Interflora florists’ passion to deliver…

by Charlotte.Barnes on January 6, 2011

Interflora is proud of how its national network of florists often go out of their way to ensure important deliveries are made.

And – as these accounts by three determined members of our network illustrate – such devotion to exemplary customer service can sometimes mean going one step further to guarantee a special gift reaches its intended recipient.

Read on to discover how this trio of Interflora florists braved arctic weather and horrendous driving conditions to fulfil their customers’ orders.

They can have their Christmas cake and eat it!

Ken Davison of Petals Garden Centre in Ammanford in Carmarthenshire played Father Christmas to a couple stranded on a remote mountain road in deepest Wales.

The couple – both regular customers of the garden centre’s Interflora florist shop – rang and asked if a special delivery could be made because they were cut off in heavy snow, unable to negotiate the treacherous roads.

Their order, however, was a little unusual. Each time the couple visit the garden centre they end their shopping trip with some time in the café and two cups of cappuccino, a slice of chocolate cake and a slice of carrot cake.

Would it be possible, they asked, to deliver the same to their home, despite the blizzard conditions outside?

Ken Davison takes up the story. “The couple always have two cups of coffee, a slice of chocolate cake and the lady always has carrot cake. They are all homemade cakes. They could not get out, but we are lucky enough to have a 4×4 vehicle.

“So I said yes and we not only delivered our orders for the day, but also four slices of carrot cake and four slices of Christmas cake, complete with an Interflora Candle arrangement with flowers to two very appreciative customers.”

Working in a winter wonderland

When arctic conditions gripped the West Country just before Christmas, Victoria Bates and her team at Holyrood Florists in Chard, Somerset went out of their way to ensure Interflora orders – and much more – were delivered safely.

Victoria says: “I took over the shop at the beginning of November, with just six weeks to go before Christmas. Our delivery area covers a lot of small hamlets and villages and it is a very hilly area. We had to employ a new delivery driver, who had never worked for a florist before but knew the area well.

“Over the course of the peak Christmas period, we delivered more than 100 Interflora orders, and our local orders as well, to some totally remote areas.

“We delivered some milk and bread to an elderly couple who couldn’t get a supermarket to deliver. We had to be towed up hills to farms and our driver’s son walked a mile in the snow there and back with a bouquet to a house down a track that hadn’t been driven on and was about a foot deep in snow.

“We had a few days where our last deliveries were after 7pm at night, but at least the recipients were in! Most of the addresses we deliver to are given simply as the name of a house and the village name, so can be a challenge to find at the best of times.

“But we did it and any busy period we have now can’t possibly be harder than my first as my own boss!”

Service beyond the call

When the Wine & Roses florist in Pontcanna, Cardiff, received a phone call from Interflora head office to inform them they were the only florist in the city who had not succumbed to the blizzard conditions causing widespread havoc they were determined no customer’s Christmas would be ruined.

Ana Bela – a new member of the Interflora network of florists – says: “Our wise Interflora business consultant warned us of the three peaks – Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. But he also reassured us that Christmas would be the easiest to overcome as it’s spread over several days.

“This year that certainly wasn’t the case for those of us who managed to stay open. On December 20, Interflora head office called to let us know ‘that we were the only member in the whole of Cardiff still open’. Maybe naively we continued to accept orders. So with only one florist, one driver, the use of a borrowed 4×4 and not much sleep, we set off and successfully delivered 113 Interflora orders leading up to Christmas.

“It was indeed a miracle to behold on Christmas Eve when we saw the light – that last joyous delivery at 8:03pm!”

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Best Posts, Christmas, Interflora News  

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