Why Stop at Twelve?

Posted by on September 17, 2007 in Cut Flowers | 19 comments

After hearing from several florists who wanted to talk more about the benefits of buying from a local florist, I’ve spent the last twelve days listing a dozen reasons to buy flowers from a florist.  Thanks to all of you who have posted comments or sent e-mails.  But why stop there? I’m sure I left a few out!  Send me your reasons and I’ll post them on my blog and work them into the next talk I give to a floral industry group.  (Find out more about speaking engagements here.)

And…the conversation is continuing at Apartment Therapy.

Oh, and here’s a story for you.  After reading Reason #9, my dad called a local florist to order some flowers for their wedding anniversary.  He’d bought Stargazers from OrganicBouquet before and loved them.  So he ordered Stargazers again, but this time from a local florist.  They put together a lovely arrangement, but the lilies weren’t Stargazers–they were a pretty pale pink Oriental lily with nowhere near the fragrance of a Stargazer.  And it’s the fragrance he loved so much!

But here’s the thing. It’s Friday night.  It’s your wedding anniversary.  Are you going to call the florist and complain that they didn’t deliver what they said they would?  Nah. 

Are you going to remember that they didn’t deliver what they said they would next time you’re ready to order flowers?  Probably.

So the question is:  Is it possible that the very nature of a florist’s business (delivering flowers, often to the person who did not order them, often for a special or serious occasion that is about so much MORE than the flowers)  makes people less likely to speak up if the order isn’t right?  I’d send back a plate of pasta that wasn’t to my liking, but I might not complain about the flowers, especially if those flowers are just one small part of a much bigger event, like a birthday or a funeral.  It seems petty, almost. It spoils the fun of a happy occasion, and detracts from the seriousness of a sad one.

If that theory is right, and florists get less feedback from their customers than, say, restaurants do, what should they do about that? Should they call more of their customers to find out if the flowers were satisfactory?  And if so, should they check back in with the person who ordered them, or the person they were delivered to?

19 Comments

  1. OK…I cannot NOT comment on this. HEY LOCAL FLORISTS !!! PLEASE if you do not have specific flowers–such as stargazers–you really should let the sender know! Don’t assume the recipient won’t know! THIS is exactly what sets us apart from all the rest. Highly specialized, personal and dependable service! I was so thrilled this past August when my Dad sent ME (yes! for the first time since I’ve owned a shop, I got flowers!) flowers for my birthday. He specifically ordered all white, and if not all white, then a pastel palette. Well, what I got was sunflowers, purple iris, and it was in a blue vase. Bummer. Oh well, I didn’t tell Dad because I didn’t have the heart too. BUT if that flower shop would have called him back and said, “I’m so sorry but it seems we’ve only got bright colors today, would that be ok?”–at least he would’ve been able to choose what bright flowers to put in there. I could go on and on about this. So come on local florist buddies- let’s keep ‘em coming! Make sure people get EXACTLY what they order, and not a shade off! That is why they call us after all! Sorry it’s so long–its a peeve of mine :)

  2. It is this problem with feedback that made me change the way I do gift flower sales – now I email a photo of the bunch that is delivered to the sender – it means that they know what the bouquet looked like, they know when it was delivered, and I always get an e-mail back about the flowers.
    There is no excuse for delivering the wrong flowers – we grow all our flowers so people using us don’t have the standard imported florist flowers to chose from, and often they don’t recognise the names of the flowers we do have. If it is particularly important that the flowers are a particular colour or style, it is not unusual for me to e-mail photos of the garden and let them choose.
    Connection – with the customer, with the community, with the seasons, is what singlesout the good florist.
    It is very imporant not to get complacent though,
    J

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