con·cierge - noun - (especially in France) a caretaker of an apartment complex or a small hotel, typically one living on the premises.
If our warehouse is like a small hotel, Brittany is definitely the one living on the premises.
Outside of the Batch founders (Sam, Rob, and Stephen), Brittany Dufaud is Batch's longest tenured employee--a legend here at Batch. She is our gift concierge, a title that may not mean much to those outside the company, but means "the person who wraps the fastest, speaks the kindest, and knows exactly how to help you find the perfect gift." Although it's rare to see her take breaks, we sat down with her in the breakroom to find out more about how she's taken gift-giving to the varsity level.
Batch: Give us some examples of different clients you’ve worked with. What size orders do you normally deal with?
Brittany: I’ve worked with 4Patriots, CAT Financial, INS Bank, Health Care Alliance, just to name a few. I work with clients both large and small. Everything between $10 per box and $250.
What are some common requests or parameters you hear from customers again and again?
My most popular request is looking for gifts for people who are visiting Nashville. Clients love finding a gift that really embodies the city, although of course, we can source small business gifts from anywhere. Some other common themes are housewarming gifts, thank yous, congrats, engagements, weddings, new baby, new job--the "life" occasions. As far as parameters, I've seen a lot of dietary restrictions. Gluten Free, Vegan--whenever there’s an allergy more often than not it’s those two allergies together. One time I had an unusual case where the customer wanted an all-nut batch. Usually you have people who can’t do nuts, so I guess that's the opposite of a dietary restriction.
What do you like about the challenge of being a gift concierge?
I feel like I get to be personal with every client that we have. Every gift I create is customized to their request, and I love that. We've talked as a company about having standardized gifts to pitch to clients, but at the end of the day, I like the challenge of creating customized boxes and tailoring them to the customer's unique situation. Like, when people tell me "I need a gift that’s Nashville themed, BUT I need x,y, or z as well." It feels like I’m shopping with them, instead of just selling to them. I love getting the chance to be creative.
How do you work with a client who doesn’t really know what they want?
Usually asking who it’s for and the price range is a great place to start. I can target specific items that I know are within those bounds. And from there, I ask more specific questions: “Does the gift recipient like to drink?” “Do they have children?” "Do they want food products, non-edible items, or both?” Then, I’ll talk about pairing certain things. If we can center around a certain theme to tie the gift together, that usually goes a long way, for both the customer and the recipient. If we're doing a breakfast theme, and we have a pancake mix, we have to have syrup to go with it.
How do you know if people like the gifts you’ve curated?
Whenever I curate something for a client, I'll usually come up with more than one option, and send them pictures of each. This gives them the freedom to not feel locked in to just one idea, and gives them the opportunity to make any changes before finalizing the gift. And while it's rare for me to hear back from the individual receiving the gift, sometimes the customer (or purchaser) will send us an email saying how much they loved it.
"Brittany offered the best, courteous, customized, prompt, friendly, professional customer service. Although I don’t usually order things, Brittany made me feel very comfortable and offered options without delay. I was blown away with the entire experience! I will be ordering for others again soon. Thank you Brittany!!!!!"
-Shuntelle, Batch customer
What is the funniest request you’ve gotten for a gift?
One client we had was very specific for each person he was shopping for. So for one of the people, his specific instructions were “chocolate” and “juggling.” So I’m looking through all of our stuff, and leftover from a corporate order we had little Hacky Sacks in different colors. I was able to accomplish that request. It was just really random but we were totally able to do it.
Any gift-giving horror stories from your time at Batch?
One time when I was a sales associate, I got a phone call from a customer that ordered our Trubee Beeswax Rub, and accidentally received a "Tester" instead of an unopened one. The "Testers" were the samples we let our retail customers try in the store, so this person received a product that dozens of people had touched! Gross! I was so embarrassed. Luckily, she was really nice about it, so we swapped some stories and then I sent her an apology candle and a fresh Trubee container.
Strangest gift you’ve ever packed?
Oh my god, the strangest gift I ever packed was only strange because of the note. It was around the time of Valentine's Day, and they bought a spa kit we used to have called the “Pour Some Sugar Gift Set.” It was originally called "Pour Some Sugar On Me", but of course we changed that because it was too inappropriate. Anyway, the note inside this order said something along the lines of:
“Happy Valentine's Day, treat yourself you dirty girl XOXO.”
I was like, “I have to write this!?” (makes vomit sound)"
Do you have some go-to products that you like to put in Batches?
The Stay Golden Coffee is already ground, and you get a little hint of local Nashville coffee shop. I also like to add in Goo Goo Clusters, because they're affordable and they're a nice iconic Nashville treat. I also love our Buckle and Hide Leather Coasters, because they’re classy and they look really nice in a Batch.
What would you put in a Batch for your Batch coworkers, and why?
I would do a care package with:
- A Stay Golden Coffee because ya’ll work so hard, and that'll help keep the energy up.
- A Grab the Gold Bar for a little extra protein.
- A Colts Bolt because y’all are so sweet.
- Klara's Gourmet Lemon Poppy Shortbread Cookies to remember me by (this is probably my favorite Batch product!).
- And finally, a Cait + Co. Luxe Shower Steamer, because everyone deserves to relax when they get home from work.
So that means Brittany loves us $27.33 after tax.
Have a gift you'd like Brittany's help curating? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for expert help at finding your perfect gift.
[Photos by Erica Penley]