I'll admit a phone call I received on Friday morning not only upset me, it also angered me greatly. I don't normally get angry with customers as I was taught the old rule that "The customer is always right; even when they are wrong" but the lady I spoke to was so very rude to me there was no way I could not be angry. In the ladies defence she was phoning me with a query regarding the price of a funeral tribute, and having lost so many people that have been close to me I do understand how traumatic it can be, and that you aren't always quite yourself. However; there is also no excuse for bad behaviour and downright bad manners.
"What did this lady do?" Well she had been onto our website and seen a tribute on there that she liked and wanted a price on. It does state on our site that we can only deliver the items in our own area, so before I quote anyone over the phone, I do ask where the funeral is taking place - in this instant it was somewhere in south london - so I asked if the lady wanted to collect the tribute on the way to the funeral. She was quite rude as she told me "I live there so why would I travel all the way to you for it. Just give me a price". This is when things got a bit fraught as I tried to explain that unfortunately she would have to contact a shop nearer to where the delivery was to take place for a price, as I was unable to quote on behalf of another shop. Again she spat at me "just tell me how much". Six times I went through explaining how I was unable to tell her what another shop would charge, as I have no idea of their pricing structure - if she was to call a certain kind of shop they could charge her 3/4 times more than I would; if she was to call someone that's just visited a few evening classes at a local college, or sat in on a demonstration somewhere, who buys their flowers from a supermarket and works from their dining room (yes sadly there really are businesses out there claiming to be florists that haven't got a clue, and think they know what they're doing because they've been to a demonstration) then they could charge half the price I would - this is because they don't have a shop premise and therefore don't need to pay any of the charges we do. Again she replied "just tell me how much"
All the time I was explaining how I was unable to tell her what another shop would charge, I was offering to help the lady source a shop that should be able to help her; I also told her that if the shop hadn't previously made the tribute she wanted I was happy for them to copy mine and contact me for details on how to make the tribute. Again I got "just give me a (insert a swear word here)"
In the end I decided maybe it would be best to just quote the lady what I would charge so I replied "obviously I can't guarantee the shop price will be anything like the price I would charge, but if I was to make it for you I would charge you £......". At this point she told me to do something quite unpolite to myself and hung up. I was so shocked by her behaviour and so angry at the way I was spoken to I did phone her back (I would never have been rude to her and planned on saying "I'm sorry I think we got cut off" for her reaction but she never bothered to answer). And you all thought this was such an easy job didn't you? That I get to make people happy and play with flowers all day? Welcome to the reality of it.
However; later that day I had a customer in the shop that was so happy with the flowers I had made for her she not only cried (in a good way) she also gave me the biggest hug I think I've ever had, so for every bad there is a good; or often in my case way more good than bad.
I also that day had another local funeral director in the shop wanting to make me his recommended florist, on the condition I hand over a huge percentage of any money I take from the people they send to me; he got told exactly the same as the others that have approached me before - I will NEVER pay anyone to recommend me; I explained he's more than welcome to send people my way IF he believes my work is good enough (I do have a very respectable funeral director that does send people to me because of my work) but that I will not pay him to send people to me. I find it shocking that he may now go to someone that has no training and will be recommending them only so he can take extra money. That to me is so very wrong.
Goodness this is turning into a long post; I hope you've not all nodded off by now? Actually this next part will just be some photos' of the gorgeous wedding we did on Saturday (I got to make the pedestals for the church and reception on Friday tea-time though so they count as the nice part of Friday :) The brides and bridesmaids were made Saturday morning, and the colours were just wonderful - so nice to do something different.
|Top table arrangement|
|Top table with pedestals - there were also 2 pedestals placed in the church that matched the ones in this photograph|
|One of the bridesmaids bouquets - just to show off the gorgeous colours|