Package services expands facility; increases staff

Package Services has expanded its facility and made procedural changes in response to student complaints about delays.

Changes include the expansion of counter space to accommodate four customer service stations instead of two, and an additional doorway to help alleviate crowds, said Michelle Petricono, deputy director of Auxiliary and Institutional Services. She added that Package Services has also nearly doubled its staff in order to reduce wait times.

Package Services has also added a customer service call center team to focus on responding to phone inquiries and a “refresher” training course for the staff, she said.

“You will see a real improvement in the way customers are handled and treated,” Petricono said. She added that Package Services has experienced an 80 percent increase in the number of received packages since 2002.

“We first had to identify the space; space on campus is at a premium,” Petricono said, adding that once space was identified, major renovations were completed in about three weeks. A lack of space in which to expand caused a four-year delay in updating the facility, she said.

Nancy Haaga, director of AIS wrote in an e-mail that the additional space was “much needed.” She said the addition of a self-service option for purchasing postage and sending packages will also be among the changes.

Package Services has been a hot-button issue for students primarily because of wait times that could last more than 40 minutes.

“I told my family not to send me anything anymore because it just wasn’t worth it,” sophomore Jessica Rawlins said.

All changes will be implemented in time for the beginning of school, the busiest period of the year according to Sean Wynn, senior customer operation manager of Mail and Package Services.

“During our busiest times we receive about 1,000 to 2,000 packages a day and about 200 phone calls,” Wynn said.

“We want to improve the customer experience,” Wynn added.

Another change in the way Package Services operates is that e-mail notifications of arrivals will be delayed so that the package is ensured to be on the shelf when a student comes in and asks for a package, Petricono said. She said that students used to be able to pick up packages as soon as they received notification, eventhough the package may not have reached the shelf yet, creating longer lines.

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