Of all the things customers desire most out of their flower buying experience is reliability. For a purchase as important and emotional as buying flowers for a loved one, people want to know that they’re going to get what they asked (and paid) for.
Reliability happens to be the most disappointing element of the flower purchasing experience, according to JD Power’s study of the largest online flower retailers. In contrast, “getting what I expected/ordered” was determined to be one of the top two most important florist attributes in SAF’s 2016 study on consumer perceptions of the floral industry. Set yourself apart from those corporate giants and increase your positive reviews by paying close attention to how reliable your customers think you are.
We want every customer that comes through BloomNation to be set up for delight rather than disappointment, and every florist to be set up for success. By following the policy below you not only increase the potential for your customer to become a lifelong client, you decrease the risk of inciting negative reviews, which will hurt your ranking on the BloomNation.com Marketplace.
The BloomNation Substitution Policy
You, the florist should contact the customer about substitutions when any of the following are true:
- Any part of the arrangement pictured online needs to be substituted including dominant flowers, filler materials, or the vessel. For example: Roses are often a dominant flower in arrangements, but customers may order a rose arrangement for the blue iris accents. Substituting the accents may be more upsetting than if they had substituted the roses!
- The overall color theme is being changed.
- The overall temperament and/or style is being altered.
- The vase you plan to use is not similar to the vase shown in the product picture online. Customers sometimes order an arrangement specifically because they like the vase and consider it a substantial part of their gift. For example: If they order an arrangement with a wooden box vessel, let them know if you are out and suggest another unique vase.
This policy should be followed even if you state that in the product description that your image is only an example. You never know what element your customer was attracted to, so it’s always best practice to double-check. Similarly, while all substitutions should be made with items of equal or greater value, you should never simply replace materials or flowers without contacting the customer first, even if you think they’re getting a better deal.
Most customers are unaware of the relative value of flowers. While you may know that a garden rose is more “premium” than ranunculus, your customer may not know, or care. Value is always relative. While the recipients may enjoy the surprise you deliver, most senders will not, and may end up disputing the charge. Avoid the risk of losing money to a refund by simply calling to confirm substitutions before you make them.