Value and service are
important to today’s brides. You’ve always given value, but how
do you provide the service?
With the latest
research from The Wedding Report, Inc. showing that brides are
spending but not splurging while also expecting exceptional
value and outstanding service, we wondered how floral
departments are faring. So Senior Editor Shelley Urban asked
three floral leaders: How do you accommodate the service
demands of your wedding clients?
do the best we can to meet all the demands our guests ask of us
for their weddings. When we have busy months, like May 2010 when
we did 19 weddings plus all of the other holidays, it gets a
little difficult to make sure we are meeting our service goals.
We work longer hours; beg, borrow or steal other team members
that have some floral experience from other departments to help;
communicate with each other and our guests to make sure all the
details are covered; and hang on for the ride (sometimes
screaming with our eyes closed)!
We also send out surveys to all our past brides thanking them
for choosing us as their florist and asking them to give us
feedback on service, quality, price and other details of their
weddings. We include a self-addressed stamped envelope so it’s
easy to send the survey back to us. It’s great to get the
surveys with comments on them so we can know we did a good job
or know what we need to improve on. If the survey is negative,
we contact the bride and discuss her concerns. Out of the
hundreds of weddings we’ve done, thank goodness we’ve had only
two or three negative responses and were able to rectify the
Sarah Parslow, floral
Macey’s; Providence, Utah
done weddings [for years] as a designer, but weddings are a
fairly new venture for this store (although they’re really
taking off). But [the service requirements] are different in a
market. The people who come here looking for wedding florals are
less demanding, and most just want pretty flowers. Because we
are a high-end market, we carry the same flowers as all the
local high-end flower shops, but we have more volume, so we can
charge a little less. Therefore, most customers are very pleased
with what they’re getting—in terms of the quality of the flowers
and the design work—for the price. We also provide everything
that any other florist would offer, including rentals, delivery
and setup, so we can manage the demands of large-scale weddings
also. When customers plan large events, we occasionally have to
hire one or two freelancers, but usually our staff can handle
large events as well.
Heather Netherwood, floral
Palmer’s Market; Darien, Conn.
have been in the wedding service business for a long time, and
it’s all about experience with locations and contact personnel.
So one of the first things we do is find out the locations for
the ceremony and reception, and then we talk to the coordinators
because we want to build relationships with the vendors. We
always deliver and pick up on time, and we adhere to the
guidelines established by the locations. We respect the churches
and how they want us to set up, even if we don’t agree.
Logistics is a big part of the business also, so I do all the
delivery schedules. It’s really important to plan ahead so you
have enough vehicles and staff; a check-sheet with the loading
and drop-off schedule is incredibly important, especially since
we average about 10 deliveries every Saturday. And if the client
has a special request, we find a way to meet that request. We
have a “can do” attitude, and [the results] make clients happy
and make our business grow.
Christina Mayo, floral
manager and bridal consultant
South Fayette Shop ‘N Save; Bridgeville, Pa.