Customer service (or lack thereof) is top of mind for me.  Recently, I had the occasion to contact two companies about their product and problems I was having.  The first is a massive company, Crocs.  I have a number of their shoes.  My favorite, a pair of grape colored Caymans, fit like a glove and are my studio shoes.  I love that I can rinse the clay off them and hang them to drip dry.  In fact, I loved them so much I ordered another pair.  This pair did NOT fit like a glove.  They were larger and wider and not as “cushy”.  As I order the smallest adult size, this was a problem.  Upon careful inspection, I noticed that the new pair was made in China, whereas the older was was made in Mexico.  Comfort is one of Crocs supposed differentiators.  However, wearing the two pairs of shoes offers a completely different brand experience, which if I was the Crocs Brand Manager, would (and should) worry me.  I wrote the company’s customer service department.  No response.  Quick internet research revealed that many folks out there have noticed the inconsistency in shoes, depending on country of origin.  Not good.  I for one will no longer buy Crocs online.  And if I find a good alternative, adios Crocs!  It is a bad thing for a company when folks cannot trust their product.

Now for a very different experience:  One of my Groovy Tools wasn’t trimming as cleanly as the others.  At first I shrugged it off to not being used to using the tools.  Then, I stopped second-guessing myself:  One side of the tool was clearly not smooth (there were some burrs in the steel) whereas the other was perfect.  I was disappointed, as I was really enjoying working with the other groovy tools I bought. I decided to drop groovy tools an email describing my problem. I immediately got an email back from Susan at Groovy Tools.  Susan is one of the owners of the company and a potter herself.  Ironically, the name of Susan’s pottery business is “What a Crock!”.  Anyway,  Susan offered to send me a new tool (via Priority Mail), free of charge.  I hadn’t even bought the tool directly from the company to begin with.  But this didn’t matter.  I was having a problem with THEIR product and they were going to fix it.   This company has my loyalty, my respect and my future business.