USPS falls short on customer satisfaction goals

The U.S. Postal Service fell short of its own goals for customer service last year, according to a new report from the agency’s regulator.

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The Postal Regulatory Commission’s report says that 78.4 percent of the USPS’s customers – either from households or small- to medium-sized businesses – said they were either very or mostly satisfied with the agency’s service.

The USPS had been shooting for an 82.5 percent satisfaction rating. The agency conducts its own surveys to gauge customer approval that also include larger businesses. But those bigger companies were not included in the Postal Service’s overall satisfaction score.

The regulator’s report comes shortly after the Postal Service announced that it would shutter as many as another 82 mail processing centers starting early next year.

The agency, which has already consolidated 141 processing centers in recent years, says that the agency currently has more facilities than it needs due to the drop in first-class mail volume. Shuttering dozens more mail processing centers will save hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the agency said last week.

But skeptics of the plan, including postal unions, say that the added consolidations will only lead to further delays in mail delivery, and lower customer satisfaction.

The postal regulator’s report also found that the USPS met some, but not all, of its targets for delivery standards. The agency, for instance, had a 96.1 percent success rate on overnight letter delivery, just short of its target of 96.7 percent.

But the report also suggests that the Postal Service was only able to approach or surpass its targets because delivery standards have been relaxed.