Here’s a Good Way to Lose Gift Basket Customers

by Shirley George Frazier on November 25, 2015

Copyright Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.There’s a sweet potato pie company in my town that sells retail to walk-in customers in addition to shipping their product to commercial accounts.

Five years ago, I went to the retail location to buy 12 mini pies but decided not to buy when I saw a line of customers waiting outside the door. My time is valuable; there was no way I was waiting when I could go elsewhere to buy sweets.

I didn’t return to the walk-in location until this past Monday, days before Thanksgiving, hoping this was enough time to get my order. I opened the door and saw eight people on line. That was acceptable. Then, a woman on the line told me that the mini pies were not available.

“They’re out of small pies,” she announced.

“Thanks,” I said to her, and walked out of the door.

I will not return, ever.

How does a company that only makes pies run out of product? As the holidays arrive, you know that commercial and retail customers are going to want what you make. It seems that whoever is in charge of inventory is not taking care of business.

I’m not working behind the scenes or have insight into this particular company so, of course, factors I know nothing about may be the cause. However, this is a firm that has been in business for many years. Doesn’t anyone know how to plan for demand?

You do not want this scenario to happen in your gift basket business. If you had sales last holiday, you can plan how much product to buy for this season and increase the amount of inventory purchased to prepare for additional orders. Anything left over will be applied to New Year’s baskets and all-occasion gifts created in January.

Designers in my VIP program are fully stocked for December. They are fulfilling orders, diligently marketing for more sales, and have multiple places to call to restock anything that gets depleted. Their customers and others who call to order will not hear that a design is not available.

Which model is the one you plan to follow – the pie company or the VIP designers?

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One Customer Service Failure that Decreases Your Gift Basket Orders

by Shirley George Frazier on November 18, 2015

Copyright Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.“Hello. I’m calling to cancel my appointment.”

“When is the appointment for?”

“Thursday at 2 o’clock.”

“Okay, I’ll cancel it. Goodbye.”

That was a conversation I had yesterday with a representative at a dental office.

Like many people, I have my teeth cleaned and checked every six months. My new dental plan begins on December 1, so I called the office to postpone my cleaning. When I get my new insurance card I’ll know, for sure, that I can make an appointment that won’t be cancelled since coverage will be in effect.

Still, the representative didn’t ask the magic question:

“Would you like to reschedule now?”

Do you let customers slip through your fingers in the same way?

Customer service is part of marketing, so if you are not addressing your clients when they cancel orders or have other concerns that stop the order process, your sales will end, and so will your business.

This focus is a huge part of the VIP programs that gift basket designers like you learn in detail. When the phone rings, designers and their staff know how to address callers so when the call is done, the sale is captured.

There are other areas of sales that are also completed, too many areas to mention here. I’ll just say that total and complete customer service is wrapped in a bow.

What is the one problem that you’re not addressing that causes a disruption in your sales?

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Why No One Will Tell You Where They Buy Gift Basket Products

November 11, 2015

The phone rings, and a woman answers. “The Gift Shop. How can I help you?” “Hello, I saw a picture frame in your store and want to know where you get that product.” “You mean you want to know where I buy merchandise for my store?” “Yes. I want to buy it, too.” “Sorry, I [...]

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Questions to Ask Before You Donate Gift Baskets

November 4, 2015

The end-of-year holidays is the time when you will receive the biggest percentage of gift basket donation requests. Suddenly, every organization, school, and group wants your gift baskets as fundraisers and for other notable events making your business the “popular kid on the block.” You may ask yourself, “How did they find me?” You have [...]

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Here’s Your Permission to Start Making Gift Baskets

October 28, 2015

Combining creativity and business can be lots of fun, and it can also be scary. It’s fun because you can express artistry in different ways each time you make gift baskets, and seeing the look on people’s faces when presenting each masterpiece is a gift you get back. The scary part comes to light when [...]

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Is It Too Late in the Year to Start a Gift Basket Business?

October 21, 2015

You want to begin making and selling gift baskets, but looking at the calendar, you wonder if it’s better to start next year. Certainly it’s too late to get any holiday orders now, right? The answer to this seeming dilemma is – it’s never too early or late to begin your venture. If you wait [...]

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