Winning service

When I dropped by at Win’s Watch Shop at The Bencoolen last week to complain about a missing clasp from the strap of a watch I had sent for its battery to be replaced, i wasn’t expecting to get much joy.

After all, it had been about three weeks since that happened and Win’s has so many customers that I doubt the sales girls there would oblige me with a replacement clasp, without charge that is.

But I was happily surprised.  The smiling girl took my watch and hunted among her perephernalia till she found a clasp which fitted.

“How much?” I asked, thinking I might be lucky to get off by paying $1.

“No charge,” she replied, smiling all the while.

That’s the sort of service that keeps me going back to Win’s all these years.

I first discovered the shop after The Bencoolen was opened, perhaps a decade or more ago. I was taking a cool (ie air con) short cut to the Waterlook Street Kwan Im Hood Cho Temple when I saw this shop, offering very kawai watches with colorful watch straps for $10 each.

I became an instant fan and customer.

Later, I discovered that Win’s replaced watch batteries at $3 each, when everywhere else including those at HDB shops were charging $4 to $5. As a result, it made sense to extend the lives of the several “copy” watches that I had bought from Bali and China on my various there.

I don’t know if Win’s sends its staff for service quality improvement courses. I don’t know if the shop gives pep talks to staff to increase their productivity. I don’t know if it runs any innovation classes.

But what i know is that the boss, that is Win (think his full name is Winston, but not sure), is the perfect service role model. Similing, courteous, affable and helpful.

He is unflappable despite the fact his shop is always crowded with impatient customers, mostly seeking low end services like me. Whenever he is there, he is behind the counter with two of the sales girls, serving customers efficiently and $-blind.

By that I mean he doesn’t junk someone asking to buy a $3 watch battery when a prospect comes in seconds later asking for an expensive watch. He continues to serve the battery customer first, unhurriedly writing a date on a sticker, so that if the battery malfunctions after one month, you can go back for a free replacement.

Not that any of my batteries from Win’s has ever failed that one month test, as most lastied up to a year. So, at max I’m a $15 per annum customer, as after the kawai watch fashion went out, Win’s doesn’t stock $10 watches any more. And I’ve never developed a taste for his more pricey stock.

Yet, I keep going back because price and service wise, Win’s is a shop that’s hard to beat.


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