I’m Angela Bell, I work at our Petrol Millbridge store as a Customer Team Member (CTM).

When we all started wearing headsets at the start of the trial we were all moaning that they were uncomfortable or messing up our hair. But actually, it was because we weren’t used to wearing something on our heads.

Once you’ve been wearing it for a while, you don’t even know you’ve got a headset on. I sometimes forget to take it off when I’m going home now. I was flying over to the bus stop one night and a lady said ‘your headphones are falling off’, so I said ‘oh, I’d better take this back!

We had a bit of a giggle when we first started using them. Because we could all check in with each other we’d say things like ‘what are you doing in there?! to someone in the warehouse, just to have a bit of a joke while we were figuring the headsets out.

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One of the ladies from another store came in and said ‘what’s all this?’, and when I told her the rest of our shops would be getting them soon she wasn’t keen, but I told her they were really helpful, and that they’d notice a big difference.

Staying connected

They help you get hold of your colleagues instead of shouting or using the tannoy, it’s much more personal.  If someone’s on the till you can actually ask someone to bring you change, instead of them coming out, asking what you need and then going back and forth to get it.

If I’m on the shop floor replenishing, or in the back getting stock from the warehouse, and somebody’s got a queue, they can call me by name and ask for help, instead of using the tannoy and having everyone rush the till when they might only need one person.

You can also tell your team straight away if you spot a suspicious person. Whereas before, the only choice you’d have would be to use the tannoy, which would mean everyone in the shop would know, including the person in question.

They’re fantastic, we gave them a go because we knew we were part of the trial run. Now I wouldn’t want them taking away!

Angela Bell, Petrol Millbridge

Hear more from other colleagues who’ve been a part of the trial in the video below, or have a read of the transcript:

NOTE FOR OUR STORE COLLEAGUES: We know you can’t watch videos in store, but if you visit this site (colleaguestories.coop.co.uk) on your personal device you can watch them there.

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. […] Hear more from other colleagues involved in our headset trial, including Angela Bell from our Petrol Millbridge store. […]

    Reply
  2. Good work by Dave responding to the comments. Other projects could learn a lesson from that. Be like Dave!

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    What do the headphones connect to? Or are they wireless?

    Reply
    • Hi Brian,

      The headsets use ‘decked’ technology which means they are completely wireless and hands free. The battery is actually part of the headset itself so no wires getting in the way!

      The headsets can last up to 48 hours without charge and all you have to do it put it back on charge at the end of each day.

      If you have any more questions, please e-mail dave.tyas@coop.co.uk.

      Kind Regards
      Dave Tyas
      Project Manager

      Reply
  4. I like this idea.

    I remember talking to a policeman once about his job and we started talking about arming the police. He surprised me by saying that a constables’ most powerful weapon was a radio – the ability to be in touch with your colleagues is very effective for all sorts of things.

    Reply
    • Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your thoughts, really interesting to hear how powerful this kind of technology can be in other industries. In the trial over 60% of colleagues we asked said that they felt safer at work due to the headsets! Not to mention all of the other benefits we’ve heard about.

      Really exciting.

      If you have any more questions, please e-mail dave.tyas@coop.co.uk.

      Kind Regards
      Dave Tyas
      Project Manager

      Reply
  5. i love the idea of this system,and will save me a lot ,the only thing I wonder about is looking at the pictures they look very baulky on the ear,how does it affect hearing customers etc.

    Reply
    • Hi James,

      Thanks for thoughts on our post, a great question! This was a concern that many of our colleagues had before they received them in the trial. The great news is that the feedback we’ve had is that once you get used to them, you don’t even notice they are there and they don’t affect your ability to hear customers. In fact, our customer service measure for service at the checkout has improved more in our trial stores vs the estate. They are extremely lightweight and out of the ones we tested, they are the best option for our colleagues. If you have any more questions, please e-mail dave.tyas@coop.co.uk.

      Kind Regards
      Dave Tyas
      Project Manager

      Reply
    • In a trial store. Can confirm they’re not as bad to wear as they may seem at first. They have been known to irritate your ear towards the end of a 9 hour day, but it’s easy to simply switch ears mid-shift. As for being able to hear your surroundings – the closed back design of the earpiece does mean you’re somewhat deafened in one ear, and many of my colleagues have mentioned that they often miss what someone says when speaking to their covered ear, however despite the small annoyances I’d say they’re definitely worth it. They increase efficiency in store, increase our ability to be vigilant, and allow for a constant conversation between all colleagues- so no more getting lonely on till.

      Reply
      • Hi Dean,

        Glad to hear that you like them and seeing all of the benefits we hoped you would!

        Really appreciate you taking the time out to give your honest feedback on the trial. We have a conference coming up where we will be presenting the trial feedback our plans to Area and Regional managers, if you would like to get involved by telling your story on the day please e-mail dave.tyas@coop.co.uk.

        Kind Regards
        Dave Tyas
        Project Manager

        Reply
  6. I for one was just talking about this once funeralcare goes digital when all be on pc 1st call etc instead of me hunching phone between my neck shoulders making my neck worse with pain then headset of some sort for answering calls whilst type up detail would be great…move with the times.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the feedback Jackie – What a great idea! Hopefully our colleagues in Funeral Care see the benefits that food store colleagues have had and do something specifically for you too.

      Kind Regards
      Dave Tyas

      Reply

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