Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tip #080 – Professional Looking Delivery Confirmations


Tip #080
A professional-looking delivery confirmation

Carter’s Florist of St. Petersburg, Florida is a long-time flowerSoft user.
They have, what I consider, the best delivery confirmation in the industry.

Not only does Carter send a very nicely worded delivery confirmation to their customers as soon as the order gets delivered, ( as shown below) but they also take a picture of the arrangement before it goes out the door and attach it to the email!

DELIVERY CONFIRMATION

Attached is a picture of your order we delivered on to:

CHRISTINE LAMB
100 FOUNTAIN PKWY N
FRANKLIN TEMPLETON
ST. PETERSBURG FL 33716

Our Reference No.: 183947 has been successfully accomplished. 

Delivery was accepted by: STEVE COLE at 10:50AM Driver Notes:
SECURITY

Thank you for your patronage!
Your team at Carter’s:

Melissa A Barnes – Customer Service
Robert E Carlson – Design Associate
Charles E Staunko – Delivery Associate

We’d love to hear about your experience with Carter’s.
Please post an on-line review by clicking on http://review-us.cartersflorist.com
 Like us on Facebook!  click www.facebook.com/cartersflorist
 Smart phone users: download our free app… it’s Carter’s mobile!

$10.00 discount on your first order.
click http://app.cartersflorist.com

CARTER’S FLORIST & GIFTS
2200 22ND AVENUE SOUTH
ST. PETERSBURG FL 33712
(727) 327-5568
customerservice@cartersflorist.com 

They are not just flowers… they’re Carter’s!

Now their customers know exactly what they sent to their loved ones.
I think this is a terrific idea that can only result in improving customer loyalty.

With flowerSoft’s help, all the folks at Carter’s have to do is take a picture of the arrangement and save it using the invoice # as its name.
In other words, the image above would have been call 183947.jpg and placed in a folder known to flowerSoft.

That is all the extra work needed!  How long does it take to snap a picture and place the file in a folder?  5 minutes at the most.
I think it is time well spent that will very likely generate many futures orders from the customer.

This is something that, as far as I know, it is not being done by any other flower shop in the US or Canada.

Notice also that Carter’s asks their customer to post a review of their experience, to “like us” in Facebook and to get their mobile application with the added benefit of receiving a $10 discount the first time they use it.  All in the same email!  Carter’s Florists is ahead of the curve when it comes to delivering service to the customer and this is just one of the things they do to keep them as the premier florist in the St. Petersburg area.

I’m sure all of you are proud of the quality of the work coming out of your shop and would not mind letting your customers see what their hard-earned money bought.

If you want your delivery confirmations to look as professional as Carter’s, and help promote customer loyalty, let us know and we’ll switch you from the regular delivery confirmations to this deluxe version.

As usual, there is no extra cost for this enhancement to your version of flowerSoft.  Just send a thank you note to the good folks at Carter’s for their terrific idea.

 

Tip #079 – Occasion Reminders and Obituary Entries


Tip #079
Occasion Reminders and Obituary Entries

Perhaps the biggest concern flowerSoft users have with using the Occasion Reminders feature is that it might send a reminder for someone who has passed away during the last 12 months and the pain it might cause your customer.

One of the advantages of using the obituary program in flowerSoft is that this concern is eliminated.

While flowerSoft pulls out the reminders from the previous year, it checks to make sure you do not have an obituary entry for the person the reminder is about.

Obviously, you would not want to send your customer for the deceased, so the default to the “Do You Still Want to Send This Reminder?” is No.

However, it might be that the deceased is not the same person the reminder was meant for, just a case of two people having the same or similar names, so flowerSoft always gives the option to answer “Yes”.

Tip #078 – Search for a Recipient


Tip #078
Search for a Recipient

When you type a recipient’s name into flowerSoft, if flowerSoft finds an exact match for the name you entered in its database of previous recipients, it will display the address information for you and ask you for confirmation.

But what if neither you or your customer know the exact spelling of the recipient’s last name?

As you probably know, flowerSoft gives you several ways to search for a recipient.

Entering the recipient’s phone # first allows flowerSoft to search its own database of previous recipients for a match and if one is found, display the information for the recipient without you having to type it in.


If flowerSoft does not find a match in the database of previous recipients, you also have the option of having flowerSoft search the web’s white and yellow pages for a match.

Another way flowerSoft helps you search for a recipient is by pressing the F4 key from the “Deliver To” field and display a list of recipient’s the customer has sent flowers to in the past.

We have recently added the option of pressing the F6 key after you’ve typed the first name of the recipient to search flowerSoft’s database of previously delivered to names.

Entering the first name before pressing the F6 is not absolutely necessary but it helps narrow down the search.
After you press the F6 key, flowerSoft opens a window showing the closest matching names.

