragile or liquid?”

    Neither. (This is what I say, although what I’d really like to say is, “It’s a vase from the Khang dynasty that I’ve filled with balsamic vinaigrette.”



    “Anything flammable. Is there anything flammable in these packages? Fireworks, ammunition, marshmallows, bags of popcorn. Flammable.”

    Uh, no.

    “Any animals?”


    “Any animals. Hamsters, lobsters, squid?”

    Any what?”

    “Squid, sir. Are there any squid in here?”

    No, I think I’d know if there was.

    “And you’re sure there’s no liquid.”


    “Squid live in liquid, you know.”

    I know where squid live.

    “Sir, I need you to swear this package is free of liquids, drinks, dips, dressings, sauces.”

    Um, positive. This one’s an 8.5×11 manila envelope, as you can see, so since it’s not actually dripping we can probably assume there’s no …

    “Do you need insurance today?”

    No thanks.


    No thanks.

    “Priority Mail?”

    No, regular mail would be …

    “Delivery confirmation?”

    No thanks. (This is what I say, although I can’t figure the logic of paying extra for a service that’s not only implicit in the original agreement but also the only fathomable reason I’m even in this building. It’s like going to a restaurant and having the waiter tell you, “Now, for an extra $6, I can guarantee you’ll receive your meal.”)

    “Would you like insurance? You can insure it up to $100.”

    See, now here again, if there’s some skepticism about this object arriving at the address I wrote on the front of it, I can call …

    “No insurance, then?”


    “I mean, if you think that’s OK …”

    Why wouldn’t it be OK?

    “… to send an uninsured package in today’s brutal and uncertain world.”


    “What with what we’re hearing about terrorism, and Obamacare and bears.”

    Why would bears be … ?

    “I want to go back to the flammable question. You’re absolutely positive, swear-on-your-dead-cat sure there’s nothing flammable in this box?”

    Dude, can I just send the – wait, how did you know about my cat?

    “I need you to tell me, right now, there’s nothing flammable in here.”

    Right, because in this letter-sized manila envelope I’m sending fireworks to my grandmother.

    “And you’re really just blowing off the insurance, like this isn’t a murderous world, like this thing can successfully make it to Indiana all by itself.”

    Seriously, I just need to send …

    “Do you think I’m attractive?”


    “Nothing. Did you just ask me if I was attractive? Because I think you did.”

    Man, I just need this package shipped. Why are there so many questions … ?

    “Can I get you some cocoa? Hot cocoa, fresh pot. Wait, this one doesn’t have a Priority Mail sticker on it.”

    Yeah, I know, I didn’t buy a …

    “It needs a label.”

    I wrote the address right on the …

    “It needs a label.”

    OK. Can I get a label?



    “You can’t get free labels. You can send it Priority Mail, which will get it there in two days for $28.95, or you can buy a label.”


    “Right behind you. They’re two for $2.59.”

    Can I just buy one?

    “Of course not.”


    “Do you need this covered in fur?”

    See, I don’t even see how that would …

    “Fur protects it from the elements. Also it traps in the moisture.”

    But there’s no moisture to …

    “Are there any liquids in here? ARE THERE?”

    What? No? God, stop yelling at …

    “Do you need any stamps today?”

    No, please, can I just go?

    “No stamps?”

    No, I’m good, really.

    “You’re never planning on mailing anything again, ever, for the rest of your life.”

    Well, someday, but I don’t need …

    “OK, so you’re just here, mailing a package.”

    Yes, that is all I …

    “Why didn’t you just say so? Merry Christmas.”

    Merry Christmas.

  5. Finally some good news! Maybe HQ is starting to listen to customers and their employees. If we can bring back the stamp machines, provide adequate staffing and improve employee morale … then maybe those grumpy RAs will be more courteous and even make an attempt to put a smile on their face. (No, I’m not saying they’re all grumpy.) In due time the customers may eventually change their perception of using the post office.


  6. Thats a start. Now let the window clerks do their job as they were trained to, and customer service will return.

  7. What r u thinking? You brain wash us to say everything and then u r going to tell us to be our selfs????? What the hell. We have been trying to tell management for years.
    Now u dont want to offer special services????? Please some one Help!!!

  8. Phoney baloney companies, selling this nonsense to gullible Postal VP’s of nothing. They charge the PO big bucks for invalid information, which doesn’t compute, does nothing but annoy the customer, and irritates our postmasters. If it works so well, why does the program keep changing its name and format. Just scan all parcels before they load the airlines. They have scanners at the airports. Lower express to $10.00 anywhere in state or within 200 miles. Bring back PO to PO express for businesses. ( We still have general delivery). Stop paying outside companies for answers when most window clerks, (yes window clerks) will give you the correct answers to the problems. Thank You and Goodnight

  9. FINALLY! You have no idea how many customers complain about the litany our window clerks are required to recite – the most common customer reply? “NO! I do NOT want fries with that!”

    I kid you not.

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