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These Founders Called 1,000 Customers Personally -- and They'd Do it Again Geoffrey Woo and Michael Brandt personally reached out to customers after orders of their product was delayed. It was weeks of work, but they don't regret it. Read on to see why.

By David Port

This story appears in the June 2016 issue of Start Up.

Customer service kings: Nootrobox founders Michael Brandt (left) and Geoffrey Woo.

In 2015 Nootrobox was flying high from stories about its flagship product -- a pill supplement called RISE designed to enhance cognitive performance -- that appeared in a series of media outlets such as The New York Observer. Not even a year old, the San Francisco-based startup had the kind of marketing boost every company dreams of. Then it ran out of product.

"We were very excited about the press coverage, which blew orders through the roof," recounts founder and COO Michael Brandt. "We had pulled the trigger on a purchase order to replenish supply and tried to get our supplier to move faster when the press stuff happened. But you can't just snap your fingers and get a product like ours made faster."

That meant almost a thousand new and existing customers weren't going to get their orders filled anytime soon. Here was a company whose products claim to promote mental acuity, showing its customer base a clear lack of exactly that with a faulty demand forecast. "We felt like it would undercut our entire brand if we didn't roll up our sleeves and try to mend these relationships," Brandt says.

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