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Written by Caroline Marshall-Foster
The fact that there has been an outpouring of complaints on all the wire service pages around the world is not really surprising. With the advent of social networking, the opportunity for customers to say what they feel has never been more available or blunt; some of the comments on the Interflora site were unbelievably foul mouthed and I have great sympathy for the poor customer service agents who must have, at times, felt awful.
But it also highlights the power of these new digital channels. Yes undoubtedly the complaints reflect a very small percentage of the total number of orders and yes I know there will be many thousands of people that will have been delighted with their deliveries.
But these days it doesn’t take many bad comments to ruin a company’s ranking. For example I took a shifty at Trustpilot. Now even allowing for the fact that review sites themselves can be tainted, the fact is Interflora languish at the bottom of the 24 flower companies with a rating of 2.2 out of ten. They only have 545 reviews but although the score pie chart is pretty squitty it looks like over 50% of those are bad which means a mere 280 or so comments sent them to the bottom. As I say undoubtedly chicken feed compared to the order volumes but I can’t help feeling it is damaging all the same.
Interflora were brave enough to leave their comments up in cyberspace, eFlorist took down their Facebook page ages ago. But what is most sad is the fact that yet again, instead of saying we can do no more, the two biggest handlers of floral gift deliveries, seem to have kept taking orders that were always going to be a challenge.
The argument will be that if they don’t take them then someone else will and their florists will lose out. Sobeit. Having spoken to a heck of a lot of florists recently, the general feeling is that it would be far better to do all of the orders well and get compliments than have a barrage of discontented customers, be refunding money left, right and centre or losing street cred.