If you goggle “corporate social responsibility,” you will receive almost 25 million hits.  It seems as if every corporation has jumped on this bandwagon.  Recently I had dealings with two businesses that not only practice what they preach but also have great products.  The one company I interacted with also has great customer service.  I decided to share my experiences with you since I think there might be a correlation between customer experience (CX) and corporate passion for doing good.

Did You Ever Hear of Harry’s Razors?

About four or five months ago, I read a blog post about Harry’s shaving products with a link to their home page.  I was curious to learn about their story so I looked and liked what I saw.  They offered a well designed razor and blade at a cost well below the leading seller and they told a good story to go along with the product descriptions.  Also, they send a portion of every purchase to a group helping returning veterans:

Since I had been ready for a change for years, I ordered six months supply of blades and a kit with the handle, 1 blade and a tube of shaving cream.  My overall experience was that I loved the blades, liked the handle but it has a tendency to slip when my hand is wet, and did not like the shave cream but, in total, I am very happy and gladly recommend the blade and handle.

Then, about 2 week ago I received this email from Harrys:

Hi Sam, 

I hope all is well. My name is Katie and I’m a member of the Harry’s team.

 You are important to us and I’m here to personally help with anything you might need from Harry’s.

 First, I can’t wait to hear what you think about your Harry’s products!

 Second, if you have any questions about our products (or shaving or life in general) or would like to reorder more blades or shaving cream, please feel free to email me or call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Thanks so much for your support and I hope to speak soon!

All the best,

Since I feel really good about the product I decided to give them my feedback (and tell them I don’t need more products for a long while).  This was on a Saturday.  Within an hour, I received a reply from Katie that included this:

Hey Sam –

Thanks for the great feedback. We’re definitely working on the grip function; we’ve had lots of feedback on that. Please stay tuned, and do let me know if I can help with anything along the way! 

All the best,

Oh, wow!  My feedback was heard and I was told what they are planning to do to address my issue. This was great customer service.  So, I replied by asking Katie what her job at the company was since our Saturday correspondence made me wonder if she was Harry or had a fancy title.  She replied:

“Customer Experience” which is just fancy talk for “I talk to customers and translate what they say into better products and a better business.”

So, these people get it!  I certainly made a great decision to change from the high price folks.

Ever Hear About Tom’s Shoes?

Tom’s sells shoes, eyeglasses, and other stuff.  My wife and daughter love their shoes.  They are well made, stylish, relatively inexpensive and last a long time.  And Tom’s has a very interesting Social Responsibility program:

Although we have not had the same kind of interaction with them as with Harrys, because Tom’s sells through the retail channel and Harry’s sell direct, I have no doubt than any interaction with Tom’s would be as pleasant as Harry’s.

Another company in the same mold is Patagonia, who has been at it for a long time.  Their reputation for great products while protecting the environment is crazy good.

So for me the real question is “do niche companies with a strong social responsibility compass always provide a great customer experience?”

So far, I vote YES!!