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Lately I’ve been working on our mission statement. It seems obvious that
it’s to make pottery, but there’s more to what we do than that.
Our mission is to spread happiness and joy with pottery. We aren’t
perfect and sometimes people have a complaint they want to talk about.
No one wants to hear a complaint about their business, right?
Wrong! I do, and so do many other businesses.
Why? Well, how else will I know what needs improving? How else will I be able
to rectify a wrong? How else can I keep you as a customer?
So let me have it.
Here’s a recent email I received over the weekend:
(Photos were included)…..”Upon getting this pottery home and closer
inspection, I noted the handle on it appeared far from perfect. I, of course,
will not be returning it, but I would like to be able to contact you and request
a partial refund. I would like to have the imperfect price on the pitcher.
Thank you so much and kindest regards.”
“The first picture is of the bottom of the pitcher handle which was
created on purpose by John. It’s how he finishes off the handle. It’s a design
decision, not a flaw. To the uninitiated (and you’re not the first person to
notice this unusual design and ask about it) it looks unusual, but I assure you,
it’s not a flaw or a mistake. Also, the ridge on the handle is supposed to
be off center. John thinks its more interesting that way. I wish you were here
right now looking at all the handles here so you would see his design aesthetic.
We want you to be satisfied and hope you will enjoy this pitcher for a
very long time. That’s what we do here, make pottery to make others lives better.
I thank you sincerely for asking us these questions.”
(True confession time. I admit it, I was upset at first, because I felt
I’d done this person a disservice by not explaining every little thing on the
pitcher. I quickly wrote the answer and then took over 2 dozen pictures of handles
to email them, but her fast response was gratifying, and I was relieved.)
Here it is:
“Thanks so much for the clarification, because I do love/want a perfect
pot…Thanks again for your response. I really do like the pot and have curly
willow branches in it. Looks great.”
I’m not saying this was easy, because it wasn’t. It’s scary to read emails or
get phone calls like this. I try to remind myself that I want feedback so I can
improve and grow. I want you to feel you can come to us any time after buying
pottery if you have questions or concerns or a ‘pottery emergency’. Trust may be
the most important thing when it comes to you, our valued customer.
It bears repeating: What our goal here, our mission if you will, is to hand make
pottery for you to use that will make your life better and give you a
good feeling when you use it. To that end, we work hard with our hands,
our hearts and our souls, to make pottery, both functional and decorative, that
is of the highest quality and beautiful.
That makes us happy.
It’s a simple as that.
John and Diane
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