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Albany MCX No.1 in Corps

27 Oct 2011 | Marti Gatlin

Exchange garners 2010 Sprit and Pride Award

Marine Corps Exchange employees received accolades for winning the Marine Corps Exchange Spirit and Pride Award for 2010 as the No. 1 store during a ceremony at the MCX, here, Oct. 19.

Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, thanked the group for its increase in sales and customer/associate satisfaction earned them the top honor.

“(It has been) a great year, especially for our employees at the exchange and support staff,” Williams said. “This year, not only did they win, but (were the) best overall in the Marine Corps - No. 1. You do a great job. (This) demonstrates what great people we have here and I congratulate you all for a fantastic job.”

The MCX received a $100 monetary award as well as a plaque adorned with a crystal eagle.

According to George Mettrick, head of retail, MCX, each year Marine Corps Community Services headquarters in Quantico, Va., awards deserving stores the Spirit and Pride Award.

“We were No. 1 of all the stores for 2010,” he said. “We were one out of four stores (among) 16 commands that got the award. The other stores were Miramar, (California), Yuma, (Arizona), and Beaufort, (South Carolina).” 

Mettrick added that certain criteria – increase in sales, customer satisfaction index, associate satisfaction index and secret shopper - have to be met to win the award.

“We reopened in November 2009 from (a) remodeling, so we had a 70.4 percent increase for the year,” he said. “Every year we do what is called a customer satisfaction index where we do a survey on a computer and give customers a $5 gift card to take the survey.

“Our increase went from 76 to 80, which means that 80 percent of the people who took the survey (rated us) either good or better,” he added.

“Also in the criteria is the associate satisfaction index (where our) associates rate the (exchange) as far as a place to work,” Mettrick continued. “You can’t have a good customer satisfaction index without a good associate satisfaction index.

“The key thing about this one was that all the (exchanges) - Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps - take this survey and the 86 we achieved has never been achieved by any service,” he said.  

He noted for the secret shopper, MCCS headquarters employs a shopping service where customers come in and conducts a transaction - walk-in, look, wait to be approached by an employee, helped by an employee and make a purchase. They come back later and return the product.

“(The award) started in 2004 and we’ve received three of them,” Mettrick said. “It all comes down to the employees. They are the ones (who) deserve the award. They are the frontline people at all times. Their goal here is to fulfill the entitlement our patrons feel and are entitled to.”

Mettrick added the MCX services about 380 Marines and 5,000 retirees, to include disabled veterans, and employees help those veterans with pumping gas, etc.

About 18 nonappropriated fund employees and six MCCS Marines all help run the store.

“The beauty of a small store like this is that it’s like family, everybody knows everybody,” he said.

CWO3 Folanda Spencer, retail officer, MCX, echoed Mettrick’s sentiments. She serves as the officer-in-charge for the exchange and manages staff on the floor as well as day-to-day operations.

“To have achieved scores that high -- it’s never  been done in the Marine Corps, so it’s truly an accomplishment,” she said. “We strive to be an 80  or above. That’s sort of the benchmark here and we try to compare ourselves with the other exchanges.

“As a company, for us to receive an 86, which was the highest ever, it really speaks to the customer service here because it’s not only our customers but also our associates,” she said.

Spencer said having the remodeled store helped them as well win the award.

7“We manage what (stock) we have really well,” she said. “We try to stay in stock on our items. It’s our third award in six years and you don’t hear of stores doing that.

“It’s an all-around great exchange. I’m proud of my team,” she said.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany