Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knit Picks Responds

So here is a letter from Knit Picks, who has self-identified as “The Company Who Must Not Be Named”.

I DEFINITELY made one mistake–I thought this was written on Kelly P’s account, bt it was not–the Rav account used belongs to the writer–“KPKate”. Otherwise, well, draw your own conclusions. Cheers–Gemma


Hi Gemma,

NancyArtCrafts brought the CogKNITive podcast #60 to my attention. I would like to apologize that I did not respond to your donation request. I sincerely hope that your fiber retreat went well. Previously, I only sent emails to customers and organizations to confirm that they should expect a package from Knit Picks, because we receive several hundred donation requests every month. After hearing your podcast, I understand that it can be frustrating not to hear a response back when you are organizing an event, so I will write up a letter to send to each donation request. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Knit Picks actually has a very small staff of people who do many different jobs. I’m new to the marketing department, and this is my first job out of college. Honestly, my lack of a response wasn’t because we are a big corporation that doesn’t care about knitters, but because I hadn’t figured out a polite way to tell people that we couldn’t fulfill their request. We donate a lot of free merchandise, but in order to be fair, I try to make sure that some of it goes to charities, some goes to knitter’s guilds or retreats, some goes to big events like Rhinebeck, some goes to small community groups, and then I try to cover a range of areas across the US and Canada.

You had some incorrect information in your podcast that I’d like to correct. Our Harmony wood needles were inspired by Kelley’s measuring spoon that had a rainbow laminate over the wood. Here is a link to the product: http://www.cooksite.com/IBS/SimpleCat/product/ASP/product... They sell these measuring spoons in Portland, Oregon grocery stores.

Our Chinook lace shawl kits created because our designers wanted to make a sampler of each type of our lace yarns knit into one project. To make the yarns look cohesive, we arranged the yarns in a gradient.

The staff at Knit Picks shops at local yarn stores and with indie dyers as well as using our own yarn. We want to give knitters quality yarn at affordable prices, but we want to support a vibrant community of knitters where Knit Picks, LYS, and Etsy yarnies can exist together.

I came to Knit Picks after managing a local yarn store through college. It is one of my goals to give Knit Picks customers the same sort of help, support, and community that I was able to provide in my store. I do this by answering questions on Ravelry and our Knitting Community, by writing tutorials and making videos for knitting techniques, blogging, and working on the Knit Picks podcast.

If you would like to contact me directly about donations for your fiber event next year, my email address is perryk@craftsamericana.com.

All the best,
Kate Perry
Marketing Assistant
Knit Picks


Retired Knitter said...

I don't work for Knit Picks or have any connection with the company so I don't want anyone to think my comments are somehow slanted towards them. In fact, I have been critical of their kettle dyed yarns and refuse to buy them after getting several skeins that were very solid looking rather than kettle dyed (as did my sister and others I know.) But I do buy other yarns from them and have been very satisfied. I think I can be objective.

It is unfortunate that they didn't respond well to your requests. And I think you were justified in expressing your dissatisfaction in your podcast. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and companies that recognize that are the most successful ones. I think Knit Picks missed a "golden opportunity" and didn't realize that the person they were falling short with might have had a broader audience that their own personal circle of friends. WEBS won that round for sure.

I do think, however, they did respond very well in the letter they sent you. She did apologize, she did try to explain alittle of their business model, she did recognize her own minimal experience, and she did indicate changes she would make as a result of your dissatisfaction. I didn't feel sorry for her at all. It is her job to take in feedback (good or bad), respond, and make a change if they can (I've worked in customer service ). I think a company should be given credit when it responds in this way. And if you agree with my thoughts, then I think it would be fair to publish/record that positive feedback to your podcast audience - just the same as when you recorded the negative feedback (and everyone did know who you were talking about even though you didn't name names). Publishing this letter was a good first step. But I did not get the feeling that this letter made any difference to you - I sensed you were still angry and you were waiting to see how others responded.

I do understand that letters are just words and that their words have not yet backed up action. But sometimes you need to meet people halfway ... until they fail you again (smile) - then the gloves come off! LOL.

Anyway, sorry this is so long. I usually do not get involved in "web conversations", but I did have an opinion I wanted to offer. I am a faithful listener and I think your podcast is wonderful! Thanks for "listening" to me.


Gemma said...

Your letter and your opinions have been published, which seems reasonable to me.

But, no, I am not "angry" with them, just, as I said, sorry for the writer of the letter and rather amazed that this computerized culture in which we live seems to affected relationships between vendors and customers.

If you don't agree with me, that's perfectly okay.

Lydia said...

since i'm playing catch up on old podcast, this one picted my interest and i wanted to read the response from KP. so i'm very late in commenting, what i find most intersting is that kate perry says she didn't know a way to say "we can't help you" seriously-from a college graduate? how about i'm sorry but we can't honor your request- rather than weeks of silence-customer service and the power of the internet-what a combination-am really enjoying the life strategies and find them a tremendous help, also give me something to discuss with my 17 yr. old son who enjoys psychology too.