Donahoe vows to improve USPS' customer service, woo potential advertisers

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Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said January 14 that he will cut additional positions at the US Postal Service, work to simplify its mailing processes, and promote the organization to potential advertisers. Donahoe also told reporters that he will return the Postal Service to profitability by making it leaner, smarter and faster and by improving the customer experience.

“I want every experience to be a positive experience,” Donahoe said shortly after taking the oath of office as the 73rd postmaster general. “Satisfied customers come back.”

Donahoe said he will trim another 7,500 administrative jobs from the Postal Service, including line supervisors and postmasters. Earlier this month, Donahoe said that the USPS will reduce officer ranks by 16%.

Donahoe, who was named postmaster general in October, said he plans to spend much of his time “selling the business,” relying on his yet-to-be-named deputy to focus on legislative and stakeholder communications. He said he and his officers will meet with 100 advertisers who do not use the mail to sell them on its value.

“They aren't using mail, for whatever reason. It's our job to sell them on the mail,” he said, adding that the USPS will work to ease the mailing process. “We have to simplify it.”

The Postal Service sees opportunities for growth in the package business, Donahoe added. To that end, the USPS signed a five-year agreement with eBay to provide online tools and marketing programs to small businesses. Consumers who shop on eBay won't have to leave the site to take advantage of Priority Mail discounts, he noted.

Donahoe added that the USPS gets about $700 million in annual revenue from eBay shipping. It wants to double that to $1.4 billion in the next five years.

The USPS will also publicly encourage Congress to fix what it claims is its overfunding of the Federal Employee Retirement System.

“We are going to ask Congress for some help,” Donahoe said. “If we make some changes this year, it puts us on firmer ground and we can address our long-term concerns.”

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