I received an email from Brummel & Brown this morning that reminded me customer service is difficult to do well.
First, some background. This company makes a nonfat yogurt “butter” that is twice as healthy as the real deal. The healthy aspect is nice and all, but the true beauty is it spreads really well. I wish I had a video to share. And, it’s readily available in Seattle, but not in San Francisco (so I’ve found so far). I had found it at a Cala Foods in Nob Hill, which is now closed.
Naturally, I emailed the team asking where I could find it in San Francisco, and within a week I got this great email:
Hello MR MATT LOTT,
Thank you for contacting us regarding our Brummel & Brown .
At the present time, Brummel & Brown is in limited distribution. It has been introduced in certain areas of the country and is currently available in those areas only. Unfortunately, we have no information at this time about the company’s plans for future distribution.
Your friends at Brummel & Brown
They thank me for contacting them about their product. That’s pleasant. And, they exhibit some ownership over the product. Ok, now we’ve received a friendly reply in a reasonable amount of time.
Next paragraph. I’m not sure what in limited distribution means exactly, but I’m still hopeful that it has made it to sixth largest metropolitan area in the US. Great, we won’t lose hope.
And, so. It is only available in areas where it has been introduced. Eh, hmm. Introduced…formally, with a handshake and pleasantries? Unless I should be watching out for public unveilings and ribbon cuttings, I’m not sure how this is different than limited distribution. That’s ok, they’re probably just reinforcing that before giving me some real data to work with.
No information about the company’s future distribution, your friends. Woh! This conversation has taken an unfortunate turn. Tell me more about the current limited distribution! Why are you hiding your product from me? I want to give you money in a buttery transaction. Also, what happened to the ownership here. It was yours, but now it’s “the company’s”? Oh kay.
Anyway, there is a pretty good chance a computer sent this response based on some keywords in my initial message, rather than a human being with a keyboard and some free time. That’s fine. It kind of conflicts with the vibe given off by their contact us page, but whatever. I’ll keep looking.
- Reply to email. They’ve assigned a case #, after all.
- Call their 1-800 #, and see if I can talk to the emailing computer, in person.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue my slow progress of searching every grocery store in San Francisco. It’s good to maximize your chances of success. Also, it’s a good way to explore the city. Dovetail your strategies.
UPDATE [2/25/12]: Search is over, Brummel & Brown spotted in my local Safeway! Tempting to stockpile, but I’ll resist for now.