USPS OIG Report: Oversight of the Retail Lobby Customer Experience in New York 1 District


Promoting positive customer retail lobby experiences is a focus area in the U.S. Postal Service’s Delivering for America plan. Retail lobbies are where many customers interact with the Postal Service, such as when buying stamps or mailing packages. The Postal Service collects data on retail lobby customer experiences, such as cleanliness, transaction times, staff courtesy, and mailing supply availability, through mystery shoppers, surveys, and observations. The Postal Service’s New York 1 District — which includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn — recently had low retail lobby customer experience scores. When issues are identified, offices must implement corrective actions to promote customer experiences and service in a manner that reflects the Postal Service’s positive image and brand.

What We Did

Our objective was to assess the retail lobby customer experience in the New York 1 District. We reviewed policies and procedures, analyzed data, observed operations at 15 judgmentally selected sites, and met with Postal Service management.

What We Found

Opportunities exist to enhance retail lobby customer experiences in the district. First, 11 of 15 offices (73 percent) we visited did not complete required retail lobby and employee observations, and we observed related cleanliness, supply availability, and wait time in line issues. Second, we found multiple instances where corrective action plans — required after an office failed or performed poorly during a retail lobby review — had missing or incorrect data. These collective deficiencies occurred due to management oversight shortfalls. Incomplete observations and missing or incorrect data limit visibility into retail lobby performance, making it less likely to identify and validate improvements.

While district management uses available national and local data to provide oversight of retail lobby customer experiences, performance issues remain, and staff must manually extract certain local data and insights. The Postal Service has an opportunity to mitigate these issues by developing an action plan for better leveraging available national and local data, regardless of if it is stored at the nation, district, or local level. Such a plan would allow for enhanced visibility and comprehensive oversight of retail lobby customer experiences, and drive targeted improvements based on an office’s unique characteristics or concerns.


We recommended management reinforce requirements related to the completion of retail lobby and employee observations; reinforce that corrective action plans have complete and accurate data; and develop an action plan for leveraging national and local retail lobby customer experience data to provide enhanced visibility and drive targeted improvements.

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Source: USPS OIG

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