Christmas 2013 was my first proper and official time helping out in the Corporate Team in Baskets Galore. I had been helping out here and there in the past but mostly as support and assistance to Andrea & Chloe. This year however Andrea was on maternity leave (even though she ended up coming in half the days anyway) so I was suddenly at the helm of the team!
We try to be as prepared as possible for the Christmas corporate orders as many of our clients order every year & so we can simply help them to repeat their order. It would be awkward and a little embarrassing to have to shuffle through previous records and fumble for answers to things the company on the other end completely expect you to remember by heart. Andrea has been doing the job for a number of years and so tends to have all this information in the depths of her brain, but as I mentioned I was new to the role. There is, after all, only so long you can distract someone by talking about the weather. Thankfully, we were so prepared that I only had to talk ‘weather’ with two different ladies and that was only because they initiated it – to those two ladies calling from a company in Canada and Boston respectively, thank you for your patience!
A typical corporate order usually goes as follows:
1) Company enquires via phone or email. We’ll respond with basket recommendations within their budget, quotes and delivery options. The correspondence could sometimes go back and forth for a bit especially if they’re hoping to order a large amount.
2) The company emails us a list of delivery addresses. This could range from one address to over one hundred. A gift card message is included with each basket. Sometimes, it’s the same message for every recipient. Sometimes, it’s a different message for each person. Sometimes, it could be in a language nobody knew in the office and it’s very important to make sure we don’t accidentally send a French gift message to a Polish recipient.
3) The company is invoiced and payment is arranged.
4) The list of recipients is passed to the Processing team who checks the addresses and manually puts through each delivery address into the system to print out the shipping labels for each. Last year, my brother was working as a Christmas temp and I gave him so many European addresses to check that even now, so many months on, he still groans at the sight of a foreign address. But hey! His German improved a lot from searching through German company websites to check their delivery address.
5) The warehouse is notified of the amounts going out, the baskets are assembled and set aside, ready for delivery.
6) Once it’s the dispatch date, the baskets are loaded onto the courier vans and they start their journey to the recipients. We send the companies the tracking information for all their baskets.
7) We track each basket’s delivery progress and liaise with the company, couriers and the recipient if any delivery problems arise.
8) Once all the baskets are delivered, we let the company know and then repeat the whole process again for another company.
Phew, that about covers it. There are so many things to do and, sometimes, so little time but it’s all worth it in the end when the companies who ordered and the baskets recipients call and email to say how delighted they were. It is truly motivation like no other for the team.