It is always heartening to see the top executives practising what
they preach and fighting the consumers' corner. After all, when you've
spent your career living the high life, it's easy to forget that the
majority of us spend our lives banging our heads against a brick wall
when it comes to customer service.
Step forward cdp-travissully chairman Chris McLeod, the man who once
took to the sales floor of Courts, clad in nylon blue blazer and fixed
grin, to get to the heart of the retailer and find out about the
"consumer experience". So dedicated to the cause is McLeod that he also
spent a few days driving round London in a luminous Dynorod van.
So when McLeod spent a less than satisfactory time having a suit fitted
at Paul Smith, he wasn't shy about venting his spleen. The first time
the doorbell tinkled at Smith's Covent Garden store, McLeod chose a nice
black suit (natch), was measured up for a few alterations and paid the
bill. On the second visit, McLeod whipped it on, hoping for a quick
getaway, but the trousers were too short. Back for a third time, and the
legs were back to normal, but then he had to take the jacket back for
another nip and tuck.
"I was made to feel a right idiot," McLeod harrumphed. "If I'd taken
their advice, I'd still be going back for fittings." An act of
desperation saw him parcelling the suit up and posting it back to Smith
himself enclosing a note saying it would never be worn so he might has
well have it back.
A deathly hush followed. "Then I had a call, out of the blue, inviting
me to pick out a new suit. I nearly didn't go, thinking that a public
humiliation was on the cards," he confides.
But no, immaculate service, a new suit, and a credit note followed for
our plucky hero. And, in an even more impressive display, McLeod managed
to resist following up with a "Hi, I run an advertising agency"
"He got a nice flowery notelet, and I didn't mention advertising at
all," McLeod says proudly.