What We REALLY Think about the Postal Service

USPSeagleAnnual survey sheds light on the disconnect between mailing industry professionals and the folks at the beleaguered USPS.

Is the USPS doing a good job as a partner to the mailing industry? Mailing Systems Technology was anxious to find out in their annual survey to industry professionals. And what they learned is pretty interesting.

“It’s an encouraging sign when over half of our correspondents rate the USPS service as excellent or good,” writes Amanda Armendariz in the November 2015 issue of Mailing Systems Technology, “and even more encouraging that only 5% report it as being poor. That’s a fairly strong endorsement if I’ve ever seen one!”

Okay, you could call that an endorsement…but in the business world not many organizations can or even should survive if only half of their customers like what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Parsing the data even further, the situation becomes clearer. Only 38% agreed when asked if the USPS is making the correct moves in changing how they do business in our changing marketplace. Clearly their “fairly strong endorsement” is heading for the rocks.

Part of the problem seems to stem from a disconnect between what the USPS is pushing (QR codes and augmented reality, to name two of their current favorite marketing promos) and how the mailing industry views them. Almost half of the respondents hadn’t even heard of AR, and nearly 75% of marketers are either dropping QR codes or have never used them at all.

What mailers want, it seems, is pretty straightforward.

“The UPS is a necessary business,” writes one survey respondent. “The operations must be de-politicized and changed for the changing times. If that means 2 or 3 delivery days per week, so be it. We are talking about survival, not union jobs or management make-work.”

“The USPS needs to become more of a true business partner for the mailing community and quit making it such a hassle to do mail at an affordable price,” wrote another.

Confusing regulations, inconsistency, lack of reliability and effective communication were all cited as issues.

Maybe the USPS should stop trying to promote whiz-bang marketing technologies. It’s not their place to dictate how mail will evolve. The mailing industry itself will take care of that. Rather they need to focus on improving their core service – effective and affordable delivery, of whatever the mailer seeks to distribute.