Yesterday morning, just as I was about to start on the morning’s orders, the phone rang. It was only 8.15am so I wasn’t expecting it to be a customer but answered in my usual bright and breezy way, only to be greeted with a very irate sounding lady on the other end of the phone.
I was a little taken aback and it took me a few minutes to put together pieces of what she was trying to say. It was something about a delivery of drooping, bruised and battered bouquet that had been left outside her front door.
Quickly trying to recall all the deliveries I had made the previous day and wondering what she could talking about, I asked her for a few details. Still confused, I asked if she could either bring the bouquet in or whether I could pop round and collect the bouquet, so I could ascertain who made it up and so I could contact the wholesaler, if as she said the flowers had not lasted more than a few hours. If we have to leave flowers outside a house for any reason, they would always be placed somewhere safe and in water and we would always call the person who ordered them to say that’s what we’d done.
The disgruntled customer soon came in and presented me with, as she’d said, a slightly bashed up bunch of bruised blooms. “THERE what do you think of them?” she asked.
“ERRR, I’m terribly sorry” I began… “But they’re NOT our flowers”
I suggested she called the friend who had sent them to her, to asked where she had ordered them from. She did and later that day she popped back in with a scrummy box of chocs as a way as an apology. Although no apology was actually needed…
I’m not saying that we never make mistakes or slip up occasionally, but I tell all the staff that regardless of reason we automatically offer a replacement. Sometimes things go wrong, Once I had three customers return orange roses before I realised that I’d sprayed the heads with cleaning fluid instead of flower shield!
Very occasionally a customer can get genuinely confused. I remember someone complaining that the flowers sent on her behalf on mother’s day had failed, and wanted a refund. When I pulled up outside her house the said bouquet was blooming away happily in her mum’s window!
Another time, I gave a Spring plant arrangement free of charge to a neighbour because the plants were just passed their best. She offered payment but I was happy for her to take it. A couple of days later someone came in carrying the very same item. She plonked it down on the work bench and explained that a friend had given it to her, but she thought her friend had been mis-sold the item because it wasn’t as fresh as she would have expected from a florist! I could only agree and not wanting to drop her friend in it, I promptly refunded the lady for the arrangement I had previously given away!
We make dozens of deliveries every day, very occasionally things go wrong and we always want to know if this happens. So never feel bad about calling to say you or the recipient aren’t absolutely delighted.