Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Longterm feedback

The feedback we receive from our customers is a cornerstone to our business success. As a micro business we don’t have the means or the time to constantly chase the “NEW” customer to improve the bottom line. We have to (and want to) satisfy both the immediate and future expectations/needs of our established customer base. As makers, we are not buyers. We would be foolish to presume we know what the customer wants. Which is why we actively seek opinion from purchasers. Prior to purchase, where possible, to provide the product that would most suit the individual, and after purchase to ensure the customers level of satisfaction and area’s that perhaps can be improved on. It is the buyers that ultimately guide our business direction. On occasion, we contact customers to see how, with time, they view their purchase. One such reply was received today, you’ve gotta love it.
The lady, whose response I’ve included below, contacted me in 2005, unhappy. In 2003 she had purchased a pair of our Pure Wool Mongrel Socks whilst in Tasmania, loved them, wore them around the world,(she’s a travel writer, based in the US), wrote lovely things about them and two years on they wore out! We commuinicated with her, that we felt 2 years from a pair of our pure wool socks ( actually any socks) wasn’t too bad, but obviously, more important to her was socks that stood the test of time rather than the ultimate comfort and luxury, premium quality pure wool provides. Same as why top end car buyers choose a Hummer over a Jag. Grunt over Luxury. In a gesture of good will we provided her with a pair of our high performance Tuff Mongrel 60%Wool and 40% Polypropylene socks.

So….. what does she think another 2 years on in 2007.

Hi Helen,
I know how important it is, when dealing with customers, to track product satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). As you may recall, I originally contacted you because my favorite pair of Mongrel socks, which I purchased in Hobart, developed holes in the heel portion of the sox. When you became aware of that, you sent me theTuff's.
I love your sox, whether the Tuff or the original multicolored Mongrels. The solid red is a more conservative color and I found them tough-wearing and warm. I still have them and am going to put them to the ultimate test soon --a winter with me in northern Wisconsin.
I was fortunate to find a Russian lady, who knows how to darn sox. She got my multi-colored Mongrels up and running again with her expert repair.
Who markets your product in the US? Are you in need of a rep?

Happy Halloween,

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

For a good cause

I received the this letter to day, it's nice to know the when we are able to support funraising for a good cause it is appreciated.
My husband, his 4 siblings, and now many of their children have attended Mullumbimby High School, with a few more still to go through. So when we received the request for a donation, we felt it was just the right thing to do. We supplied a selection of our pure wool pure woolMongrel Socks, and our Mongrel Tasmanis Possum Socks, which were given as prizes at their functions.

Dear Friend

Fundraising for shade
Thank you for your kind donation.

As you are aware Mullumbimby High School P&C Association has identified that providing more Shade around the school will be a priority for fundraising this financial year

To date we have raised over $2900 from Bingo and our Trivia night.

Mullumbimby High School P&C Association and the students of Mullumbmiby High thank you for your kind donation towards our fundraising efforts.

Your assistance was instrumental in raising this amount of money and we are continuing our fundraising efforts as well as looking for grants that might assist us in achieving our goal.

Again thank you for your support and your kind donation.

Yours sincerely

Deborah Gower
Mullumbimby High School P & C Association
PO Box 123
Mullumbimby 2482
22 October 2007

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lazy Sundays

Working hard is fine when lazy Sundays are the pay off. Unplanned Sundays lazing, grazing, reading and catching up on left over chores are one of my weekly highlights. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for my life and business partner. Sundays for him are firstly doing the bookwork that’s piled up thru the last week, bills and tax, blah blah. And then on to other stuff that’s calling. Not much fun but got to be done. Don’t feel too sorry for him just yet, his swanning day is Thursday, he’s made the trade, lazy Sunday’s for golfing Thursdays (he swears the Tuff Mongrels improve his game). When you work for yourself, like we do, it’s really important do make time for “ME” time. Otherwise you can find yourself all work and no play, and you know how tiresome and bad for you that can become. We quite enjoy the lifestyle making the Mongrel Socks affords us, mostly work can be pretty routine, but hey, it is so nice to be able to work with no peak hour woes, and if something comes up, workwise or personal, no problem organising time out. Every day I appreciate the Mongrel Socks influence on our lives, if I was honest it’s not all good (what ever is?) after all work is work but there aren’t many livelihoods that offer the flexibility and satisfaction ours does.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

The way it is

I came across this today and it simply explains just how we feel about our customers too.

A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. he is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is a part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so. - Mahatma Gandhi

Thanks so much to all you Mongrel Sock buyers we appreciate it.

