The report finds USPS fell short on seven delivery targets, meeting only its targets for marketing mail and periodicals, even after lowering the targets in light of the pandemic’s expected impact on service.
USPS fell short of most of its FY 2021 performance targets, despite lowering those scores anywhere from 2.81% to more than 26%.
“While it is important that targets not be so aspirational as to be unachievable, it is equally important that they serve to inspire improvement, and that they are not set so low as to be unreasonable for purposes of evaluating whether the high-quality service performance goal was achieved,” the commission wrote.
The commission’s public representative noted this marks the fourth year in a row that USPS has declined across every category.
USPS said its performance in fiscal 2021 came down to poor peak season performance, employee absenteeism, reduced supplier capacity, and weather and natural disaster disruptions.
The commission praised USPS for taking what the agency has referred to as “extraordinary measures,” such as allowing extra transportation and overtime, to ensure the on-time delivery of mail-in ballots.
“These efforts were undertaken notwithstanding the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, in furtherance of the vital role the Postal Service plays in the American democratic process,” the commission wrote.
The commission notes performance indicators began to show improvement in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, but said it remains to be seen “whether this represents real year-over-year improvement or simply a return to the pattern of seasonal variation that was typical prior to the outreach of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The commission urges USPS to implement the inspector general office’s recommendations to better recruit truck drivers and increase the efficiency of truck trips.
It also recommends that USPS reduces critically late trips in districts with the highest concentrations of them, and to develop more effective, quantifiable ways to measure improvements to service.
USPS missed six of eight customer experience performance targets, and only met targets for its business service network and its customer care center.
“The commission commends the Postal Service for its efforts to keep up with private sector and other federal agencies by engaging with customers on social media and using social media to evaluate CX and obtain other insights,” the commission wrote.
“The Postal Service’s efforts to respond to customer inquiries on social media in FY 2021 are commendable given the small number of staff available to address customer questions and issues.”
The commission recommends USPS hire more customer experience employees and deploy automation tools to address challenges.
The commission said USPS customer experience targets are reasonable for fiscal 2022.
USPS met its total accident rate target for the third year in a row, but missed survey response rate targets.
If the survey response rate continues to decline in FY 2022, the commission recommends USPS investigate and address the root cause of the declining rate of employees filling out its Postal Pulse survey.