Standout MILITARY STAR Associates Share Secrets of Success

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In 2021, the MILITARY STAR® card delivered $408 million in value to the military community, thanks, in part, to the associates who helped shoppers learn about the benefits and apply for the card.

Last year, the top 25 associates alone accounted for more than 9,600 new MILITARY STAR accountholders.

What are their secrets to success? The Exchange Post chatted with the top five associates, who processed nearly 4,000 MILITARY STAR applications in 2021, and got the inside scoop on how they’ve found success.

Betty Ferrer
Hale Koa Express
974 approved applications

Betty has led the Exchange in approved MILITARY STAR applications since 2017. She uses customers’ high-ticket purchases as an opportunity to invite them to save 10%—or 15% during special promotional periods—by opening an account. “It depends on how you approach your customers. You have to smile and be in a good mood,” Betty said. “It’s up to you.”

What’s your top tip for associates looking to increase their number of new MILITARY STAR applicants? For Betty, it’s about sticking to the basics: “Good customer service pays off.”

John Dickson
Fort Belvoir/Fort Myer Exchanges
965 approved applications

As the MILITARY STAR ambassador for the Fort Belvoir and Fort Myer Exchanges, John knows the importance of giving each potential cardholder one-on-one attention. He uses tabling events to talk through specific questions and concerns with individual shoppers. “After they’ve signed up, I’ll show them how to download the MILITARY STAR app, set up an account online and schedule payments,” said John, a 24-year Coast Guard Veteran. “I let them know if they have any problems or questions to come back and see me.”

What do you do when shoppers say they don’t have time to hear about the card? John has a simple invitation he shares: “We have a lot of great benefits. Come by whenever you’re ready, and we can chat.”

Gloria Hutchinson
Schofield Barracks Exchange
841 approved applications

Gloria knows the ins-and-outs of the MILITARY STAR program. “You have to know the card,” she said, to be successful in signing up customers. The more you know about the card, the more you can match benefits to what the customer needs and make a connection. “A lot of my customers are young and new to the military. They’re in a new place for the first time,” she said. “I’ll host tabling events to welcome them to the Exchange and engage with them.”

What do you do when shoppers have heard bad information about the card?  “You have to show them it’s a genuine benefit by knowing what the card offers,” Gloria says. “It has a lot of benefits, like the gas and food discount. You have to be ready to communicate that with them.”

Miyong Davis
Joint Base Lewis-McChord
611 approved applications

Miyong always comes to work prepared. “I make sure I know what the current MILITARY STAR promotions are so I can share that information with my customers,” she said. She knows that most shoppers are always looking for ways to save. “The new cardholder discount is stackable with other offers,” said Miyong, who has been with the Exchange for more than a decade. “I let them know how to save on items they might already be buying in the first place”

How do you respond to shoppers who say they’re not interested before they even hear about the card? Keep telling them about the benefits as they check out: “In my experience, a lot of my customers don’t actually know about the card benefits—they only know what they’ve heard other people say.”

David Mroczkowski
Landstuhl Express (Vogelweh)
589 approved applications

David keeps a positive mindset. “I’m the most rejected person on this installation,” he said, jokingly. “You have to be able to let the rejection go in one ear and out the other. It’s not personal.” David’s 20-year career in the Air Force helps shape his can-do attitude. When David’s boss asked him to take on the mission of increasing MILITARY STAR applications, the entire installation had 19 applications total in the previous year. After two weeks, David had 16—and he hasn’t slowed down. He recently processed his 1,000th application, which is a first for any Europe associate in the last 30 years.

What advice do you have for experienced Exchange associates who haven’t had much MILITARY STAR success? Ask your colleagues for pointers. “Get a second pair of eyes to observe what you’re doing and how to improve,” David said. And set realistic goals. “If you had 20 applications last year, challenge yourself to get 25 this year.”

Congratulations to Betty, John, Gloria, Miyong and Dave for their MILITARY STAR success! Shout-out to the other associates who rounded out the top 25:

Judy Smith, Fort Lee – 579 approved applications

Josefina Curry, Fort Bliss – 518 approved applications

Grace Bernardino, Hale Koa – 481 approved applications

Doreen Baluka David, Fort Gordon – 443 approved applications

Sally Green, Offutt AFB – 368 approved applications

Jack Preston, Fort Leonard Wood – 324 approved applications

Anita Langhorne, Fort Polk – 310 approved applications

Cathy Marshall, Fort McCoy – 283 approved applications

Mi Swatzell, Peterson AFB – 275 approved applications

Demetria Wheeler, Fort Lee – 269 approved applications

Julita Brown, Fort Lee – 228 approved applications

Josephina Darley, Hale Koa – 225 approved applications

Kyun Kim, Camp Casey – 216 approved applications

Yamillie Negron, Fort Buchan – 210 approved applications

Cheryl Young, Hale Koa – 187 approved applications

Penny Poole, Fort Bliss – 163 approved applications

Pinky Sparks, Lackland AFB – 163 approved applications

Cheryl Agonoy, Fort Benning – 158 approved applications

Roszele Catanch, Shaw AFB – 153 approved applications

Wanda Rivera Vera, Fort Carson – 150 approved applications

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Danny on June 16, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Way to go David, Miyong, Gloria, John and Betty!

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