Tuesday, 28 July 2020

I made a mistake

I'm always proud and willing to share with you all when I make something a little different, or feel something went really well. I'm happy to share with you when a customer calls me, sends me a lovely email, or a beautiful card to say "thank you". As a result of this, it's only fair that I share when I get it wrong. And this week, I have made a mistake. 

When I take an order in the shop or over the phone, I do so on an order pad (I used to write in a book/diary until the new GDPR rules came in and I was unable to do so any more in case a customer was able to see another customers details) hence why orders now go onto a pad. Each customer has their own sheet, and the sheet gets turned for the next so nobody but myself gets to see. Those orders then get put onto the computer system we run, which is encrypted and coded, and goodness knows what else (password and phone code protected to) so that only I can access them, where I can view them as I would a calendar. Each customer has their own line and then an entry where I pop their order details. I am also able to attach the photo's I take. Before adding to my calendar the delivery details are popped onto a separate system for the drivers - both they, and I, have access to the delivery list, which is handy as they will note if they've had to leave flowers elsewhere, and means if a customer calls to see if delivery has been made I am able to check whilst they are on the phone to see if there were any issues with the delivery. 

Once an order has been copied, I strike a line through the order so I know I have done it, discard any personal details and secure the order into a lock box until after delivery has been made when it then gets destroyed (it's always good to have a back-up plan in case the computer system went down).

Online orders are slightly different - although still very similar. With an online order they are run through a secure server provided by an authorised company who have their own PCI compliance (something all businesses need to be registered for if they are taking customer details) as well as running alongside ours. Again, for me to access the order I have to go through a secure server and security checks. I don't see/receive any of the customers payment details. 

I'm unable to strike a line through online orders copied to our calendar system, so I ensure I never close the page down until I have transferred all the details manually. I start with the delivery sheets first (as I've been known to not put those on for the drivers in the past and upset them (on more-than-one-occasion) when they've come in to see another dozen orders waiting for them that they knew nothing about)). I then type up a confirmation for the customer which I email over to them before copying the full order onto my calendar. 

On Tuesday of last week, an order came in for the Saturday - I had several others come in that day too, and proceeded to work my way through adding them to the correct lists/calendars.  I never thought any more of them after they were all copied over and got on with my week where I sent out over 180 orders - all successfully.  

Fast forward to Monday morning and I received a phone call from a gentleman who had placed his order online, to ask me why the flowers had not been delivered. There are no words to describe how mortified I was when I realised I had let down a customer. I'd emailed confirmation to the gentleman who placed the order, was able to pull it up on my screen to see which day the order came in, yet somehow it was not (is not) to be found on my calendar, nor is it on the drivers sheet. The oddest thing though is that when I placed my wholesale order for the flowers to come Saturday (the day the order should have been delivered) I had added all the flowers needed to make the order up. For this to be I had to have noted down what was needed when the order came in and I viewed it, then I popped the flowers required onto my pre-order list in anticipation. 

I'm human, mistakes happen, yet that is not an acceptable reason, most definitely not an excuse, and it doesn't change the fact that I made a big mistake; I let a customer, and his wife, down. 

I cannot tell you how very grateful I am that the gentleman who placed the order, when he called to tell me it had not been delivered, was so kind to me. He had every right to be angry, and rip into me for it. He never, and that says so much about his character and what a kind person he is. I apologised profusely, and between us we agreed a way to put right the wrong I had done.

It's not my first mistake; a while back I put an order on the system twice - 2 consecutive weekends running (delivering the first lot a week early) but I sure do hope it's my last for a very, very, very long time. 

All those successful deliveries, all those "thank you's" from other customers pale into significance right now, because whilst I got so many right, I got one wrong, and that is one more than I should have. 

So, there you go; it's not all moonlight and music, and I do not always get to feel proud. 

No comments:

Post a comment