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Support Your Local Florist on Small Business Saturday

Support Your Local Florist (1)

Did you know that when you shop small and local, more than 50% of the money you spend stays in the community? A movement away from impersonal big-box stores has lead to more customers trusting their local small businesses and communities experiencing economic growth.

[Read more…]

Customer Service Week at FSN

Last week we celebrated our Customer Service team at FSN. They work hard to make our members happy, so we put together a week of fun games and prizes for our team. Here are some pictures of our great week!

Starting off the day with something goofy!

These heroes wear headsets and make members smile every day!

The super girls ready to take on Customer Service Week!

Making some art with cans from our canned food drive!

The week was a lot of fun and we look forward to more great times at next year’s Customer Service Week!

Flower Shop Phone Etiquette

Answering the phone is one of the most important aspects of running a flower shop business. It’s usually how you get your orders and solve problems with customers. Sometimes one can forget the etiquette. Whether it’s stress or a split second response while the boss is busy, phone etiquette can often be forgotten and sometimes a simple “Hello, how can I help you?” can make or break a sale.

Here are our top five rules of phone etiquette:

1. Always Answer Clearly and Cheerfully

First impressions are important, especially when talking to customers on the phone. Answer in a clear and cheerful tone, ready to help the customer.

2. Never Say “I Don’t Know”

Saying “I don’t know” doesn’t solve the problem. If you don’t know how to answer the customer’s questions say “Let me find out for you.” This way you are still offering a solution rather than stopping  the communication.

3. Make Sure To Ask Questions

While customers are usually the ones asking questions, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask some too! If you are confused about something said or the spelling of the name, it’s better to double check than to get it wrong because you didn’t ask.

4. Never Be Rushed

While it’s hard not to feel the pressure on busy floral holidays, it’s important to make your customer feel like they have your undivided attention. This also causes less mistakes in the long run.

5. End With A Cheerful Goodbye

Let your customer know how appreciative you are of their business. How you end the phone conversation is what sticks with them and what decides whether they will be calling again.

Whether you learned something new or used it as a refresher, we hope this post will help your phone etiquette. Check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more great tips!

Marketing Tips for Prom

Unlike other floral holidays and weddings, prom holds a certain type of charm. Due to the fact that customers around this time of year are younger than the usual customer (most of the time not even 18), there seems to be a trickiness to designing for these floral newbies. We reached out to a couple of florists to offer insight on prom marketing, as well as tips on approaching the younger generation.

 The Young Customer

There are a couple of misconceptions that come up during this time of year about the young customer. The first is that customer service shouldn’t apply to them since their parent’s are purchasing the corsage. Second, that these kids don’t know anything about flowers so why bother when they are looking for something cheap. While it is true that many parents help these teens purchase their prom florals, others have savings from their part-time job. Either way, it is important to acknowledge the teen as a paying customer as you would acknowledge a bride whose parents are paying for the flowers. As for their ignorance on the value of flowers, there is a solution.

According to Doug Bates of Designs by VOGT’s of Sturgis, Michigan, it’s very important to introduce high school kids to flowers.

“If you don’t hook the younger generation by the time they are 25, they will never understand the value of flowers,” Bates said. “When you get them interested you become a part of their life.”

Bates believes that prom is the perfect time to start making new customers. If you make their first time flower experience memorable, they will become lifetime customers.

“You need to foster these relationships because in 5 years these girls will be brides,” Bates said. Bates told the story of one couple who came into the shop for their prom and years later he did their wedding flowers and have become long-time customers for other events as well. “It’s important to make their experience fun. When it’s apparent that you don’t want to work with them, they notice that. Make it engaging or they will go to your competitors.”

Marketing Tips and Tricks

Marketing for prom is just as important as treating the customer. Here are a couple of ideas to market your shop!

Go To School

Bates said that the best advice he heard about prom was to get involved with the school in any way you can. Whether it’s donating an arrangement or offering a discount for an event, everything stands out. One tip is to give a couple of teachers at your local high school corsages and boutonnieres to wear the week before and the week of prom.

Social Media Contest

This tip from Bates is great to also amp up your social media traffic. Offer a “Prom Mom Contest” when someone makes a purchase for prom. They must like your Facebook page and post a picture of their corsage with their dress during prom. The one with the most likes wins a free bouquet to give to their mom on Mother’s Day.

