I recently received a survey from the US postal service. How interesting to get this because I have had missed deliveries and confusing tracking incidents with the USPS recently so I thought I would write them a letter. I ended up not sending them the letter, but included some of the more constructive parts in the mailed survey. Being with the times the USPS did have an option for doing the survey on line. What is below was an early, somewhat inflamed version of the letter that I had wanted to send the USPS with the survey. Sorry if it is confusing because the draft letter changed to a complaint – never sent. Addendum to the USPS – never sent and a neutral version sent to the USPS. What is below is the too inflammatory version not sent to the USPS.
To Whom It May Concern:
In this survey you are missing some important points. I feel strongly enough about this to make them here.
Lets cut to the chase: I do not trust the USPS any longer. There I said it so you know my position. Let me back it up.
Your survey is a nice attempt to engage customers and provide service, but I think there is so much room for improvement that the time and money used for the survey should be spent doing something.
If I purchase something by “mail” order and have a shipping option, I choose anything but USPS. This is because I am not comfortable or confident things will be delivered. I have had numerous occasions where I received, third and final notices that something was waiting at the post office, when I did not receive notice one. By the way, why do I have to come to the post office? When I paid the shipper to provide home delivery? I even had (since deleted) video evidence that the USPS incorrectly notified the sender of delivery attempt to my door and a notice left. My home security system showed no attempt to deliver to the door – I was home too – and no notice left at my mail box. If you want to ask why I did not notify USPS of this event the answer is simple: I do not believe you care about service. I believe I am not alone and it means that consumer confidence has eroded.
When using tracking updates on www.usps.com they are often wrong or very late. This makes the tracking system useless and is partially reflected in the exchange above where the sender was informed that notice was left, but no attempt was made. So what happened either the tracking system was wrong and the attempt claim is an honest mistake, or something else involving not trying to deliver to my home. Remember with multiple examples of “third and final” notice tags finally getting to my door, I just have no faith in the USPS system – sorry.
What your survey will show is simple. Today’s society is a fast paced and instant gratification society and the USPS has stayed in the 19th century (FYI; it is the 21st century). Society no longer trusts the USPS to do the job it was supposed to do. My most precious packages or letters no longer go by mail using USPS.
I understand there is talk of doing away with Saturday service to cut costs. That is one of the worst business decisions you could do. Maybe I’m wrong. It seems that someone wants to keep a government run USPS and cost cutting is to keep it running. However, as most businesses know, that is a short term move that prolongs what is going to happen inevitably. You need to be creative to stay operational. It is not clear to me that anyone wants the post office, but if you do here is a suggestion. No charge for mailing letters. If you do not charge for mailing the letters business will increase. If you are asking how you will maintain a revenue stream; advertising. Obviously some restrictions apply. Say with good old fashioned hand written letters, with the return address of the addressee on the letter. If a person drops off the letter he/she gets a receipt of the mailing with a paid advertisement. Letters picked up by the post office will have hardcopy ads dropped off. On the back of the letter, which must be clear of designs or writings, is printed an advertisement. You already stamp the post for scanners, why not for the recipient?
Some may argue that this will increase work load without increasing revenue. I actually think it will decrease volume of mail because those advertisers that send post cards and single page fliers will use this service and decrease other advertising means.
Okay, so that may be too complicated, require capital investment, market analysis, pricing etc etc. All that takes time, which you really do not have. I have another suggestion; be more efficient. Have people who want to do a good job. Locally we have an expression for most of the USPS people that we come in contact with: “the walking retired.” The employees themselves will tell you there is no incentive to do a good job and the best they can do is status quo and fly below the radar. That is not me talking, it is coming from your employees and a system that the USPS has codified. Maybe with happy and engaged employees my first and second notices would suddenly arrive and maybe things that should be delivered to my door might make it there.
Change comes from within and before you spend time and money looking at your customer base, while a laudable attempt, you need to look at your employees first.