Recently I spent a few days in New York City at IAC, the parent company of Ask and several other top internet sites. The heads of customer care from all of these companies gather annually to discuss best practices and new technologies which allow us to deliver awesome customer support experiences to our nearly 200 million monthly users.

With all of that in mind, I was incredibly curious about an A-frame sign outside a Levi’s company store near the hotel. As you see in the photo, the sign promised that an on-site tailor will custom fit and sew you a pair of denim jeans!

I walked by that sign on two or three different occasions before summoning up the nerve to go in. I was greeted by Nadine, who showed me back to the custom fitting area. On the wall hung rolls of various colors of Levi’s denim, and countless bins of rivets, buttons, patches, cuffs, and pretty much every different component Levi’s puts into its jeans.

I asked Nadine why a person would go this route, rather than buying a pair off the shelf, such as the pair I happened to be wearing that day. She explained that Levi’s wants its customers to have the option of a personalized experience with its brand and products, and thus come back for more.

Not a bad idea, I thought – and coincidentally, that’s exactly what we do here at Ask. Our products deliver answers to our users’ specific questions, and when our users need to get in touch with us, they get a personal answer in return no matter what channel they use – our Help Center, the phone, email, Twitter or any other way we’re in touch. Our goals are pretty much the same as Levi’s, and the same as every other IAC company, and hopefully shared by many other companies across several industries. It’s good to be with a company who tries to get it right, and do right by its users.

Editor’s note: It turns out those custom Levi’s cost $750 per pair. Eric’s wife chose not to approve that purchase order

- Eric McKirdy, Worldwide Customer Care and Technical Support Manager, Ask.com