Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"That's The Way They're Supposed To Look"

Seth Godin takes on an unethical florist. (Hyacinths are supposed to come with smashed and broken stems?)

I can see where the florist is coming from, though, when he argues that people who receive flowers don't send them. Most of the time when my wife and I have sent or received flowers, it's been an interstate or intercontinental order. The local florist who does a great job with the flowers we receive doesn't get my business when I'm sending flowers to my mother in Saskatchewan.

If you were to ask which Ann Arbor florist has provided the nicest arrangement we've received, it would be Objet D’ Art Inc., 734-913-0335. If you would ask which florist I now prefer to send flowers to my grandmother in Denver, it would be Yoshi Flowers. Give me the florist who is effusive about the lovely arrangement they will make, over the one who offers the latest standard bouquets as designed by a national corporation.

But odds are you won't ask, and you'll instead order a standard bouquet from flowers.com, Teleflora or FTD. It's easier to pick out one of their standard arrangments from their standard florist websites than it is to speak to somebody on the phone and trust them to create an arrangement that will suit the occasion - even though in my most recent "standard arrangement" orders the flowers as delivered have looked significantly different from what was pictured on the website. That's not a complaint about quality or appearance, and substitutions can be necessary due to the unavailability of specific fresh flowers, but it was a bit surprising when I received digital pictures from the recipients with their thank you emails.

It seems to me that the biggest source of referrals and return business for a florist is the sender. If you anticipate that the sender won't find out about your low quality, won't even remember who you were when they place their next order, or won't recommend your services, perhaps it seems reasonable to leave your company name off of the flowers you deliver and unload smashed hyacinth on your customers. (But let's hope the market catches up with them.)

1 comment:

  1. No doubt, the florist blew it with his handling of the hyacinths. I blogged about it here: http://floristblogs.com/blogs/avant_gardens/archive/2007/04/10/hyacinths-to-feed-the.aspx

    Thanks for highlighting some fine local florists. The kindest thing you can do for them is to write a nice review on Yelp, InsiderPages, CitySearch or a similar local site. They'd rather talk to flowers buyers like you than to received 'cookie cutter' orders from one of those national marketers.

    But I'd save the 'unethical florist' label for far worse business practices than the guy who botched Seth Godin's order. See http://www.floristdetective.com/anatomyofaflowerfraud.aspx and http://www.floristdetective.com/wst_page16.aspx


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