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  • Good Complaints
    Dale Mangum, Bell Flowers Inc., Silver Springs, Md.

    "People are shocked that we care enough to follow-up on every order."

    However it's a nice kind of shock, Dale explained when asked about the flower shop's policy of sending "complaint cards" to every flower recipient. Dale is so determined to ferret out every grain of dissatisfaction that "capturing complaints is now my hobby."

    Those who receive flowers from Bell are mailed postcards designed to make it easy for them to voice any complaints. The cards are mailed one week after flowers have been delivered. The seven-day delay gives people a chance to decide if they are satisfied with the quality of the flowers. The postcards ask that they call the shop if they aren't satisfied with the product or the service.

    Dale said that most of them do call — but usually not to complain. "Nine out of ten people call to give positive feedback," he said.

    When recipients do complain about any aspect of the product or service, Dale determines the best way to resolve the problems.

    "We don't want anyone feeling cheated," he explained. "Every complaint, no matter whether we agree with it or not, is valid."

    The cards are a big hit. "People are so impressed with them that we often gain new customers just because they appreciate the gesture," Dale said, which is a nice surprise for the folks at Bell Flowers, Inc.

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