New process improves change-of-address service

USPS has improved the way it helps telephone callers who request change-of-address services, thanks to a team that came together from several postal departments.

Until about two years ago, the organization’s customer care centers received approximately 400,000 calls annually from individuals with questions or concerns regarding their change-of-address requests.

“For security reasons, there are limits to what our care center agents can do. They can’t file a change of address on a customer’s behalf. That’s something the customer has to do online or at a Post Office,” said Juliette Nelson, a business alliances specialist at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Nelson worked at a customer care center in Wichita, KS, while participating in the Postal Service’s Management Foundations Program, which helps recent college graduates begin careers with the organization.

During her stint at the center, she identified some sticking points with change-of-address requests and possible solutions and shared them with her colleagues, including Salina Ferrow, enterprise customer care executive manager, who oversees the centers.

Nelson and her colleagues helped Joseph Craig, customer contact tools and apps manager, and the Interactive Voice Response team implement a solution: giving customers the option to receive a text message with a link to moversguide.usps.com, where they can manage their change-of-address requests.

Since the text message option was introduced, the number of change-of-address customer calls that are transferred to a customer care center agent has dropped by 21 percent. Other types of calls have also dropped significantly.

“This is a great example of an employee who was able to take what she learned in the Management Foundations Program and work cross-functionally to apply it to our change-of-address program,” said William L. Bentley, business alliances manager at USPS headquarters.

Nelson said she is glad she was able to work with colleagues from several departments to help improve a key USPS service.

“It’s all about working together to meet our customers’ needs,” she said.

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