As you type, flowerSoft will move the highlight bar to show the closest match to what you have typed.  This is similar to what is called auto-complete.

As you can see, the highlight keeps moving to show the closest match to what you’ve typed.

If what you’ve typed does not match any name in the database, flowerSoft displays the “No Match” warning and keeps the highlight on the last closest match.

As you can see by reading the bottom of the screen, you can hit Home to have flowerSoft clear what you have typed and  allow you to start over.
If you see that the recipient is not in the database, you can hit Ctrl + C to cancel the search.

These are some of the ways flowerSoft allows you to search for a recipient.

Tip #077 – Using an Outside Service to do Mailings


Tip #077
Using an outside service to do mailings

I received the following email from a flowerSoft user:

“George,

 I have listened to a couple webinars from Team Floral who are a marketing group who does have good points.
They are suggesting 5 mailings a year via postcard to all your accounts.

 Also emails but keep those more directed at the specific event such as MC, MDay etc.  10 days before, 5 days before, the day before. 
Sounds like I need some training.

How do I pull that info from our acct. files and how do I get it to the company who would do the mailings. “

OK, this a simple process but it does take a few steps.

First, you must find out in what format the outside service wants the information, ASCII or CSV.  I’m sure they can accept both but maybe they have a preference.

You must also decide if you are going to email the information to them or if you are going to put it on a disc or usb drive and physically give it to them.  For this example, we are going to assume you want to email the file to them.

The location of the program that allows you to do this is in (as usual) the Manager’s menu.
So go to the Manager’s menu and select the Marketing option.
From the Marketing option, select the Import/Export option.

Once in this option, select the option that allows you to export your customer database as an ASCII or CSV file.

Once you’ve selected which type of file you want to export your customers in, you have to decide which customers you want to export.
flowerSoft will give several options, including an “expert” selection.

For this example, I’m going to select option #7  “House” accounts only.
After I make that selection, flowerSoft is going to ask me if I want to further refine that selection by selecting only a specific “group” or account “type” within the house accounts set.

I’m going to answer “No” as I want to export all my “house” accounts to the csv file.

flowerSoft will now ask me for the name I want to give to the file.

I am going to call it “house_accounts” and flowerSoft will then ask me for confirmation.

flowerSoft will then want to know where it should place this file.

You must be careful here to include the drive name and exact path to the location you want this file stored. You are going to have to find this file when it comes time to e-mail it, so make sure you remember where you put it.

I’m going to tell flowerSoft to place it in the EXPORT folder inside the FSROOT folder.

Once I do that, flowerSoft will start generating the output and once finished, it will tell you how many records it exported.

flowerSoft will also ask you if you want to see the customer information that was exported to the csv file.

If you answer “Yes”, an Excel worksheet will open showing the data exported.

flowerSoft will export the customer Name, Address 1 and Address 2, City, State, Zip Code and Telephone Numbers.

If you want, you can email this worksheet directly from Excel (if you own a copy) or you can just look at the information shown and delete bad records or information you do not want to send to the service, like the telephone number columns.

If you do make any changes, make sure you save the file again to the same location.

Now, if you are going to e-mail the file to the service, open Outlook or whichever mail client you use and go to the location above to attach the file.

That is all there is to it.

Tip #076 – “Lucky Number” Promotion


Tip #076
Lucky Number Promotion

Do your customers like to gamble?

Implement the “Lucky Number” promotion to generate more sales!

When you implement the “Lucky Number” promotion, every time a sale is made, flowerSoft generates a random number from 00 to 99.
If the random number matches the last 2 number of the invoice, you have a winner.  The amount, which you get to set, is then deducted from the product amount.

The odds of winning is 1 for every 100 invoices generated.  You get to decide if you want outgoing orders included in the promotion, as well as to which customers.

If the promotion amount is greater than the total of the invoice, the promotion amount is reduced to match the invoice total.

People love to gamble.  This might bring more customers into your store.

All loyalty promotions should be heavily advertised so that your customers will become aware of them.

Tip #075 – Customer Loyalty Programs (Cont.)


Tip #075
Customer Loyalty Programs (Cont.)

The other loyalty program flowerSoft offers is based on the total amount of a customer purchases within the past 12 months.

Obviously, this loyalty program works best if you have been using flowerSoft for at least a year but it can be used at any time.

The first thing to do if you are going to use this loyalty program is to set your discount levels.  To do this, go into the Manager’s menu > Marketing > Frequent Buyer Programs

The first thing you should do is use option R – Re-Calculate YTD Purchases.  If using this program, it is important to use this option at least once a month.  Maybe you should make it part of your statement generating process.

Once you select the option, flowerSoft will re-calculate the YTD purchases for all customers  (really the purchases made during the past 12 months) whether or not they are included in the loyalty program.

