We were having a chat in the office about creating your own gift baskets, which is a very popular part of our service throughout the year. For the past few years we have also been offering this service at Christmas time as well, despite the huge numbers of hampers being dispatched. The reason "CYO's" (as we refer to them) are more difficult is that they are all unique and so cannot be made up in advance. During the year we make all our gift baskets freshly each day, both CYO's and pre-designed ones, whereas at Christmas time the non-perishable hampers are made a few weeks in advance. Then any fresh items such as salmon & cheese are just slotted in on the day of dispatch. We continue to offer the 'Create Your Own' service during December, but the turn around time may just take an extra day due to it having to be assembled freshly.
What is more difficult again is when a customer selects a pre-designed hamper, but wants to make a change. It sounds like this would be easier, but it is in fact more difficult for a number of reasons. Firstly you need to unbox & open the standard version, make the change & then make sure that the amended version doesn't get mixed in with the standard versions. If a customer has added or removed some items then the container itself may have to be changed to a larger or smaller one, so repacking is involved. Because of this we ask customers requesting slight changes to order a bit earlier in December so we can dedicate time to assembling them and keeping them separated.
This made me think of a lovely lady in Australia who contacted us at the end of September about adding some items to our popular "Christmas Traditional Feast" hamper.
" I have always wanted a gift hamper to supply a full Christmas lunch/dinner for my lovely cousin who lives in Birmingham, UK. I really like the Christmas Traditional Feast, but would like to add a Christmas cake, some carved ham slices and of course some tinned veggies eg carrots, peas, potatoes etc to complete the meal. I would also like some more savoury items eg, crackers & peanuts."
As Bev had contacted us nice & early we had plenty of time to source some tinned vegetables for her and were able to add in Christmas cake, carved ham & crackers from our own range. I remember it was the end of September as she was one of the last customers I emailed before going off to have my baby, Rowan. The packaging team were then aware of her order from early on. Her hamper was made up a week or so in advance of the dispatch date and kept in the special "CYO" zone, ready for delivery on the overnight UK service. We heard her cousin really enjoyed the complete 'Christmas meal in a hamper' (minus the turkey!) Who knows we may even add this hamper to the 2014 range.
If you have any special requests then please just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org