Tuesday, 19 June 2012

customer service

Hmm. Perhaps I need tips on customer service. Do tell me how I should have handled this one.
Very very occasionally there is a problem with the time of delivery of mail order flowers, with someone not being there to receive flowers or the courier doesn't leave them where asked as a signature is really required. And if there is any kind of dissatisfaction, I really do try to help and usually send a replacement bouquet whatever. And it rarely happens, but this weekend there was a complaint from a lady who had asked for flowers to be delivered on Saturday morning.  I wasn't over delighted with the tone of this customer's correspondence which arrived in my inbox on Sunday afternoon, and if someone seems to be deliberately on the attack it really doesn't make me feel good, but I did get straight on the case:

Re the order confirmed below it did not arrive. This was very disappointing for me and also my mother who assumed i had forgotten her on her birthday.As i payed extra for a Saturday delivery this is a double disappointment. Please let me know without delay how you intend to rectify this poor service and provide appropriate redress.
Dear xxx
I received your mail and have looked straight into it. I packed the flowers myself and sent them to the courier. The order was sent off and I have just looked up the tracking system. The flower parcel went out from the Bridport delivery office on Saturday morning but unfortunately there was no reply from the recipient when they attempted to deliver and a card was left stating that they had been unable to deliver. I'm afraid that a signature is required upon delivery so somebody does need to receive the flowers in person.

I am very sorry for the disappointment - particularly as the flowers will not be in best shape after three days. I am not sure what you would like me to do about this as we did what we could. Do let me know.
My mother does not go out unless she has someone to take her and was in all day on Saturday. I suspect your courier did not allow her time to get to the door. I suggest you take the matter up with your courier and give me a full refund without hesitation in order for me to arrange some replacement flowers. 

Dear xxx As I said, I am sorry for the disappointment, if we had known that the flowers were a gift for someone elderly who might take a while to answer the door we would have certainly flagged that up for the delivery person so they would have known to make an extra effort to rouse the recipient or wait for a considerably longer time than usual but I have no reason at all to suppose they were in any way not doing their job properly. As the delivery person waited long enough to leave a card and pop that through the letter box they obviously were not hurrying and I do not believe they could have done more. I am very sorry but I believe we all carried out or jobs to the best of our ability. As a gesture of goodwill I will send another bouquet for you to a recipient of your choice for half price, but I cannot send you a full refund for providing a service that was carried out as it should have been.
Please note that I have also taken the time to reply to your queries on a Sunday afternoon/evening well out of any work hours because I really want our customers to be happy with the service we provide and wanted to deal with any issue as swiftly as possible. 

Dear Charlie, 
 Nowhere on your website is it apparent that a signature would be required.(There is) Nowhere is there a request for information regarding special conditions for delivery.(There is) There was no opportunity to give alternative delivery instructions.(There is, and there is also a telephone) Besides all that my mother has not had problems like this before.I am under the impression your "courier' is in fact the post office. If this is correct why did I pay extra for Saturday delivery? (£13.20 standard Saturday delivery charge from the PO)
I would suggest this is not appropriate for the delivery of flowers as if delivery is not made on Saturday the flowers would quite obviously be dead by the time they could be redelivered or collected on Monday. Quite clearly the service was not provided as it should have been as my mother did not receive her flowers.
I again request a refund of my money. I chose your company because I hoped to find something a bit different and was prepared to pay a premium for this, I am certainly not willing to pay you more money.
 I will in future be returning to interflora who have never let me down in deliveries of flowers to my mother or experienced any difficulty "rousing"her to accept delivery. I will not be recommending your company to any one.
 I find the tone of your replies unhelpful and not at all suggestive of a desire to provide good customer service I am prepared to take this matter further as I believe there has been a breach of contract.
I look forward to hearing from you ,at your convenience ,within working hours of course.


  1. Ha! Lucky old Interflora. J

    1. Yep, hopefully she won't be darkening your door so to speak either! I'm afraid I haven't quite got that the customer is always right!

  2. I think you did your absolute best. nothing more to be done. The customer is not always right and I doubt will bring repeat business anyway.

  3. Thanks Jane, you're right but it's hard not to get rather over involved sometimes!

  4. Oh Charlie how miserable :( I would just like to say that I have received flowers in the post from you a number of times and every time they have been immaculately packaged and arrived with great care. I do hope you manage to get it sorted out amicably. Charlie (The Natural Wedding Company)

  5. Thanks so much Charlie, it is sorted as I just sent her a refund, life is too short to worry about people who will never be pleased anyway and I am not at all keen on conflict or unresolved issues. But things like this make me realise how personally involved i am in every aspect of this business and i do need to relax about some areas a bit more because actually no one can get everything right all the time, however much we would all love to! Thanks for your support, C x