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Customer service training: Navy Exchange System sees success.

In 2010, the Navy Exchange System rolled out a new training program, the PREMIER Customer Service Suite of Learning Tools, to nearly 14,000 associates worldwide. The training was created to stress the importance of good customer service every time an associate interacts with a customer.

PREMIER is an acronym that stands for one customer service expectation:

* Personal Connection - Get to Know Them

* Relationships - Keep Your Promises

* Enhancement - Go the Extra Mile

* Memorable - Keep Them Coming Back

* Individual Care - It's All About Them

* Empowerment - Make It Happen

* Risk-Taking - Take a Chance

The PREMIER Customer Service suite consists of four training modules: PREMIER Customer Service, Manager Observation and Feedback, Making It Right (Problem Resolution) and PREMIER Selling Skills. All associates go through the first module; specialty sales associates, such as those who work in fine jewelry, go through PREMIER Selling Skills; and managers and supervisors go through Manager Observation and Feedback and Making It Right. Each associate receives a printed workbook with their notes from the class as a reference tool. These workbooks are being translated into different languages as well to ensure everyone can benefit from the training.

"The purpose of each module is to help participants think about how a system, program or process can be used to promote that skill," explained Sherry Palihan, NEXCOM Human Resources Organization Development and Training specialist. "Enhancement, for example, encourages the associate to 'Go the Extra Mile.' NEX programs, such as our Keep It New warranty program or our NEX Gift cards, are reviewed and introduced to support the associate's efforts to provide the customer with more than just the purchase of a product."

The PREMIER Customer Service training was internally developed and customized for the Navy Exchange System. The program combines fundamental customer service skills such as smiling and making eye contact along with NEX specific programs and policies. Under Personal Connection, for example, associates learn about authorized patrons and how to identify military in uniform by ranks and rate. In Enhancement, associates see specific NEX examples on benefits that military customers receive, such as price matching. In Empowerment, head of line privileges for military in uniform are explained.

Another unique aspect of the program is that all of the activities in the scenarios are based on real situations that have occurred in a NEX. Role playing in small groups is used to discuss these scenarios.

"It helps describe what PREMIER looks like in behaviors and gives associates a framework in providing customers with the ultimate shopping experience, whether the associate is a cashier, specialty sales associate or in a non-selling position," Palihan said.

NEX associates appreciate the training they are receiving through PREMIER. "Thanks for the opportunity to attend your Premier Customer Service training," said Phil Heffner, Softlines Divisional Manager, NEX Mayport, Fla. "This program will definitely benefit all locations in Mayport. I know we will see an increase from our managers, supervisors and associates in customer service, multiple selling, positive attitude, team work, consistency, and CSI/ASI improvements."

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The focus on customer service is certainly paying off. NEXCOM's 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSI) went up one point to 83. The overall retail industry average is 76.

"One of my top focuses is to enhance our customers' experience each time they shop in a NEX," said Rear Adm. (Sel) Glenn Robillard, commander, NEXCOM. "Based on the results from this survey, we are confident that we are providing our customers with quality products, great customer service and the best facilities possible. It's gratifying to know our customers see and appreciate it as well."
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Title Annotation:Cover story
Publication:Navy Supply Corps Newsletter
Date:Mar 1, 2011
Words:593
Previous Article:The history of the Navy Exchange System.
Next Article:Offering great benefits to customers.
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