Customer Service at its Peak!

30th April 2013

Letter to the Editor, Warrnambool Standard.

Customer Service – at its Peak!

 

A true story:

Recently an article in the Warrnambool Standard mentioned Mr Fletcher Jones and his generosity. As a result of reading the article, I determined to write this letter to the Editor of an experience I witnessed concerning Mr. Jones many years ago.

At the outset, I would like to briefly state he was one of the biggest employers at the time in the Warrnambool district, employing 1,400 people. Many families employed by him benefited much, and I along with many others, loved Mr Jones. He was a great inspiration to me.

I recall at 14-15 years of age, shopping in a successful business in Liebig Street, when I looked up and saw none other than Mr Jones walk into the shop. He was extremely well dressed in a dark pin-striped suit, a large billowing pocket handkerchief, a brolly over his arm and wearing a Stetson hat. I was in awe.  We exchanged greetings and I scurried to the side and browsed.  

He patiently waited in line until he was alone with the shop owner. They greeted one another cordially. I then overheard the following conversation, which I have never forgotten some 56 years later.

Mr Jones said, “Mr .. …. I recently noted you had a pair of Fletcher Jones trousers advertised in the paper for sale. May I enquire why?”

He replied sternly, “Yes, I was not happy with them, they did not fit properly.’

Mr Jones replied, “I must apologise, I’m very sorry, you should have contacted me. Please, at your convenience contact me at the factory, I will personally fit you, and replace not only the one pair you were not happy with, but also a second pair of your choosing.”

I was astounded - Mr Fletcher Jones apologising to the shop proprietor! My heart skipped a beat.

I was a young lad at the time. I realised later, and ponder today, on the valuable lesson in true humility and integrity shown by Mr Jones at the time. How does customer service and care measure up to this today?

The same man, after I had been in his employment for only a short time as a young lad, passed me on the pathway outside his factory one morning and greeted me with the words, “Good morning Bruce!” My thought at the time, gee Mr Jones knows my name!

Mr. Jones was a man of honesty and integrity.  I loved him dearly and I miss him.  

 

Bruce Turner worked at Fletcher Jones from 1956 to 1966 (aged 14 – 24 years).

Fletcher Jones in the 50s about the time of Bruce Turner's story.   Photo: Jones Family Collection
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