A conversation with a customer yesterday morning (she wanted to order a bouquet at our very minimum price) – who phoned at 9.30, and wanted me to guarantee I would get the flowers delivered to an address 5 miles away by 10.30 – got me thinking (that’s never a good thing). How many other industries offer a same day delivery service? And what price do they charge IF they offer this service?
After an hour or 2 google searching, and many, many, many phone calls, I was able to find that other than florists (and Argos who charge a small fortune and only if the local store has what you want in stock) offer a Same Day Delivery and even fewer offer to get your delivery within an hour – there are several courier services that will collect your item and deliver it for you; I got quotes from over 25 of these to see what they would charge to collect flowers from the shop, to the address the customer wanted us to delivery to. The BEST quote I got was £27.50 from Royal Mail ( I charge a flat £3.50) – most were over £40 - but NOT one of the companies I tried would give me a timescale as to when they would get the order delivered.
Had I had a driver available I would have done all I could to get the flowers out there, but alas both of them were already out on their delivery routes, but I told the customer I could guarantee to get them there by 12; this wasn’t good enough, and sadly when she took her rudeness that one step further, I suggested she ring someone else to see if they could help (no idea if anyone else was able to or not).
So there I am, little old me, offering to get flowers delivered the same day for a charge of only £3.50, but this wasn’t acceptable. NO other company would offer that service for such a small amount – if they indeed offered at all.
When did it become to norm to expect a florist to drop everything for that one order? What about all my other customers that had placed their orders days, weeks or even months before? How about the 2 funerals we were out delivering at the time (along with weddings they are the ONLY things we guarantee delivery one). Was I expected to put those on hold to sort out the one order that had just been phoned through? Please try and remember that while we will do our very best at every opportunity - which we do at a minimal cost to you (compared to any other industry – you can pay £2000 for a new TV and still be charged £30 for it to be delivered to you) - there are times when it is not physically possible for us to get something made and delivered within an hour. We are after all, only human; some things are just out of our reach.
While on the subject of delivery, those of you that have ordered online this week – yes our online ordering is working again (for handtied bouquets only at the moment) will have noticed there is now a set delivery charge of £3.50 on ALL orders. It pained me to have to begin charging when before we may have waivered the charge, but after sitting down and working out how much it was costing (Drivers wages, Fuel, Tax, Insurance, Running Costs, Repairs and Servicing) I saw in black and white that we were losing money (something we cannot afford to do if we wish to stay in business). Even now we are not charging anywhere near enough to cover our costs, but after sourcing how much other businesses charge, I worked out that £3.50 keeps us still far cheaper than our competitors, and will go some way towards helping with the costs involved if we wish to offer a full delivery service.