Customer Service: It's Your Responsibility to be a Problem Solver

When I owned Beneva Flowers I relied on surveys to ensure that our customers were happy with the experience and service they received from Beneva. How else would I ever know? I recently had a client of mine wonder why they were not converting so I set out on a little mission to see for myself what their service was like from a customer's point of view.

I called the shop (with the owner on the line) and tried to get some flowers sent that afternoon. While her employee knew better, she still said no to my request and told me she couldn't take my order because the last deliveries had already gone out.

That was it, there was nothing they could do for a customer who may have been willing to go to great lengths or spare any expense to get the flowers delivered. None of that mattered to the employee, it was a firm "no" - end of discussion.

When the shop owner heard this, I didn't even need to explain why they weren't converting, the owner picked up on the problem right away.

Yes We Can

Being a Yes We Can florist is a commitment of attitude. This is the difference between you and your competitor; it's assuring the best experience possible for every customer and finding a way to make it happen.

Another way to look at it is a problem-solving technique. The customer has a problem - he needed flowers delivered that day - and it's up to the shop to decide if they want to help that customer fix their problem, or tell them "sorry" and give them the number of their competitor. What if the customer was willing to pay an extra $20 to take the order and make the delivery? What if it was an extra $50...or $100? Unfortunately, that shop will never know because they didn't even offer an alternative, just a flat-out "no."

A Yes We Can florist would have handled the situation differently. At Beneva, when we were faced with an afternoon delivery request, we did the following...

  1. Asked who we were speaking with. Now you can quickly check to see if they are a long time customer or CEO of a large company.

  2. We always asked if they had something in mind. If not, it's okay to ask, "Is there a price range you are comfortable with?" Now, they may say a number when at that moment you can say...

  3. "If you can work with what I have just made for our cooler designs, we could expedite your order AND HAVE IT DELIVERED BY (the requested time)." Repeating that the order will be able to be delivered by the time requested. You may think they assume that but just say it anyway because it reiterates what point and also closes with that they want to hear - that Yes You Can accomplish their request.

  4. Remember to always suggest the add-on. I would recommend, "Would you like a box of Godiva chocolates or a birthday/anniversary/get well soon balloon so everyone will know the special occasion and meaning of the day for the recipient?"

By explaining it, you speak to the best results and the purpose. Never assume they are thinking of the balloons and the message it announces. When people see "Happy Birthday," everyone passing by shares good wishes - it's like magic!

Here is a video of an actual call that we used as a training guide at Beneva so you can get a better idea of the technique:

The only issue I would have is that she mentions it would not be a problem. That makes me cringe a bit because I feel that calling to place an order should never be a problem of any sort. Once she saw the camera she used the postcard to reference the conversation.

You see, there are so many little things our agent did well (as did all our staff) and that's what made us "just that much better." She closes with important information as she announces it and reassures the customer that, "We will take very good care of this for you."

Lost Order Log

Having employees keep a "lost order log" ensures you will know about any order you don't close and why you couldn't close it. It's important to ensure that no one gets in trouble if this is used, but they know if they don't log it there could be an issue. I can't imagine running a shop without it, here is the one we used - I think it will help you tremendously if you don't already utilize something similar.

LostOrderLog.jpg

The last quarter is about to begin. I recommend everyone review this in your morning meetings and keep it near the phones. A smile has a voice, SCREAM!!!

Have a great week!

-Art

If you would like help on employee training or are looking for new customer service techniques, Bloomerang Solutions is here to help! From digital solutions to in-store sales and marketing assistance, Bloomerang is your friend in the floral business! Give us a call at 941-806-1911 or drop us a line below and let us know how we can help your business bloom!