Shoppers give commissaries high marks for service
For the third year in a row, commissary shoppers have given the Defense Commissary Agency an all-time high score when asked about their stores’ performance, according to the 2011 Commissary Customer Service Survey. Nearly 21,000 shoppers gave their commissary an overall score of 4.72 out of a possible 5 rating. The annual survey asked them to rate 14 items relating to customer service, ranging from prices and product selection to checkout waiting time and employee helpfulness. While the results are extremely gratifying to DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu, he noted the survey more importantly gives the agency direction on how to efficiently improve customer service. The scores ranged from 4.64 (Bakery quality and selection) to 4.84 (Courteous employees). Major contributors to the high overall score were “Courteous, friendly and helpful employees,” at 4.84, and “Overall satisfaction,” at 4.82. Categories with the highest positive changes were “Well stocked shelves” and “Selection of products.” Since 2007, the CCSS score has improved 2.6 percent.
New Web feature offers extra savings to shoppers
Commissary shoppers can find extra savings opportunities through a new feature on DeCA’s website that makes it easy to find new commissary-oriented websites. Created by companies that sell their products in commissaries, there are six new websites designed for commissary shoppers. Their offerings include coupons, contests and other types of shopper services for exclusive use by commissary shoppers. On Sept. 1, DeCA’s www.commissaries.com home page started featuring the “Exclusive Savings” link to its page that has the links to the new websites. “Offerings differ from site to site, but they all offer something special above what you may find in our stores,” said Chris Burns, DeCA’s director of sales. “Our industry partners have worked hard to make this possible for our military service members, their families and military retirees, and we’re glad to be able to offer an easy way to find these values with a link on our website.” DeCA does not control the content of the sites, Burns added. DeCA’s website is featuring links to these sites as a service to commissary customers, to make it easier for them to get the most out of their commissary benefit, he said.
DeCA celebrates 20 years of service with extra savings
As part of DeCA’s 20th anniversary celebration, commissary customers will see special promotions from the agency’s industry partners, offering great pricing and exceptional savings worldwide for this event. Throughout November and continuing into the winter, DeCA’s industry partners will host many in-store promotions – everything from shopping-spree giveaways to super-discounted holiday turkey coupons. While Oct. 1 marked DeCA’s 20th anniversary, the commissary benefit itself dates back to July 1, 1867. That’s when Congress authorized the Army to sell food items, at cost, to enlisted men as well as officers. Although they started in subsistence warehouses, commissaries today resemble civilian grocery outlets both in layout and in the number of items offered for sale. In 1991, commissaries provided average customer savings of 20 percent when compared with local grocery chains; today, average savings are more than 30 percent.