Faster help

Smiling woman touches keypad on smartphone

Callers to the 800-ASK-USPS help line are being offered more ways to receive assistance, part of the organization’s efforts to improve customers’ experiences.

All calls go to one of four Customer Care Centers that the Postal Service operates nationwide. Under changes that took effect recently, callers can now choose to receive text-based assistance through an interactive voice response feature.

Text-based assistance is available for customer inquiries about case creation, passport services, change of address requests, mail holds and package tracking.

“We are leveraging technology to improve the customer experience and give customers more self-serve options in the channel of their choice,” said Customer Experience Vice President Kelly Sigmon.

Beginning in October, USPS plans to offer additional text-based assistance for postage pricing and service commitments, ZIP Code information, Click-N-Ship claims and refunds, and buying stamps.

By the end of the year, customers will be able to receive additional assistance via text, including Post Office hours and location information and redelivery requests.

The new options are proving popular with callers: According to survey results, satisfaction is 14 percent higher for those customers using this service.

Santa stories

Santa looks into mailbox

If you’re a Postal Service employee who has special memories involving Santa Claus, the organization wants to hear from you.

Each year, USPS offers Operation Santa, a program that allows employees to aid families in need by “adopting” their letters to St. Nick and granting their holiday wishes.

To help promote this year’s program, the Postal Service wants testimonials from employees who’ve participated in the past, as well as those who’ve had unique experiences involving Santa.

Here’s what USPS is seeking:

• Testimonials. Have you ever adopted a letter through Operation Santa and made a child’s wish come true? If so, what made you adopt the letter? How did the experience make you feel?

• Memories. When you were a child, did your family participate in Operation Santa or a similar program? Did you write a letter to Santa that was adopted by someone else? If so, what did you request, and how did you feel when your wish came true?

• Stories. Have you had any memorable interactions with Santa, either as a child or as an adult?

• Pictures. Do you have poignant or historical photos of you and Santa?

Email your memories to OperationSanta@usps.gov.

Your contributions — whether they’re sweet, funny or sentimental — could be used to promote Operation Santa in Link stories and other communication channels this holiday season.

‘Right Talent, Right Now’

National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and the Postal Service is joining organizations across the nation to recognize the contributions and talents of employees with disabilities and to raise awareness about disability employment.

The theme for this year’s campaign is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” You can learn more on the U.S. Department of Labor site’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month page, which has a downloadable poster and other materials, as well as a history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The Postal Service’s National Disability Program and Reasonable Accommodation Blue pages also contain information on disability employment awareness and reasonable accommodation resources, including stand-up talks, policy and procedure links, and American Sign Language (ASL) instructional videos.