MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

I love a good “Fat-ty”

Posted by mbamommy on October 22, 2009

I’m going to say this right up front: I’m a wine drinker.  Back in college, I was a beer drinker.  And not even a good one at that (Keystone Light was my preferred choice as a freshman….oh wait, I was too young to drink as a freshman….just kidding.)  It wasn’t until I actually turned 21 that I started acquiring a taste for good beer.  And then I couldn’t go back to the cheap stuff.  And then I switched to mixed drinks and finally wound up with wine where I’ve happily stayed for many years.

OK, why the trip down alcohol lane?  Because I want to talk about the one beer that I LOVE…. New Belgium Brewing Company’s Fat Tire.  There are a couple other beers I’ll drink: Pyramid’s Audacious Apricot Ale and Brooklyn Brewery’s Brown Ale in particular, but there’s nothing like a Fat Tire after a tough day on the slopes, hiking, working in the yard or playing with the kiddies.

Forget that they’re serious about sustainability (so is Brooklyn Brewery) and it’s a damn good tasting beer (so is Pyramid Apricot).  Forget that they’ve got a fun marketing campaign, “What’s Your Folly” that combines new media and traditional marketing.  The reason why I LOVE them is because they’ve dialed it up when it comes to customer service.   Here’s the story on why I will forever be a HUGE fan of New Belgium’s beers (btw, this an excerpt from my email communication with them).

MBAMommy: I LOVE Fat Tire.  I loved it when I was living in Boulder and I love it still now that it’s being distributed in NC.  So, imagine my disappointment when I went to my local store and bought a 6-pack last Friday night and the first bottle I pulled out was only a quarter full!  Cap on tight, nothing looked out of place.  But, there it was….only 1/4 a Fat Tire to enjoy.  My 6-pack was now a 5.25 pack and I was bummed.  Luckily, I had 5 more to enjoy but wanted to let you know about the issue.  I even took pics of it to show you (if you’re interested, I’ll email them).  It’s never happened before and I hope it never happens again!

NewBelgium: Thanks for taking the time to write. Sorry to hear about the low filled bottle of Fat Tire. What a bummer! Our bottling line is supposed to catch those before they get packaged, but as you experienced, sometimes it misses one. I would like to reimburse you for the 6-pack. Let me know about how much you spent, your address, and your tshirt size. Cheers!

Mandy Miller
Quality Assurance
New Belgium Brewing Company

MBAMommy: Hi Mandy, Thanks for the quick response!  I don’t remember exactly how much I spent, but it was somewhere around $8-$10.  My t-shirt size is Medium (thanks!!!) And my address is: XXXXX You guys are awesome, thank you!

Less than a week later, I received the t-shirt, a check for $10 and Mandy’s business carf.  Not so unusual, right?  Here’s the catch.  It was a check from New Belgium, hand written and signed by Mandy.  Why is this so impressive?  Think about it: the company is empowering its employee, Mandy Miller, a “Quality Assurance Analyst” to write and sign checks as she sees fit.  AND, she’s giving me her direct contact info, not just  I’m sure there’s plenty of checks and balances (pun intended) internally for my friend, Mandy, but it’s a really nice personal touch from the customer’s perspective.

So, let’s review.  They made an error in their product delivery.  They responded quickly, they fixed it personally and threw in a t-shirt (which is awesome, by the way).  How much do you think that cost them?  $10 for the reimbursement, $5 for the t-shirt….add in postage and Mandy’s time….probably around $25?  For $25, they bought a lifetime customer, free publicity and a couple inbound links to their site. 

Not a bad ROI.

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