How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry – 5 Steps to Success

I'm not gonna lie, I used to crumble into pieces and fall into a hot mess any time a customer rang up with a complaint.

When it comes to learning how to handle customer complaints in floristry, I used to just walk around on pins and needles hoping I'd never have to deal with it.

There are so many things I wish I had known. And that is particularly true when it comes to how to handle customer complaints in floristry. But alas, it's yet another topic that no one shares about, right?

And if you're anything like me, you'll assume everyone else's business is absolutely perfect and there must be something wrong with you.

If that's your thinking, I'm here to tell you that's not accurate at all.

Customer complaints are a normal part of running a business. Every company on the planet deals with complaints.

Floristry is no different, peoples!

In fact, I would dare say the number of complaints we receive should be higher than average because we are (1) often dealing with hugely emotional situations and (2) our customers have no idea how the heck this whole flowering thing works.

So, instead of telling yourself that if you get a customer complaint you're doing it wrong, I want you to go out there and aim for a 5% complaint rate.

Literally, I want you to show up with courage and be brave enough to ask your clients for feedback. I want you to get your client's feedback and get their input.

In fact, instead of shying away and hoping you never receive a complaint, I want you to take the exact opposite approach.

The next customer complaint your receive, give yourself a gold star. You're doing it right!

Now, don't get me wrong. I want you to over-deliver, go above and beyond and make sure you're meeting (even exceeding) your customer's expectations. I don't want you to drive your business into the ground by cutting corners, skipping out on professionalism and just not caring. No ma'am.

But the point is, I want to avoid you falling into the all-too-familiar shame spiral.

Even better, when it comes to how to handle customer complaints in floristry, here is an overview of my approach.

{If you missed it, you can also check out this blog post: Five Tips to Help You Navigate Your Next Customer Complaint.}

How to Handle Customer Complaints in Floristry – 5 Steps to Success

STEP 1: Plan Ahead

Literally, sit down now and decide how you want to handle customer complaints and disappointed clients. What are your Standard Operating Procedures and corporate policy for navigating a customer complaint? What are the rules and guidelines you want to put into place.

STEP 2: Write A Script + Create Templates

Sometimes the phone will ring and it will be a customer who wants to 'talk to the manager'. Having a few talking points or a quick script to follow puts you back in the driver's seat and makes the conversation run smoother. Also, create a template response for DMs, emails and even reviews left on Google.

STEP 3: Reflect

99% of the time a customer complaint arises because (1) there hasn't been enough communication or (2) it's a failure in the process. Yes, you read that right. A customer complaint has nothing to do with your self worth or ability to weave magic with flowers. It's almost always a systems thing (which is why I will tell you to celebrate your client's feedback).

STEP 4: Make Improvements

Here's a shift in perspective that's helped me tremendously: a customer complaint can help you make more money and increase your bottom line. Yes. It is a little mind-blowing, isn't it?

But think about it, knowing most complaints stem from something as functional as better communication, a smoother process or a clearer system, when you get client feedback that something isn't working, it's the perfect opportunity to level up your systems, process and communication so you can continually make things better.

STEP 5: It's Ok to Feel Uncomfortable

At the end of the day, your brain is going to interpret a customer complaint as a form of rejection. Rejection makes your primitive brain freak out. It thinks you're getting booted out of the tribe, voted off the island and quite possibly you're gonna be left out in the cold. To die.

I know it sounds dramatic but that's why you feel the intense, physical reaction in your body. That, my friend, is a totally normal, completely human response. Nothing has gone wrong here. In fact, I want you to care, I want you to take complaints personally (it's a sign you actually care about the humans, yeah?).

But know that the discomfort of feeling rejection is part of the process. So when the phone rings or you get an email from a client, embrace the discomfort...and then jump right back to Step #1.

At the end of the day, dealing with customer complaints is part of the gig. It's part of the process when it comes to growing your business. As your business grows, as you reach more people and your flowers touch more humans, it's OK if someone is disappointed.

Remember, it doesn't mean anything about you, your business or your design ability. Your self worth is fully and totally intact, even if five customers call in the same day lodging the same complaints.

You can get to work and flip the script: use your next customer complaint as a sign that you're growing and expanding. Cause you are!

It's time to put your big girl pants on, go out there and get to work crafting your customer complaint's policy. Decide now what you want your customer complaints policy to be and then put it into action.

Want to learn how to show with more confidence and authority in your flower business?

Navigating customer complaints is one area of floristry that I know most of us struggle. But having a plan, a clear process for making it work, you start to really see what's possible in your business. And really doing the work to detach my self-worth and unwind my people-pleasing tendencies has skyrocketed my business growth.

Of course, no one talks about that stuff in our industry, do they? Everyone wants to keep showing up, swooning over the pretty flowers and bragging about how busy they are...meanwhile you and I wondering WTF we're missing, right?

I walked around for years believing I was broken, that there was something wrong with me. I thought I was the only one.

Turns out that's not true. Turns out, a lot of us struggle with confidence in our business. If that's you, you're not alone. And I'm here to help! Jump in and catch up on this recent podcast episode.

Enjoy the Podcast?

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