News: Base commissary focuses on customer service, satisfaction
Story by Cpl. Charles Clark
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Customers shopping at the commissary aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune can expect shorter wait times at the registers beginning this holiday season.
Most Marine Corps Community Services venues have maintained a hiring freeze during the service-wide drawdown, but the base commissary has received special waivers to hire additional employees to increase the level of long-term customer service and satisfaction.
“With the furloughs and the hiring freeze, we got really understaffed,” said Michael A. Dunn, Camp Lejeune Commissary store director. “It’s the perfect time frame to bring people on board, because we’re going into the holiday season. That is when we are at our busiest and that’s when everyone’s shopping at once, so customer service and satisfaction is paramount.”
Dunn learned his store received the waivers toward the end of August. The most difficult part of the hiring process is the wait for a potential employee to begin working, since there is a federal background check required, Dunn said.
Those who already work for MCCS or have already gone through a federal background check will have a quicker turnaround time from submitting an application to start work.
Ashley T. Williams, a commissary store associate, is married to a Marine and worked at the commissary aboard MCB Quantico, Va., for a year before her husband received orders to Camp Lejeune.
The transfer process for employment at the base commissary for Williams was stress-free due to close management communication between the two stores.
“I live aboard base and shop at the commissary, so I know how I want to be treated and how our customers want to be treated,” said Williams. “I enjoy working here, because I find it very rewarding to help others, especially since I know what they are going through and expect from the store associates.”
For some employees, working at the commissary is just a stepping stone to the career they aspire to have.
“We have a former service member who worked at the hospital aboard base, and he really liked his job there,” Dunn said. “After he got out of the military, he started working here and was able to transfer to the hospital after going through our hiring process. I really love to see when our employees are able to continue their life goals after letting us help them get their foot in the door. It’s a great feeling to have.”
The store is veteran friendly and is proud to have both veterans and military spouses among its employees, Dunn said.
“The military community is my family,” Williams said. “We, as associates, put aside whatever is going on in our lives and focus on making sure the customers have as good of an experience here as we can give them. When we bring the new associates on board, we will be able to help more customers.”
For more information about the commissary, visit www.commissaries.com or call 451-5071.
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