“Last year, we had such a high number of posts that we ended up choosing more than one winner,” Bates said. “It’s a great way to get your name out there, get likes, more traffic, and people posting your designs online.”

Prom is the perfect time to introduce flowers to the younger generation. You never know who may become a lifelong customer! For more marketing tips and ideas, check back with the Bloomin’ Blog.

Photo courtesy of Designs by VOGT’s.


FSN Customer Service Appreciation Week Employee Cookout

This was customer service appreciation week here at Flower Shop Network. That means our bosses honored all of us for our focus on customer service (and to raise awareness of the importance of customer service). We each received a nice piece of candy every day of the week complete with a small, relevant and pun-tastic saying attached.

And then to top it off, Thursday we had a cookout with all the fixins. Join me on this photo-journey through the delicious options provided and the fun had by all!

Grillin' It Up!

What’s a cookout without burgers and hot dogs on the grill? [Read more…]

Kids Are Customers Too! (Or Will Be Soon)

Young Girl Holding Flowers

This is a guest post written by Aut Fuller at Floral Expressions in Owings MD.

In my 35 years around this industry, it never ceases to amaze me how many business owners don’t like it when young kids visit. As a parent of 3 kids myself, there have been many times when visiting a store you get the evil eye for bringing the young ones.

Cater To The Kids

I  know, I know, all the breakable stuff, and the sticky fingers touching everything, but at our store we talk to the little ones and cater to them. We give them a flower (even when they say they don’t really like them, LOL) and tell them to just surprise someone with it. Once they see the joy of giving, they learn a valuable life lesson.

To keep their interest, we have a toy section to keep them busy while mom shops and we are constantly looking for cool, new things just for the kids.

Hard Work Pays Off

We have been located in the same store for 25 years now, and we are now doing proms, weddings and birthdays of the kids whose parents were kids 25 years ago. It is very exciting when the next generation of customers come in with Grandma to see their friend the florist. How cool is that?

What other business can say that anymore? I refuse to believe that customer service is dead. IT’S ALIVE AND WELL HERE!


Tips From The Top With Tim Huckabee

Jamie from FSN had a great opportunity to interview Tim Huckabee, president of FloralStrategies at the 2011 SAF Growth Solutions Conference in Dallas. FloralStrategies is the only on-site training program in the entire floral industry that teaches critically important customer care skills. [Read more…]

Making Negative Reviews Work For You

How To Handle Negative ReviewsEvery business, no matter how professional and competent, will be on the bad end of a negative comment sooner or later. Whether the comment is spoken or online, businesses can not keep this from occurring. Although you may feel as if the world is coming to end when this happens, it can actually be turned into a good thing. It all depends on how you handle it.

Studies show that when a negative review or complaint is handled professionally and positively, consumers actually gain trust in the company.

Below are a few ways to handle negative reviews on the Internet:

  1. Go to the website hosting the bad review. Many, like Google, have review response policies.
  2. Wait at least 2 hours before responding. Unlike phone or in-store complaints, reviews on the Internet don’t and shouldn’t be answered quickly. Give your self time to cool off and compose a professional and rational response.
  3. Post your response. Be courteous and professional. Remember the response is as much for the author of the review as it is for the reader. [Read more…]

A Quick Note From A Happy Customer!

Here’s a quick note from a happy customer of one of our exceptional florists!

This was passed along to Flower Shop Network from Rebecca who used Flowers By Pat a  Jacksonville, Florida florist:

“My mother loved the arrangement. It looked exactly like the picture except the vase was a beautiful raspberry pink which made the item even more striking. The flowers lasted about 2 weeks! Thank you so much for making her day special!”

Suddenly Spring Flowers

This is one of many great testimonials we receive everyday about our exceptional local florists like Flowers By Pat who is pleasing customers left and right!  Located in Jacksonville, FL, Flowers By Pat has served the community for over twenty four years. They provide beautiful flowers for all occasions and also provide a variety of vases, baskets, scented candles and more!

Their latest best seller is the Suddenly Spring Flower Arrangement! A combination of beautiful bright flowers are perfectly designed to brighten up anyone’s day! If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area be sure to stop by Flowers By Pat and enjoy the beauty of spring!

This Testimonial is Sponsored by Flower Shop Network’s Jacksonville, FL Florists!