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Reeling in the Compliments, Dan Kelly builds a career on customer service
Updated On: May 13, 2009

Reeling in the

Dan Kelly builds a career on customer service

UFCW 8 Member Dan Kelly

“I like the Union because there’s a sense of security with my job,” he said. “I can’t be fired because the boss had a bad day.”

Brandy has played girls’ fast-pitch softball for eight years. “Right now, she’s on the Yuba-Sutter Sting, an ASA traveling softball team,” Kelly said.

When Kelly goes home at night, he puts his energy into his other job — as the single dad of Nicholas, 22; Chelsie, 19, and Brandy, 16.

Kelly prefers fishing. “I have a 14-foot aluminum boat that I like to take out into Bodega Bay when I can,” he said. “My best catch there was a 41-pound salmon.”

Dan Kelly’s first job in the grocery business was in Placerville, at the original store of the Raley’s chain. In the 27 years since then, he has developed a reputation for excellent customer service.

A recent customer feedback form gives testimony: “Every time [Kelly] waits on me, he goes above and beyond to make sure everything is right. [He is] one of the best clerks at this store…has a very pleasant personality and is always in a good mood…I wish all clerks were as good as he is.”

“The author of those remarks is a former professional shopper,” Kelly said, “so she has high standards as far as customer service goes. She also has a bad back, so she likes her things packaged a certain way so she can handle them.”

Dan said he treats her as he treats everyone at the store. “I try to be nice to all of my customers,” he said, “but that’s the way Tom Raley set up the store. One of his policies was to treat the customers the way you would want to be treated.”

Kelly got his start in 1981 as a meat department custodian. “The managers were really impressed with how clean the meat department was and they were looking for a night utility clerk, so I got promoted,” he recalled.

Kelly rose from that position to night clerk and finally to his current clerk position.

“When I was starting out, Raley’s sold more groceries for cheaper prices, so the work force was bigger,” he said. “Now, it’s kind of the opposite. We sell less groceries, but we make more money and things are much more customer-service oriented.

“I believe we’re leading the industry right now in customer service,” Kelly said. He has been a devoted Union member throughout his employment.


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