Once you select to continue, flowerSoft will start the re-calculation…

and then informs you when it has finished.  The time it takes to re-calculate the figures depends on the # of customers you have and also on the # of invoices flowerSoft has to read through as well as the speed of your system.  However, re-calculation should not take more than a minute or two.

After the YTD re-calculation is done, you should go to option L – Edit/View Level Discounts to set the discount percents you want to offer your customers.
Obviously, the bigger the discount percent, the more inclined your customer will be to participate in the program.
It is a good idea to set it at reasonable points so that it would not seem like an unreachable goal.

Once you select this option, flowerSoft will display the discount levels screen.  Press U to update the figures to your liking.

What the screen above is showing is that if during the last 12-month period (remember to re-calculate every month) a customer has made purchases of $150 or less, they will not receive any discount.  Once the purchase surpass the $150 mark, the customer will start receiving a 5% discount on the product amount of every purchase they make, unless you have indicated that outgoing orders are not to be included in the loyalty program.

Please note that on the level discount loyalty program, the amount of ALL order placed by the customer is included in the purchases figure even if outgoing orders are excluded.  This is an important difference to understand between the two loyalty programs.

In the Frequent Buyer loyalty program, where the customer must reach a certain number of orders before receiving the discount, if outgoing orders are excluded, the order will NOT count towards the # of purchases.

In the Discount Levels loyalty program, even if outgoing orders are excluded, the count towards the YTD figure but the discount will not be offered on outgoing orders.  In other words, even if a customer is entitled to a discount based on the amount of his purchases during the previous 12 months, a discount will not be calculated on outgoing orders if you have indicated that outgoing orders are to be excluded from the discount program.

The above example shows the discount this customer would get based on his or her previous 12-month purchasing history.

Since the customer had purchases of $1,393.20 during the past 12 months, he/she is entitled to a 20% discount based on the figures found on the discount levels  screen (see above).  But note that on an outgoing order, the discount is not offered because we had that setting to “N” in the defults menu.

One last thing, the amounts shown as the total purchases for a customer include delivery and relay charges but do not include any sales tax paid.

That is basically how the Discount Levels loyalty program works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Tip #074 – Customer Loyalty Programs


Tip #074
Customer Loyalty Programs

Everyone knows that customer loyalty programs work.  Some work better than others but they all do work to some extent.  Customers will come back and purchase from your shop if you promise them a pot of gold at the end of the road.

flowerSoft allows you to implement 2 different kind of loyalty programs.  One is based on the number of purchases a customer makes and the other is based on the Dollar amount a customer spends throughout the course of 12 months.

The program based on the # of purchases a customer makes, the most popular, works like this:

Once you tell flowerSoft that you are implementing  the loyalty program, which you do through the Operating Defaults menu, flowerSoft will start keeping track of all the purchases customers make.

Please note that you have to tell flowerSoft that you want to implement a discount program by entering a Y in that field.

You must also select the type of program you want to implement, in this case the “Frequent Buyer Discount” program.
You must also indicate how many purchases are required before the credit is issued.  In this example, the # of purchases required is 10.
You have the option to include or exclude outgoing order from the program.  Incoming orders are automatically excluded.

flowerSoft also allows you to credit the customer with a referral.  If you want to credit the customer’s frequent buyer program with any referrals he makes, you must indicate so by entering a Y in the field and also indicating how much each referral is worth towards the customer’s # of purchases before credit.  In other words, if a customer refers another person to your shop and they become a customer of yours, you may choose to credit the customer that referred the new customer with 1/2 of an order or 1/4 of an order or a full order towards his goal of 10 orders.

You also have to tell flowerSoft whether the dis count you are offering is an average of the product amount of previous 10 orders or a set amount.  In the example above, the discount is  defined as a set amount of $10.  This means that on the customer’s 11th purchase, he or she will receive a discount of $10 on the order.

If you had opted to offer a discount equaling the average product amount of the previous 10 orders, flowerSoft would have also calculated that discount for you automatically.  For example. let’s say that the customer’s previous 10 orders had a product amount of $: 30, 35, 40, 25, 50, 30, 45, 25, 30 and 50.  The discount amount on the 11th order would have been $36.

As soon as you start taking an order from a customer that qualifies to receive a discount based on the # of purchases he or she has placed, flowerSoft will display the following screen:

At this point you have the option not to apply the discount to the current order.  As you can see on the screen shot above, this customer has 11 credits available, so at some point the discount was deferred.  Now that we are applying the discount, the customer will still have 1 credit available towards his or her next loyalty discount.

Once you continue with the order, flowerSoft will inform you that it has indeed applied the discount to the order.

So that is basically how the frequent buyer program based on the # of customer purchases works.

Remember that you have the option to apply dis program to all your customers or just a select few.

On the next post, we will explain how the frequent buyer program based on purchasing levels works.levels works.