Valentine’s Day Recollection

It’s kinda funny how today sorta crept up on me. Don’t get me wrong, Valentine’s Day, happens every year, on the same date, but this year is just different.

It’s only been a few short years ago I was forced with the realization that we were spinning our wheels, and still sliding backwards.

So today is really a bitter/sweet day for me. Today I’ll be spending time with grandchildren, doing some Avon Deliveries, and running errands. You know basically enjoying life.

Just a few years ago, I would have been to work at 5am, with having left work the night before around 9pm. No I wasn’t working as a Nurse at that time, but as the owner of a Flower Shop.  You see, for flower shops, there are basically 2 days a year that keep the lights on.  Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

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So to be at work as a florist, finishing up flower arrangements, writing note cards scheduling deliveries, and answering the first morning phone calls bright and early on Valentine’s Day was just a part of the job.  I was always so greatfull to the ones that understood how busy I would be, and order their flowers for delivery early.  They understood that to get 50+ arrangements created and delivered between 9 and noon,  I would need more than a couple hours notice.  That if they truly wanted the best, I would need a couple of days to get all my ducks in a row.

As a small business owner, great customer service is imparative, but to give the same great customer service to 50 customers in 3 hours, can be difficult.  That’s probably why the local news caught my attention this am.  The broadcast at 6am, was live from behind the scenes at a Flower Shop.  Of course there were several people putting the finishing touches on arrangements, writing encloser cards, and filling heart shaped balloons, but that is just a part of the customer service one expects.  The thing that caught my attention was when the reporter said. “…. and just a reminder, if you still need flowers for today, stop by and pick up a bouquet, as we are no longer taking orders for delivery…..”.

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What?  As I heard, (what was essentially a business turning away customers),  it hit me like a brick.  To provide great customer service, it was necessary to limit the number of customers.  Otherwise that sare amount of time, resources, and patience would be shared between a greater number of people, essentially reducing  customer service for each one from great to mediocre.

It’s basically the old Quality vs Quantity argument.  Which is more important, the quality of what you do, or the number of times you do it.

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