Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and for aggressive florists, it’s your chance to protect your business and get new customers. The questions are, “Who will shop with you?” and “Why should they?”
What makes you the best choice for a customer to use when sending flowers? The days of assuming the orders will come are gone. The only thing you can count on is incoming wire orders, and who do they come from? Aggressive marketers!
It’s time for everyone to “gather up orders.” If someone is out looking to send flowers, as far as you are concerned, they should be sending from you. But why?
1) Have marketed using print and online advertising to be where customers are looking. Places like your local newspaper, TV, radio and/or email campaigns.
2) Have the most pleasant, trained staff answering the phones and taking orders. This is because you took the time to outline your operations and develop a plan with benchmarks, and listing realistic expectations which you have discussed and reviewed with your sales staff.
3) Reviewed all your coupons and special offers with your staff. They need to know what your company is offering before your customer calls. Also, be sure to add the Teleflora and FTD codes to your website, so if a customer tries using them with you, they can.
4) Met with your designers and limited your offerings. If you want to make your holiday profitable, you need to offer less and mass produce more.
5) Have a brochure not only for your customers to order from, but also for your staff to use when suggesting bouquets to customers. Our brochure is still available if you would like a few. Fully customizable, it is your menu for Mother’s day. It is not product driven, but focuses on flowers not containers.
Here are some other important factors to keep in mind:
1) Calculate (based on last Mother’s Day) how many phone calls and staff are needed to answer calls. The general rule of thumb is 4 calls per hour. This includes walk-ins. So in an 8 hour day, you should see your employee take 30 -34 orders for the day. This is just for sales. If you took 70 orders a day, you need 2 people on phones, one on phone outs and one handling customer service. With this plan, if you go over and get 80 orders, one of the other two can jump in and help. By not knowing this equation, how do you plan your staff? For design and driver formulas, give me a call (941-308-3117). I would be glad to help you with your individual challenges. The production numbers are just about the same.
2) Be sure you have an expandable system for incoming telephone lines. I have some contacts you can use for an expandable system. If you are paying for individual lines at your shop, I have a few contacts that can get you approximately 10 phone lines expandable to 23 for around $325.00 a month. Now you will have the expandability to take on the holiday volume, have enough lines to use for calling out orders while receiving orders and not having to show a busy signal. You can also forward your lines when busy to your after hours service in the middle of the day. You can’t afford to miss another incoming call or order.
3) Only have one website for customers to shop. If you have more than that, you have a staff answering phones who cringe when a customer says they are looking at your website. They not only don’t know which website the customer is on, the employee has no clue what is even on that website. Don’t believe me? Ask any one of your staff. You should only have one website. It is like your logo, and it is your brand. Don’t complicate it.
4) If you don’t have an after-hours service, you need to reconsider. It’s 2012, everyone. The days of not answering phone calls are no longer acceptable. The internet and your website are available 24/7, and your ability to answer calls should be a priority.
5) Review and set up your Facebook strategy for visitors. Keep your Facebook page fun and full of interesting facts and information. Be careful not to use Facebook for advertising only. It will turn your customers off and they will most likely leave. Show off your flowers and explain what makes them special. Engage your customers. Keep it simple and informative. Check out other major companies’ Facebook pages for content ideas, and to see how they engage their customers.
6) Be sure to maximize the experience to engage your customer and/or get that 2nd order. With the thousands of visitors and the hundreds of orders being placed on your website, customers need to have the ability to download your free floralapp® from your home page and your online receipt page… especially mobile receipts.
Q: If your customer places an order on your Mobile Website, what will keep them exclusively with you?
A: Your app. Let them download your floralapp® after the order and lock them down. Here is line of copy you should put at the top of your receipt page:
Download our FREE smartphone app and SAVE $10 on your first order! It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s FREE. Just click here…
Being like everyone else is not enough. floralapp® costs less to operate than a phone line. Once you start sending push notifications of special offers to your captive audience and seeing orders, you will now understand the excitement of mobile technology and the advantage your app has over mobile websites. It is important you have it all. The website leads to mobile computing, the app secures the customer and the relationship. Don’t give the national gatherers a chance to get your customer. If there is a way to send flowers out there, you need to offer the option.
At Beneva Solutions, our name is our mission… to help you create solutions to our challenging industry and market environment. At Beneva Solutions, you do have a friend in the business.
If you do not secure your business and get new customers, your competition will. The choice is really yours…