Why Stop at Twelve?

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?