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  • Changing the Way Deliveries Are Made

    For many years, industry experts have been emphasizing the value of delivery people. Because your delivery staff is often the only contact customers and recipients have with your shop, they make very important — and lasting — impressions.

    The Possibilities

    The impressions your delivery staff makes must be positive. Imagine the damage that could be done to your reputation if your driver delivered a damaged arrangement. Unfortunately, delivery is often the weak link in building lasting relationships with your customers. Just imagine the following scenario.

    A delivery van with a flower shop's name on the side pulls into a neighborhood. When the driver opens the back of the van, he is in for a surprise. The arrangement has tipped over and the flowers are strewn on the van's floor. The driver has to rebuild the arrangement, in plain view of the entire neighborhood. Not only are the neighbors unimpressed, but also the recipient feels she is getting a damaged product.

    Although you can teach basic design skills to delivery staff, that's not their area of expertise. They shouldn't be expected to re-create something on which a skilled designer spent considerable time and effort.

    All is Not Lost

    Although a lot of things can go wrong during deliveries, you can plan ahead to make sure just as many go right. You expect a lot from your delivery people, so provide them the skills and tools they need to do the job well.

    First, train your drivers on safe driving and delivery techniques. Few arrangements, no matter how well secured, will stay upright if the driver turns corners at 65 miles per hour. Sponsoring a safe driving course for your delivery personnel could be well worth your efforts.

    Second, although it's not preferable for drivers to have to repair arrangements, they should know enough to straighten up stems that become dislodged during driving. Ask one of your designers to spend an hour with each driver to present the basics of design.

    Some Ideas

    Every shop has its own idea about how to secure arrangements in its van. Some take the simple, inexpensive approach to securing items. For example, tube socks filled with small gravel work great as sandbags to hold vases in place. And boxes with holes cut in the center also hold arrangements upright. Other shops build custom delivery skids and systems to fit their needs.

    Back to the Basics

    Although it's easy to take delivery for granted, don't overlook this important part of your business. Consider it in the context of your shop's reputation. Little things, such as driver appearance and courtesy, speak well of your shop. The big things, such as delivering arrangements in pristine condition, are what will set your shop apart from your competition.

     

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