APWU: USPS Announces Changes To ‘Mystery Shopper Program’

APWU Web News

After years of APWU complaints, the Postal Service has notified the union that the Mystery Shopper Program will be altered beginning in January 2011. Retail Associates (RAs) will no longer be required to follow a precise script when waiting on customers; instead they will be permitted to “customize their questions to best address individual customer needs.”

The questions have been a source of frustration, both to window clerks and the mailing public, in part because RAs were required to ask every customer mailing a package a litany of questions – even customers they knew well and whose needs they understood.

APWU Clerk Craft Director Rob Strunk praised the decision. “Finally, a manager with authority has realized that our Sales and Service Associates can determine on their own an appropriate method for communicating with our customers.

“The Mystery Shopper program has been misused, abused, and violated in so many ways,” he said. “We can go forward now demonstrating our professionalism.”

The Mystery Shooper program, which was recently renamed the Retail Customer Experience Program, has been a source of contention between the union and management since its inception. The program relies on management designees posing as customers and scoring retail clerks based on adherence to the script.

According to management’s Dec. 27, 2010, letter, the Product Offerings and Product Explanation categories will no longer be scored, and scoring in other categories will be revised.

11 thoughts on “APWU: USPS Announces Changes To ‘Mystery Shopper Program’

  1. common sense is what the post office is lacking in almost all departments. they are all afraid to make a decision about anything. some low level with balls or ovaries should have made that decision years ago.

  2. Now I will no longer feel like I work at McDonalds. I am on the list for excessing because it was determined by a function four audit that we have too many window clerks.! Why don’t you ask the customers in line that have had to wait for an EXTENDED period of time because we are understaffed. One sick call and there is a scramble.
    Oh. And don’t forget the priorities……must get the box section up and leave the windows understaffed. Thank heavens I am close to the end of my career with the postal service (service—-now that’s an oxymoron)

  3. It’s become all about numbers and not people and their particular needs. The SSA’s have become robotic and so insensitive to our customers real needs ever since the mystery shopper was implemented. The services we blurt out in a hurry, confuses the customer even more. Most of the time we are just ignored. I think our focus on good customer service, a smile and knowledge of our products will bring people back all the time. It’s never failed. We should’t be so bent over rushing through just to meet a wait time in line especially with the reduction in staffing . It’s just all gotten so out of hand and not a joy anymore to be an SSA.
    Oh yeah, we should definitly eliminate the mystery shopper program if we are really serious about saving money.

  4. Finally is right, its never been used the way it should have, to help increase our sales, and now its just used to try to catch someone not doing or saying something from the script. I am the regular window clerk, and its beyond frustrating to be this robot for 8 hours everyday, I don’t like it, and the customers, especially the regular customers don’t like it. I worked for mcdonald’s as I was growing up and that suggestive selling technique as everyone knows is still being used today and is as frustrating as ever, we don’t need to be like that. Let us wait on our customers and help them to mail there products out, without this nonscense . I thank the new PMG for finally seeing and doing something about this.

  5. I have had customers say to me “If I was mailing something do you think I would tell you and do you think I would put my correct address on the front of the package of letter? Those questions are stupid and a waste of time.” I totally agree with customers because I have seen on the news where hazadarous sustances have been to schools thru the mail and no one knows who sent it.
    We have long lines. Some customers leave out of line and go to UPS. We are understaffed and sometimes there is only one clerk working the window. The line moves faster when we cater to our own presentation. We do not need myster shoppers. The post office say they are losing money. That is one area you can save money. Please, ‘IT’s TIME TO GIVE OUR CUSTOMERS GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE. WE ARE LOSING OUR CUSTOMERS TO OUR COMPETITION.”

  6. they should fire all the mysterious shopper. and the function four too. there were the main reasons for postal losing so many revenue.

  7. When I was a bulk mail tech, I received these calls all the time testing my knowledge. I considered it harassment. You could tell it was the Mystery Shopper because of the questions they asked. Real customers didn’t ask these questions. It was nonsense.

  8. Donahoe wantsthe lines to move? He’sthe one who released the statistics that said the average wait time in line was 3 minutes! I wish someone ran the show who knew what was going on and could tell a FACTUAL account of what’s really happening.

  9. Yes!! finally someone wised up!! They cut our man power, but required us to take longer with each customer with all those stupid questions! The PO is not about customer service anymore, it’s all about money and the lack of it!

  10. It’s about time. We’re already losing revenue. Customers are less willing to use the USPS if they have to wait forever in line to mail their Priority packages. Streamlining and speeding up the queue will help both our bottom line and lessen customer dissatisfaction (read: wait-time frustration).

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