Mail Services to improve speed of service

Mail services will be implementing changes this coming year to better serve the Mason community (photo by Nathan Garduno).
Mail services will be implementing changes this coming year to better serve the Mason community (photo by Nathan Garduno).

There are few students on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus that do not know the agony of waiting in line at the mail room.  More often than not, the line weaves around the mail stacks and along the hallway as students wait to receive their packages.

To address concerns from students, the Office of Sustainability put out a survey asking for residential student feedback on Mason’s Mail Services. The “Customer Satisfaction Survey” confirmed that “package service speed” is the primary criticism of Mason’s Mail Services. Joseph Slott, the manager of the Mail Services Center, took the survey’s results as a motivation to change the way management and students think of Mason’s Mail Services.

The survey received 25 percent participation from students with mailboxes on campus, which according to Slott is one of the highest turnouts the survey has ever received.  Slott credits two factors for this year’s increased input: the promise of gifts to some who participated and the Office of Sustainability’s new online format for Mason surveys.

The awards were given randomly, with a 1st place prize of a $250 gift card to Patriot Computers. Slott also credits Dan Waxman, the sustainability manager, for the increased feedback.

“It was the first time this survey was conducted in this (online) format .” Waxman said. “The survey was also very inclusive with regards to asking demographics, year of students and gender identity.”

The most common concern was package service speed, followed by a need for longer service hours. Slott says his team has already started implementing changes to improve Mail Services’ public image.

“Customer service has improved vastly,” Slot said. “It’s not because they (the previous mail room managers) were doing anything wrong, but our new approach is to treat each student and faculty member as a customer.”

The mail room has promised to undertake new initiatives to address these criticisms.

“We’ll be increasing hours in the fall, package pickup will be open until 7 between Monday and Friday,” Slott said. “We’ll also have some new systems coming in [so] all you’ll have to do is swipe the card. No more signing or waiting.”

By expanding the service hours, Slott hopes the speed will increase as well.  The new card-based system is expected to drastically reduce time waiting at checkout and will help Mail Services organize packages. Slott also noted that, “Student Mail Services’ physical foot print on campus will be much larger in the coming year.”

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