The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) launched its annual worldwide Commissary Customer Service Survey (CCSS) on Aug. 24, with new safety measures in place to help prevent COVID-19 exposure. The survey was available for 10 consecutive operating days ending on or before Sept. 11, depending on the commissary’s operating schedule.
Customers were randomly selected to participate in the survey, which evaluates areas such as customer service; pricing; savings; product availability and selection; cleanliness; store layout; and produce, meat, grocery, deli and bakery quality.
“Extreme care will be given to adhere to social distancing measures,” said James Taylor, chief of the agency’s Store Operations Division. “We are working with commissary personnel at each location to ensure safety protocols are put in place to help prevent exposure to COVID-19.”
THE WAY IT WORKED
Commissary associates offered customers the opportunity to rate their stores at the commissary entrance area before they shopped.
When being asked to participate, customers were presented with three options:
• Scan a QR code and take the survey on their own mobile device.
• Have the store employee ask the questions and the store employee enter the responses in the store’s iPad.
• Personally complete the survey on the store’s iPad.
Commissary employees had gloves and disinfectant wipes to sanitize the iPad between each use and provided gloves and wipes to each customer electing to use the store-provided iPad.
“We consider the health and welfare of our customers and our commissary associates our top priority and that is why we will follow the highest standards of Department of Defense (DoD) health protection as we present this survey,” said Robert Byrne, management and program analyst. “Every effort will be made to ensure the safety of our commissary associates and customers during the annual CCSS process.”
The actions taken during the CCSS process are just a few of many that the commissaries have employed to stem the spread of the coronavirus. These include sneeze and cough guards being used at checkout as physical barriers between the tellers and customers.
Patrons are also asked to adhere to physical distancing and wear cloth face coverings while doing their shopping in these stores.
Last year, more than 20,000 shoppers rated the commissaries an overall 4.51, a 4.9-percent increase from 2018’s mark of 4.30. The score is based on a five-point scale, ranging from 1, “Poor,” to 5, “Excellent.” Customers gave commissaries high marks for helpful and courteous employees, store cleanliness and layout, and convenient hours.
“This CCSS is an extremely important measure of commissary performance and it provides us the mechanism to benchmark commissary performance during a fixed period of time,” Taylor said. “We’re committed to delivering a premiere customer experience in every store, and the CCSS survey platform continues to be a powerful tool to help us do that.”
In addition to the annual CCSS, DeCA also employs ForeSee, a survey platform that gives commissaries a real-time snapshot of patron feedback throughout the year.