Operations Store Support – championing the voice of stores

To most store colleagues, the Operational Store Support (OSS) desk needs little introduction, but how much do you really know about the team that offers this daily lifeline and vital go-between for the stores and the Support Centre?

Who we are?

Headed up by Interim OSS Manager, Geri Barrington, the department totals 27 advisors, led by a team of 5 – John Copeland, Matt Baker, Phill Searing, Sharon Brown and Ian Charters.


Between us, not only are store queries answered, but the quality of the answers is managed, and then trends of the calls are plotted – helping us reduce the number of repeat issues and frustrations for stores.

The team is always busy. With around 3,600 calls per week – answered in an industry standard average time of just 30 seconds – our desks on the 4th floor of 1AS are a constant hive of activity. When you then add roughly 700 emails a week, you’ll appreciate it can be pretty non-stop.

What we do, and what we’ve achieved this year

The mission of the team is a simple one; here to be the stores’ listening post, providing exceptional operational support to teams throughout the business. We know that time matters in our stores and that eliminating issues is key to providing a great service to customers and members, as well as supporting a great place to work for our colleagues.

In support of this, we’ve landed 3 key initiatives this year:

1. A customer satisfaction capability to allow colleagues to report on the service they receive
2. An automated e-mail to stores when issues are resolved
3. And the big one – moving 33% of calls from a 48 hour SLA to a 24 hour one, meaning we are resolving these quicker than ever before.

OSS Blog Squircle

Reduction in call volume is now at 18% year on year thanks to the better use of analytics and the support of other teams in the Centre. We’re also using tactical messaging to help stores’ awareness that we know of widespread issues when they call through.

What we’re doing next

We’re starting to explore greater use of technology to enable you to log calls without calling, giving you the tools to fix things yourself in a ‘self-help’ culture, using voice analytics to make it easier for you to interact with us, and other opportunities for the future including web chat. Our aim is to fix problems faster, improve the proactive service we offer, and ultimately free up time for you to do what matters most.


We’re also helping to support the Leading the Way programme by providing information on the pain points which stores and our colleagues experience – this insight has allowed the programme to prioritise what to investigate first, and how we can make your lives in store simpler.

How you can help

Simply, we’d love your feedback. We’re hearing that you’re happy with our service via our internal CSAT, but we also want to hear your ideas on how we can improve further. You can comment on the blog post or send an email to operational.store.support@coop.co.uk

Gerri Barrington
Interim OSS Manager