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Possum Mayhem

Living on the edge of native bushland, as we do, we have wildlife aplenty. Generally, its a delight, and a special treat to have creatures both furry, feathered and scaled, close to us. An unexpected pleasure watching them go about their business. Not having any domestic pet's (since our dear old dog died), has seen the native population explode. Having lost our much loved and irreplaceable family mongrel, the gorgeous staffordshire bull terrier, Zac, we just couldn't take on another. He'd be a very hard act to follow. He was placid, obedient, and pretty tolerant around other animals, (even cats didn't get his attention), but would still play-up like a puppy well in to old age. All good except when it came to possums. Zac was a very effective deterrent. So we never really had the problems with possum damage we are now experiencing. As cute looking as possums are, we really do regard them as vermin, the rat's of the Aussie bush, around our house. Being a protected species here in Tasmania, there's not a lot we can do about them. They are voracious eater's, and not fussy either. Not only is our garden being knocked around, all the natives tree's we've planted on our acreage are taking a hit. Worse still, they some how are able to un-clip the lids off our garbage bins and rip, spread and scatter all our household rubbish. And just to add insult to injury they cover the lot (or so it seems), with urine and the other. Urgh!
Today, as I repacked our rubbish, again, totally pinged off with the rotten little buggers, a thought sprang to mind, making me laugh out loud. I'm still smiling :)
There I was up to my elbow's in yuck wearing the lovely, warm, possum fur/merino wool socks we produce. Ha! I'm gonna thumb my nose at those furry little possums from now on. I've known for along time what Possum's are good at, now I know what they're good for.
Keeping warm!
They say "Revenge is a dish best eaten cold" They're right.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I've said it before and I've have to say it again. I love our customers. Not only do they obviously love our Mongrel Socks but they also good folk.
This week I buggered up.....big time. I sent off an email to some of our customers to let them know of our current special online offer of free socks, managed that OK, but also disclosed all those email addresses of every recipient, a big fat no-no. Discovering my mistake too late, after the email was sent, ARGH!, we all know you can't unsend, if only. Ignorance is no excuse. I really am truely sorry for compromising the privacy and security of my customers, unfortunately I can't undo whats done, but can make sure it doesn't happen again. I had customers email back letting me know of this muck up, taking the time to tell me how to do it right in future, Amazingly, none unleashing the torrent of abusive emails I deserved and I expected. They were all so good about it, it is quite humbling. Here are some of the emails I received.

Thank you for letting us know about your special offer for your online customers. My wife was delighted with our previous order: they were quite the best socks she has ever had.

I am concerned though that the email header showed the names and email addresses of some of your other customers and presume that they have been made aware of mine. To minimize SPAM mail I am very careful to give my email address only to those who really need to know it.

Most email programs allow mail to be sent to several people without showing the names and addresses of all the recipients. In Outlook Express, which I think you used, you should open the View Menu and select All Headers. This will open an extra field in the Header labelled Bcc: (for Blind carbon copy). Addresses entered in this field are not sent to the recipients.

I doubt if any of your customers will misuse the address information that you have inadvertently provided. However the privacy of customer information is an important, even critical, issue in online shopping so that you need to modify your email procedures urgently to prevent any further breaches of this sort.

Yours sincerely

Hxxxxx Sxxxxx

Hey guys,
thanks very much for this offer. I just thought I'd let you know that when emailing people who don't know each other (eg. for business purposes), it's normal to enter their email addresses in the BCC field, rather than the To field or the CC field. BCC means Blind Carbon Copy, and it means that their email addresses are not shown. These days many of us are quite protective of our contact details, so it's good for customer wishes for the business (my arm warmers and socks are just about to make another London winter more bearable)

Hello Mongrel socks folks,

Thank you for your email about the specials. I love your socks so I will take a look.

On your email I notice that you have listed my name and the names of the other recipients on the top of your email. If you are going to send me any future emails I would like you to make sure that my name is listed as “undisclosed”. The way you are currently using the list means that anyone you have corresponded with can now access my email address and I am uncomfortable about this. My privacy is important to me and I go to great lengths to keep my email address private. I am sorry to complain because I love your socks.

With respect,


So thanks to our customers, I will get it right next time and thanks too for your understanding.

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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Free Socks!

For the months of Oct-Nov '07 we are offering all our online customers a chance to try either our Mongrel Tasmanis Possum Socks or cotton rich Dr Socks for free with online purchases over $50 (for a free pair of Dr Socks) or with orders over $100 you'll receive a free pair of Possum Socks to try. Both are a completely different product to our ever popular Pure Wool Mongrel Socks and our Tuff Mongrel Socks, both are a fine sock rather than the thick and woolly nature of our Mongrels. The Dr Socks are a healthy fine cotton rich(95% Cotton/5% Elastine) featuring a loose non-restrictive top with no toe seam to irritate sensitive toes. These socks are great worn in warm weather, when bare feet is not an option. They are light weight and very comfortable. We have sizes from Ladies right thru to XL men's size, with a good range of colours.
Our Possum Socks are also a lighter weight sock, good worn in shoes that won't allow a thick sock comfortably. These socks are incredibly warm for their weight, featuring a top that is generous, so won't grab tight on your ankles. They are made of Possum Fur blended with Merino Superwash Wool (33% of each) with stretch nylon(33%) to give the user decent usability. These socks are machine washable unlike many of our competitors offerings.
All you need to do to take advantage of this offer is type in special notes area of our online order form "free socks" with your size when ordering and you'll received your free gift.

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