Yes OK, OK we know! We're supposed to try and do this blog on a weekly basis, but it has just been so busy lately that we haven't been getting round to it. We haven't even managed to do it on a monthly basis, and as chief blogger I am taking this blog by the horns and sharing my experiences of covering for Roma for a few days.
When I first started at BasketsGalore (over 10 years ago!) my job was to answer the phone/email enquiries and prepare the paperwork for the daily orders shipping out, so it was great to try it again and see how far we've progressed in those years.
How I Helped A Customer
Occasions & Holiday times are always a busy time for gift giving and just lately we have had Mother's Day (UK/Ireland), Easter & May Day. The only thing is that during Public Holidays, and on Sundays, there are no deliveries as the courier companies are closed. This can be frustrating for those who want to send a gift to celebrate the holiday or occasion, so we always email our customers in advance to remind them to have their orders placed on time. Unfortunately, new customers sometimes find us that little bit too late. Such as a grandmother in Brazil I live chatted with just as we were closing the Wednesday before Easter. Her grandson's birthday was on Good Friday itself, and she had just missed the cut off time for next day delivery on Thursday. I ran to the warehouse to check if the couriers had collected from us yet, but unfortunately they had. She couldn't then understand why delivery on Friday or Monday wasn't an option so I had to explain that unfortunately there are no deliveries in the UK on Good Friday or Easter Monday. She didn't want her grandson to think she had forgotten him & so I offered to include a "Sorry it's late" note with her order that explained she had tried her very best to get his gift there on time, and he would then receive it on Tuesday. She thought this was a great idea and we hear he very much enjoyed receiving his present after the excitement of all those Easter Eggs was over.
Something Nice/Rewarding That Happened
We were contacted by a lady from a company in Watford, who wished to send a gift basket for the arrival of new baby twins. However, she had looked at our range of gift baskets for twins and couldn't see the perfect one for the new twin girls. Instead she liked one of our baby baskets designed for a single baby, and asked could we double it up to create a twin version. This of course is no problem to our packing team, and we simply worked out the price and helped her to place the customised order via the phone. The team then set about creating a double version of our Nature Pure Basket - Baby Girl. She wanted the clothes and toy to remain the same so as there would be no fighting over who got which one when the girls got a bit older. The basket also contained organic muslin squares though, so instead of including 2 sets of the same thing we switch one to a set of baby socks & voila - the perfect twin girls baby gift basket. We also took a quick snap of it, before gift wrapping, so as they could see how it looked. Carla was so delighted with the feedback they received that she got in touch to thank us.
Good morning everyone at Baskets Galore, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. The gift was so well received and everyone commented / noted that the products were all organic (true BRE way!). You are clearly my new go to company for corporate hampers. I look forward to working with you in the future. Have a lovely morning. Kind regards, Carla.
Something Difficult/ Frustrating That Happened
At the end of each day we go through the previous days dispatches and track all the deliveries. The majority of these are usually successful, but you also get a few where delivery has been attempted but the recipient wasn't at home. Or occasionally where the recipient is no longer at the address or has been discharged from hospital already. However, it's not often when one has registered as delivered, but then turns back up at our warehouse as "returned" and a couple of weeks later at that! In fact, this has never happened before! When we looked into it, the courier company had registered the parcel as delivered and so we in turn notified our customer of this. What we didn't know is that our customer had put the wrong address on the parcel, and so it was delivered to a "college" rather than "cottage". The people in the collage had subsequently realised it wasn't for them and contacted the courier company, who in turn retrieved the parcel and tried to find the correct address by phoning the telephone number provided for the recipient. Unfortunately the phone number provided also didn't work and so the driver was unable to get through to them. Normally this is when they would get in touch with us to see if we can contact our customer or the recipient, but unfortunately their email went missing in "internet land" and so we didn't know about it. After a couple of weeks of trying the delivery company instead returned the parcel to ourselves. We then discovered the whole sorry tale, and were able to get in touch with the lady who had placed the order. She confirmed the address & phone numbers were incorrect, but because it had taken quite a bit of time to come to light we offered to send a fresh gift basket to the correct address as a good will gesture. We can assure you this has never happened before & so it was very frustrating. Yes customers get the address wrong sometimes, but usually we are alerted to this much sooner & so can step in to help before too much time has passed.
Something Funny That Happened
I received a call from a lady in Lancashire saying that they had just taken delivery of a parcel from BasketsGalore addressed to her dad. They were worried he had been ordering things online that he didn't really need or thought perhaps he'd signed up to something by mistake and that if they opened the parcel they would be charged for it! I explained that it would be a gift for him and that it had already been paid for, so if they opened it up they could read the gift card to see who had sent it. They were still a but dubious as to who might have sent it and so I was able to look her father's details up and read the gift message out to them. They then realised it was a 'get well soon gift' from her brother and his family and so were delighted to be able to open & enjoy it.
Best Reason For Sending a Gift Basket
Although the majority of our gift baskets are sent for standard occasions & reasons such as birthdays, get well soon, congratulations and thank you there are some more weird and wonderful occasions or some very funny gift card messages. Although the one I am thinking of was for a standard reason - thank you - it was the "person" sending it that made me laugh. The message read along the lines of "Thank you very much for a wonderful week while xxxx & xxxx were away on holiday, I had a great time with you. Lots of love, Archie." Now Archie is a lovely name I thought when I was reading this message, but then when I realised Archie wasn't in fact the purchaser, and he hadn't referred to them as mum & dad that he must in fact be a dog! Now it's not everyday a dog buys a gift basket from us, what a thoughtful fella!
I have to say I really enjoyed those few days back in my original role & although everything is now a lot more automated in terms of payments, printing and producing the delivery labels we also send out a lot more gift baskets than ever before. I admire how quickly and efficiently Roma & the team take care of the dispatches on a daily basis, along with all the other admin tasks they help out with. It also let me experience how things could be made even better and so I have a few improvement ideas in mind to research now ahead of the Christmas rush.