Cobbler Johnny triumphs at awards after some glowing reviews

Fareham Shopping Centre manager Mike Taylor presents the Customer Service Award to Johnny White of Timpson   Picture: Keith Woodland
Fareham Shopping Centre manager Mike Taylor presents the Customer Service Award to Johnny White of Timpson Picture: Keith Woodland

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JOHNNY White was flying the flag for Timpson as he took home the Customer Service accolade at The News Retail and Leisure Awards.

The 2017 ceremony, held at Portsmouth Guildhall at the weekend, recognised and celebrated examples of exemplary service within the retail and leisure industries.

Judges deliberated over nominees for the coveted trophy before choosing Johnny as their out-and-out winner. A long list of glowing customer reviews and impressive testimonials from his employers had been supplied.

Timpson is unique in that it uses an ‘upside down management’ approach. This gives colleagues total authority to make decisions and Timpson believes this leads to greater customer satisfaction as the staff are not expected to call headquarters to check all decisions before making them and there is no management chain from which to seek authority.

Retail liaison executive Annarose Hearsum said: ‘We trust staff to run the business as they see fit.’

Annarose believes that it is this style of working that has helped Johnny flourish as manager of the Whiteley Timpson pod.

The cobbler’s old school approach to the job has landed him the number one spot out of 42 Timpson pods in terms of customer feedback.

Giving an example of Johnny’s work, Annarose said: ‘The manager of Pizza Express approached Johnny in a panic. He’d tried to open the restaurant with a key he’d recently had cut by another company, but it snapped in the lock.

‘He had asked Johnny if he could recommend an emergency locksmith.

‘Johnny went one step further. He closed his kiosk, went round to the restaurant and extracted the key pieces before cutting him a new one from the two halves, ensuring the restaurant was able to open on time.

‘We knew that Johnny was popular within Whiteley, but even we were astounded at the response we received on Facebook when we asked our customers for any stories of great service we could use to support his application.’

A delighted Johnny said: ‘My dad was a cobbler, my brother is a cobbler and my nephew is a cobbler. It is a trade that we all love.

‘I take pride in my job and feel very privileged to receive this award.

‘To be recognised in this way is a great honour.’