If outgoing orders are not handled correctly, they quickly become problematic. The good news? You can improve this segment with targeted staff training.
Remember: You never know what another flower shop will have in stock or how early they can deliver to the recipient’s address, so my best advice is to stay away from specifics and focus on generalities.
Here’s an example: “I know you like that design in our cooler but I can’t promise that the shop in Delaware will have those same flowers, so I’ll ask them to get as close as possible, sticking to that rich autumn color scheme.”
Sell color schemes; don’t promise exact flowers. Likewise, you could say, “I don’t know how early they deliver to that part of town. I will request a morning delivery but cannot guarantee it.”
With outgoing orders, two other issues often come to the surface: pricing and fees. Since I personally visit more than 250 shops each year, I can tell you with certainty that if you set a minimum of $50 plus delivery for an OPEN outgoing order, your customer will be happy and the order won’t bounce back with a request for more money.
When customers question the “wire service fee,” I educate them by stating, “That fee enables us to work with the best shop in that town to ensure your mom gets beautiful, fresh flowers, hand-delivered right to her door, just as we would do for you here. ”
Tim Huckabee, FSC, is the president of FloralStrategies and a regular contributor to SAF’s Floral Management magazine.