When I first started to write this post for Royal City Jewellers & Loans Ltd., I promised to share with you some of the exciting and unusual things we see and experience on a daily basis. The one area I have not covered extensively is the Loans department. Since I am not an authority on that department, I asked an expert. Here is what he wrote:
Ken Basso, General Manager Royal City Jewellers & Loans Ltd.
I was asked to write about the Loan Department at Royal City Jewellers & Loans Ltd. and what it is we do.
For starters I was recently appointed General Manager of the company but for twenty-three of my twenty-six years here I was the Loans Department Manager. Through these years I have seen many faces and countless changes in our business, however; the one constant has always been excellent customer service. Actually, at Royal City Jewellers & Loans Ltd. we call it ‘Customer Care’. When I first started at RCJ I already had ten years of jewellery and management experience under my belt but it was our company founder, Howard Isman who taught me the finer points of customer care. One vivid memory I have of working with Howard, or Mr.”I” as everyone called him, was when an elderly woman entered our store looking for help. This lady, for lack of better description, looked like a bag lady hunched over with a sullen look that told you she had a very hard life. When Mr. I called her to the counter he treated this lady with so much care, attention and respect that an immediate change was noticeable. I heard her say, “Thank you Sir, bless you for your kindness”, as she crossed the sales floor to exit the building. I couldn’t help but notice how upright and proud she looked as she walked out with a smile. Customer Care is always about treating people the way you would like to be treated.
So back to what it is we do. The answer is simple, we help people. Life has many surprises and isn’t it funny how the water heater always breaks down just after the warranty expires or the car transmission goes the day before you are leaving on vacation. For most people there just isn’t enough money in the bank account to cover emergencies and that is where we can help. Recently a woman came to me on a referral from a Credit Counsellor. This woman had made payday loans with four different companies to pay for an operation for her beloved cat. She was in so deep that all she could afford was to give the recurring interest payments to the payday loan companies. She provided me with a piece of jewellery that was handed down to her from her grandmother. The piece could easily fetch an amount that would pay off her loans and then some if she wanted to sell it, however; that was not her intent so we made her a (pawn) loan on the item to cover the payday loans and charged her a much lower and more affordable interest rate. In fact, we even arranged a payment schedule that allowed her to pay down the loan with no penalty. This is just one instance of the many times we have helped people through tough times.
I am very proud to be a part of RCJ. We are a progressive company and serve a very necessary service in the community. Our Food Bank fundraiser, Tie Day has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the less fortunate and we are an active participant in the downtown BIA. We are the founding members of the British Columbia Pawnbrokers Association but most important to me is that the letters “RCJ” not only stand for Royal City Jewellers but for Respect, Courtesy and Justice. Those are all the elements of the treatment you receive when we serve you. I constantly remind our staff of the unbreakable rule; in the eyes of the customer you are the business. Our Staff are expected to convey our corporate values and the only way we can provide good service is to show we care.
I always appreciate hearing from customers and I hope your experience with us was pleasant. If you are going to be good at something you have to like doing it and I love my job. I HELP PEOPLE.
The Author is Ken Basso, General Manager, Royal City Jewellers & Loans Ltd.