April 6, 2012

SPECIAL EDITION

AN INFORMATIVE GET-TOGETHER

USPS, PCC LEADERS MEET DURING POSTAL FORUM

Photo: Postmaster General Pat Donahoe addresses PCC members at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL.
Postmaster General Pat Donahoe addresses PCC members at the National Postal Forum in Orlando, FL.

The National Postal Forum (NPF) in Orlando, FL, was the site last Sunday for a meeting of Postal Customer Council (PCC) representatives and Postal Service executives.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and other executives met with more than 350 PCC members from around the country. Donahoe set the tone, reminding attendees that an important goal of the PCC program is to receive customer feedback.

Sharon Owens, manager, Industry Engagement and Outreach, and National Postal Co-Chair of the PCC Advisory Committee, coordinated the gathering to provide a forum for an open exchange of ideas.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman told the group that the PCC concept is “vital to the work we do,” adding the Postal Service “needs your expertise, your guidance and your feedback.”

Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan echoed the call for feedback. She said local postal managers “will continue to lead the effort to communicate and work with our PCCs as we move forward.” Brennan also emphasized the Postal Service is committed to improving service to all customers.

And Consumer and Industry Affairs Vice President Susan LaChance discussed the Postal Service’s new “Customer Experience Essentials” program, which is aimed at fostering a more responsive culture within USPS.

LaChance said the recently announced program rests on three basic principles. “This program focuses on the simple fact that a smile can begin business relationships; courteous and friendly employees impart value to our customers; and accurately addressing the needs of our customers fosters loyalty and retention,” she said.

Acting on its desire for two-way communications, USPS conducted an electronic survey of attendees to gauge the quality of local and national support. Participants responded to a list of 11 questions ranging from whether local Post Offices treat them as “valued customers” to how likely they are to recommend USPS to others.

Six of every 10 respondents reported local Post Offices and Business Mail Entry Units treat them as “valued customers.” The same number said USPS is “meeting service expectations.” And 83 percent of those responding said they likely would recommend USPS to others. There also were PCC round-table discussions to gather feedback. Summaries of those discussions, and the full electronic survey results will be available in mid-April.

ON-THE-GO SHIPPING

GOPOST DEBUTS AT NATIONAL POSTAL FORUM

Photo: National Postal Forum Board of Directors Chairman Robert O’Brien tries out gopost as PMG Pat Donahoe looks on.
National Postal Forum Board of Directors Chairman Robert O’Brien tries out gopost as PMG Pat Donahoe looks on.

Never miss a package delivery again.

The Postal Service is showcasing its newest shipping innovation — an electronic parcel locker that’s in pilot testing. Called “gopost,” the locker enables customers to drop off and pick up packages around the clock at convenient locations.

“We think gopost has incredible potential to change the way people interact with the Postal Service,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in his National Postal Forum (NPF) keynote address. “The bottom line is that gopost is a great way of leveraging technology to create a better experience and greater value for the sender and the receiver.”

Still in an early test phase, gopost units have recently begun to roll out in northern Virginia. If the pilot is successful, it may be expanded this fall.

“Our gopost units are designed for on-the-go lifestyles, for people who want 24/7 accessibility,” says Kelly Sigmon, vice president, Channel Access. “We plan to place gopost units in locations our customers already frequent, such as shopping centers and transportation hubs. gopost is our latest effort to provide greater convenience, expanded access and more options to better serve our customers.”

To use gopost, customers sign up with the Postal Service to receive a user ID card and PIN to open the locker. When a package is delivered to a selected gopost, the customer receives an email or text message. Customers also can use gopost to ship packages — and there’s no cost to use the units.

To learn more, visit gopost.com.

MAIL TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION GET NOD

‘BEST’ IN MAILING INDUSTRY RECOGNIZED AT NPF

Photo: From left, PMG Patrick Donahoe, President and Chief Marketing/Sales Officer Paul Vogel, eBay Managed Marketplaces Vice President Jay Hanson and DPMG Ronald Stroman.
From left, PMG Patrick Donahoe, President and Chief Marketing/Sales Officer Paul Vogel, eBay Managed Marketplaces Vice President Jay Hanson and DPMG Ronald Stroman.
Photo: Sibley Smart Copy President Barbara Sibley accepts 2012 Deliver M.A.I.L. award from PMG Donahoe.
Sibley Smart Copy President Barbara Sibley accepts 2012 Deliver M.A.I.L. award from PMG Donahoe.

eBay, the world’s largest online commerce platform, is the 2012 recipient of the Postal Service’s Partnership for Progress Award, which recognizes innovation and technology in the mailing industry. Jay Hanson, vice president, eBay Managed Marketplaces, accepted the award this week at the National Postal Forum (NPF).

“Our collaboration with eBay demonstrates the transformative power that technology can have for our industry,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

“This is an example of eBay and USPS continuously improving the products, integration and pricing for our customers,” said Hanson. “eBay’s innovations are immensely popular because they allow our customers to save considerable time and money.”

Also at this year’s NPF, USPS recognized more than 20 postal customers for success in two categories: Mail Innovation and Mail Technology. The 2012 Chief Marketing Officer’s Mail Innovation Award was presented to Avanzado, a technology-driven marketing company, while the Chief Information Officer’s Mail Technology Award went to Stamps.com. Click here for a detailed list of all recipients.

USPS also presented the 2012 Deliver Magazine Marketing Achievement in Innovation and Leadership (M.A.I.L.) award. A copywriting and marketing services firm, Florida-based Sibley Smart Copy, was recognized for its high impact “Photo Mailer” created for a regional chain of salon communities.

Company President Barbara Sibley accepted the honor. “What this award does is validate my belief, and my client’s belief, that if you really want to drive leads and conversions, and eventually sales to a physical location, direct mail is still the best way to go,” she said.

Sibley discusses more about the winning campaign in a video. More information on the award — including other 2012 winners — is available at USPS Newsroom.

REACHING FOR PRODUCT VISIBILITY

100 PERCENT BY 2014

Photo: Product Information, Vice President Jim Cochrane.
Product Information, Vice President Jim Cochrane.

Jim Cochrane, vice president, Product Information, has become a self-described “evangelist for collaboration” for the Postal Service and the mailing industry to work together and make the mail 100 percent visible by 2014.

That means customers will know in real time where their mail or packages are in the postal network and precisely when they’re delivered. USPS is testing new scanners that carriers will use to meet this goal.

Cochrane told an audience they must “embrace the future” and universally adopt the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb). He said the proposed deadline of January 2013 for ending POSTNET is the first step in the transition to 100 percent visibility for packages and the mail.

The IMb already is being used to dramatically improve service performance through scanning, with packages routinely scanned up to 10 times as they pass through the USPS network.

Mailers can make good use of real-time tracking of all mail to add value to their products, Cochrane said. He’s mapped a strategy for 100 percent visibility that will benefit major mailers, small and medium businesses and consumers.

Cochrane believes the way to make the best use of the data that’s becoming available is for USPS and its customers to embrace new technology and work together to improve bottom lines. “Is customized information about your mailings important to your business?” he asked NPF attendees. “You tell us.”

INFO@USPS

YOUR LINKS TO MAILING RESOURCES

U.S. Postal Service: usps.com
National PCC Network: usps.com/pcc
RIBBS: ribbs.usps.gov
Questions? Comments? Send an email to pccinsider@usps.gov
Sign up for PCC Insider at usps.com/pcc, select “PCC Insider Registration”
PCC Insider online archives
PCC Management Insights online archives

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