We find out how one of our 60 Member Champions, Alex Flynn, got on in the first four weeks of the Join us campaign, and how she gave up travelling around the world to become a store manager.

“I’ve worked for the Co-op for eight years. I started as a Customer Team Member (CTM) in college then went to uni and had every intention of leaving and going travelling. My manager at the time was like: “What are you going to do when you come back?”

“She convinced me to stay and I got a Team Leader role then a Team manager role. I graduated three years ago and decided to stay. My mum is forever grateful to that manager!

“I don’t regret not going travelling because I think now I’d be floating about wandering what to do with my life. I’m enjoying this right now. I’ve got a degree in English Literature and English Language from Salford because it was something I was strong at in A’levels.

“I think as a store manager being able to communicate and lead your team is everything so my skills in this area have really helped me.

“Up until now I’ve been a support store manager going into any store that needs me to help them turn things around or deal with issues.

“It’s been great to go around and meet teams and network. Around Christmas I started to feel guilty though because I didn’t have my own store and wasn’t feeling all the pressure the others were.

“Now I’m store manager in the Gatley store and am really looking forward to having my own store again.

Talking membership

“It’s been really good being a Member Champion these last four weeks. You go into some stores and you’re received really well. The manager welcomes you with open arms.

“It’s been great engaging with the local causes to get some of them into store. Getting them to set up a stall and talk to customers, promoting themselves and raising awareness for their own charity but also helping our membership drive.

“The first day I got lucky and the first store I went into said: “We’re so glad you’re here!” I saw six members of staff and I was there for about two hours. I observed them on the till. The next store I went to I saw two Team Leaders and they knew exactly what they were doing so it was a bit of an informal chat to prep them in coaching the rest of the team.

“The second day I went into a store and my visit was not received very well. They were unhappy I was there and I was made to feel extremely unwelcome. So there have been a few low points but mainly positive.

“On the whole the colleagues in the stores I visited were great at talking membership. It was usually the younger people who found it a bit difficult.

“At first I wondered how much of a difference I could really make but one of the success stories was a colleague called Ryan in our Marple store. That made me realise what I was doing was so worthwhile.”

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Sorry but I have sold over 700 memberships, over 500 from the new member launch last year and over 200 this year, the only thanks I got was from my manager on a perosnal
    Level and not from company level, he bought me some prosecco out of his own pocket when I got to 500, and seeing this just makes me feel like my hard working effort in the membership drive hasnt been recognised at all from anyone else. People who do well in recruitment of new memberships should be recognised and not just the odd person.

  2. CAROL’S MAGIC MEMBERSHIP TOUCH – Vicky Matthews 15.2.2017

    There’s so many colleagues out there doing a great job converting customers into members and Membership Champion, Carol Cogger is a great example.

    I witnessed this first hand when I lent a hand in the Newport Isle of Wight store last week.
    “Carol’s has done a great job – she’s recruited 104 new members in the last 2 months” said store manager Kerrie Blanchard “She’s an inspiration to the rest of the team, encouraging the less confident colleagues to be proud about the new offer, I’m really lucky she’s part of my crew.”

    So how does she do it? Carol’s technique is clever. She only asks customers about membership if they’ve got several Co-op products in their basket and they’re not in a major rush. She then quietly explains how they’ll save money on their next shop – or how they can save and spend for a special occasion. She’ll more often than not mention the local causes that are benefitting from our member spend.

    So after a short briefing from Carol, and only mildly terrified, I took a deep breath and hit the shop floor. I gave myself the target of approaching mainly younger customers and to my relief customers were friendly and receptive – especially when I talked about how members have already raised more than £5m for local causes. Within 4 hours me and the colleagues on the checkouts had signed up another 22 members…..

    Carol’s quiet persistence has been recognised by her Area Manager, Tony Davies. ‘With Carol’s energy and enthusiasm she helps customers understand the benefits of being a Co-op member and in the process shown many of us how to do it well. We all have a role to play in the success of our business and colleagues like Carol make all the difference.’

    Perfectly put. With Carol’s magic membership touch the Co-op’s future is in really safe hands. I’ll be going back to Newport to develop my technique with Carol, Kerrie and the team.

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