The U.S. Postal Service started deployment of the Retail System Software (RSS) solution in fiscal year (FY) 2014, to replace the existing retail point-of-service software at about 18,000 Post Office locations. RSS was deployed to reduce the number of vendors involved in the Postal Service’s retail solutions and lower its operational and maintenance costs.
The NCR Corporation has provided help desk services for the Postal Service’s retail point-of-service software since 2008 and will continue to do so for RSS through September 2016.
In FY 2015, the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General issued a report recommending the Postal Service evaluate metrics and ensure the RSS help desk is adequately staffed with knowledgeable personnel and able to support national deployment.
The Postal Service uses metrics to measure the RSS help desk. Our audit focused on metrics for the Tier One help desk (which is the point of entry for customer issues): (1) abandoned call rate, which occurs when a caller hangs up before being connected to the help desk agent, (2) average speed to answer, which measures how long it takes for the help desk to answer the call, and (3) average handle time, which is the amount of time it takes from customer initiation of the call to completion of related tasks that follow the call.
We selected the average speed to answer metric and abandoned call rate because they were the two primary metrics in the RSS help desk contract for which we could assess performance. Further, we evaluated the average handle time because it is a help desk efficiency measure.
Our objective in this follow-up audit was to determine whether the help desk is adequate to support RSS.
What the OIG Found
The Postal Service is meeting or exceeding performance metrics for the RSS Tier One help desk; however, opportunities exist to improve performance by strengthening established metrics and adding an average handle time performance metric. The help desk showed continuous improvement in Tier One metrics from August 2015 to February 2016. Specifically:
- Abandoned call rates have declined from a high of 36 percent in August 2015 to a low of about 1 percent in February 2016, while the target is 8 percent or less. A lower abandoned call rate could result in higher cost per contact.
- Average speed to answer time has decreased from an average of about 26 minutes (August 2015) to an average of 44 seconds (February 2016), which exceeds the established metric of 90 seconds. Although the Postal Service is meeting the average speed to answer performance target, it could further improve customer satisfaction and help desk efficiency by reducing the performance target.
The Postal Service is able to track help desk handle time, but it does not have a metric to do this. Without a targeted performance metric, the Postal Service is at increased risk of under- or over-staffing the RSS help desk operation.
The RSS help desk efficiency and customer satisfaction could be negatively impacted without establishing and monitoring adequate performance targets.
What the OIG Recommended
We recommended management re-evaluate help desk metrics to increase performance for future help desk agreements, to include establishing an average handling time performance target.
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Source: USPS Office of Inspector General