My customer is returning the flowers…What to do next?

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My flowers have completely wilted!

No doubt you recognise this. The doorbell rings and customer walks in. You recognise her, cause she bought flowers of you last week. Those beautiful roses from Ecuador, with that special colour. Curiously, you decide to wait, is she gonna buy some more? No, she is here with a complaint, the roses have wilted completely…

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

These kind of situations happen every now and again. Every Flowershop or garden centre has to deal with is sometimes.

Florists seek our advice. So this is the perfect time to start a blog about this subject!

So now what to do? You have an unhappy customer, a nightmare for any florist. So, you resolve the situation. You give the customer another bouquet, not realising you just made another mistake.

Number 1:
What happened to the flowers after they left your shop? (In perfect condition, remember)

Maybe the lady decided to do some shopping, and has left them on the back seat of her car in the sweltering sun? Or maybe she has put them in the vase from last week’s flowers without changing the water. Or perhaps she didn’t recut the stems or didn’t use the flowerfood provided. Or she put the vase of flowers in the window with direct sunlight… So, anything could have happened causing the flowers not to last.

The question is, who’s right and who’s wrong? First to blame is the florist. Apparently the customer is not aware how to handle the precious flowers. So, inform customers at all times about what they need to do and of course what not to do. Handing out cards with instructions is necessary.

Number 2:
Customers want a solution and want to be heard. A new bouquet is the ideal solution to the customer, but a straight loss for the florist. Your profit margin on the previous bouquet is gone immediately and you can say goodbye to the purchase value of the new one. A double loss!

Number 3:
Most customers only complain after a few days. Not immediately the next day after the purchase, not even the day after that. We know cases that customers brought back the flowers after a week and a half with the excuse: “I only just found the time to drop by, but after one day most of the flowers had gone over!”

Of course we have to trust the customer, however what would the greengrocer do, if a customer returns a week and a half later to claim that the apple bought had gone brown after one day?

So, what is the right solution?

Although it is your shop and you make your own decisions, but if you ask me, just make sure your customer is happy again. It doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire bouquet. Maybe a voucher is a good option. When you offer them 25% discount, it gives you a couple of advantages.

* the customer will be coming back
* the purchase costs of the discounted         bouquet are well covered.
* you get another chance to tell your customer how to take care of the flowers to avoid disappointment.
* you get another chance to make the customer happy again (now with discount) and of course with the lovely flowers

Of course there are many other ways to deal with dissatisfied customers. Every florist has her own solution, but we like to address these issues. Anyway, we as supplier and you as the florist have the obligation to teach consumers. And please, think twice before you just hand out another bouquet. It’s not gonna help you and you downgrade the beautiful product where we all love to work with on a daily basis.

Would you like to talk about us regarding this issue? Please do not hesitate to contact us! We are available via our customer service.

Floral greetings,

Chris
Marketing manager Bloomer

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