06 August 2009
Simply great service from an old family business
I needed to get a new pin for my husband's wrist watch this week. All very simple and straightward I thought and yet I had a clear demonstration of both good and bad service.
First of all I called into a local and modern looking jewellers. I handed over the watch and asked the lady for a new pin. Her response was to tell me that it would be £12. On entering the small shop I had already been surprised to hear the end of a loud telephone conversation in which her colleague (I'm assuming it may of been her boss) was berating someone on the phone - so I already felt a little uncomfortable. As the £12 was simply for a replacement pin I asked why it was so expensive.
The assistant, who had taken it upon herself to put the watch in a bag, shouted over to another employee "why's it so expensive?". The answer came back "it is hand delivered there and back". After looking rather surprised I asked if this meant they would send it off. This is all with me having replaced a great deal of watch strap pins myself years ago when working in a jewellers shop so I knew how simple it was. Despite the little work shop in clear view, it was confirmed that they would send it off and it would take "at least 7 days" to do.
With the cost, timescale and service being such issues - I left with the watch. I thanked them and said I needed it a bit quicker. As I got to the door the 'boss' shouted "I bet they'll put a cheap Chinese pin in where ever you go".
I walked past two shops, over the pedestrian crossing to Timpson's
. A late middle aged man sat at a work bench and was in deep conversation with a customer who was waiting on him to complete some repairs. He acknowledged me and apologised for needing a moment to finish serving the lady. We three chatted during this time.
After the lady had left satisfied, he asked how he could help. I explained that I just wanted a pin. He said this was no problem and searched through some boxes. All the way through he chatted and was friendly and helpful. Very quickly he found a pin, repaired the watch and passed it over for inspection. I asked how much I owed him and he shook his head, "pop something in the charity box on the counter and that will be fine". I thanked him and his parting comment was to wish me a nice day.
What a difference a few footsteps made. Timpson's
is still owned by it's founding family and their strap line is "Great Service by Great People". How true!