Florabundance News

Tom Bowling 2009 > TAKING YOUR TEMPERATURE

August 8th, 2010

During the hot dog days of August, most of the country is sweltering under the blazing summer sun. Wherever you go, people are making reference to the weather. For those who like it hot, they should be very happy! For those who’s likes favor colder weather, they are counting the days til the weather breaks and winter is back. And then there are many who would enjoy going from spring temperatures to more spring temperatures. I think they all live in California!
Taking the temperature can also be applied to what is happening in your shop. The most obvious is the physical temperature. Is it comfortable for your walk in clients to escape the outdoor heat for a while to be able to enjoy the shopping experience you offer? Same consideration should be for your staff as well. Is it comfortable to work in or too hot or too cold? In most shops, if you ask two different people, you will get three different answers!
In talking about the staff, when was the last time everyone sat down and discussed the likes and dislikes of what is happening internally? We all know that this personal happiness or sense of satisfaction helps keep a harmonious working environment. While it may be easier to walk to the sun than to make everyone happy, at least being aware of issues and challenges is the beginning to make a solution that keeps both sides in a more comfortable situation. Not only do other staff persons notice the difference when everyone is happy, but your customers do as well. This positive energy is catching and very noticeable. No one is without conflicts, but getting them out for discussion is a positive step for amiable solutions.
What about the taking the temperature of your clients? Why do your customers continue to patronize your business? We can all sit and think of answers that we think are correct, but when was the last time you ask your customer? Perhaps sending out an on line survey might give you some new or validate your answers you think are correct. Then, think about those customers that have drifted away for whatever reason. Why are they no longer placing orders on your web site or stopping by as frequently or if at all? While there are some customers who may have passed, relocated, or could not find resolve in a situation, there are many who have drifted out of your customer base or their frequency has diminished. Again, either an on line survey of a personal phone call might be in order to remind them of your high level of service, diverse level of Florabundance product, or some other specialty that sets you apart from the other retailers in your market area. Hopefully there are many differences in your shop that you can brag about and validate as to these being good reasons to patronize your shop. Just a reminder that a good question needs time for a good answer. Don’t forget the most important skill in communication is to LISTEN! Is is an eye opening experience to solicit feedback both positive and negative. Often times we get so hurried that we don’t think we do all the good things for customers and at the same time, we may think we are doing enough and the customer does not see it that way.
Taking the temperature of the product mix you offer is another area that you will want to examine. Are your flowers and foliage’s as fresh and unique as you and your customer want them to be? Or, are you stuck in a rut of keeping the same selections because you think that is what your customer wants or maybe it is a comfort zone for your sales staff to sell, your designers to design with and the flower buyer to buy? When was the last time you ask your Account Manager to send you something unique and different? Trying different components keeps a high level of excitement for your staff and your customers. Post your new ‘finds on your website and monitor the response. You may be surprised how it brings renewed attention to your website and daily business. While McDonald’s may not be your favorite restaurant, take your cue from them. They still offer their hamburgers, french fries, and milk shakes from decades past, but notice how many new items they rotate in and out of their offerings on a seasonal basis. Arctic Orange milk shakes in the summer give way to Peppermint shakes at the holiday season and then go to Green Mint shakes in the spring. A good lesson to promote flowers that have a strong seasonality.
Just like taking your body temperature, it reinforces good health and helps identify health challenges.

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