Doing it your way
One of the unique characteristics of flowerSoft is that within certain boundaries, it basically lets your work they way you want.
It doesn’t try to force you to do things its way, but rather allows you to do things the way you are accustomed to.
Here are a few examples.
By default, flowerSoft takes you through an order in a controlled manner. It firsts asks for the customer’s account # or name, then it moves you to the recipient’s information, enclosure card message, delivery date and time, product sold, delivery and relay charges, method of payment and finally to the print options screen.
Why does flowerSoft use this sequence to complete an order?
- It asks for the account # first to establish whether the customer has ordered from you before and to alert you of things you need to be aware of about the customer.
If it is a new customer, flowerSoft gives you the option to get the new customer information at this point or when you finish taking the order.
- It then takes you to the recipient’s information screen because it figures you would want to know before you get too far into the order, whether you deliver to the recipient’s address or not. This allows you to start every order as a local order and then switch to an outgoing order if necessary.
- Next it takes to the enclosure card because that allows you to determine the occasion and offer intelligent suggestions later on.
- Then we go to the delivery date and time, in case the customer wants delivery on a day you are closed or at a time you cannot guarantee delivery. Again, we do not want to get too far into the order and then have to tell the customer we cannot meet his requests.
- Finally we get to the product sold area. At this point you will know if the customer has an account or not. If the customer has ordered previously from you, his or her likes and dislikes, if it is one of your better customers or one that orders infrequently, if they owe you any money, if you can deliver the order or have to send it to another florist and you know why the customer is placing the order, so if he or she asks for suggestions you can offer them choices.
- We then move to the delivery and relay charge area. At this point flowerSoft knows where the order is going so it can fill the delivery and relay charge fields automatically for you and apply any surcharges, such as fuel or past delivery cut-off time surcharges to the order.
- Now we need to know how the customer is paying for the order, so flowerSoft lets you pick from a multitude of payment methods, knowing whether or not it should allow the ON ACCOUNT method to be selected.
- Finally, flowerSoft moves you to the printing choices, where you can select whether to print the order or not, how many copies, send an email, etc., etc.
So that is the reasoning that was used for the order of events when flowerSoft was first developed. But guess what, some florists did not like that order of events. They much rather preferred the order of events they had been using for the past 10-15 years.
So what did we do, did we tell those florists “Sorry, that is the way it is designed and you just have to get used to it.” or did we change the program to allow different sequence of events?
You guess it, we changed flowerSoft so that our customers did not have to feel uncomfortable with the way they were asking their customers for information.
So maybe you are one of those flowerSoft customers that do not quite like the way flowerSoft takes you through an order, but you do not know how to change the sequence of events.
Here is how.
From the Manager’s menu, select the “System Information” option and from there select the “Defaults Menu” option. From the Defaults menu select the Operating Defaults option.
This menu option allows you to change many of the settings that control how flowerSoft works. I know many of you have never delved into these settings or if you have, perhaps are intimidated by the large number of settings that can be changed. Although you should use caution and be careful when changing any of these setting, it does not mean that if you make a mistake you cannot change it back to the way it was. So do not be intimidated by them.
Some florists who have had their staff train in the art of order taking from renowned instructor Tim Huckabee, know that Tim recommends a certain order of events to take place and flowerSoft, for the most part, adheres to those recommendations. However, from time to time Tim may change some of his recommendations and they may not necessarily conform to flowerSoft’s default order of events or you may not like the way the orders flows and want to make a change.
Here are some examples of the things that can be changed in the Defaults file that will alter the way flowerSoft normally approaches the way in which an order should be entered:
You can change when flowerSoft asks for a customer’s email address if none is on file, from the beginning of the order to the end of the order.
You can tell flowerSoft not to ask for the clerks initials before going into an order or if when selling to a new customer get the billing information at the end of the order.
You can tell flowerSoft to ask the customer for the occasion before asking for anything else.
You can tell flowerSoft to get the product information before getting the recipient’s information.
You can tell flowerSoft to skip over the Delivery Charge field on outgoing orders.
You can ask flowerSoft to stay on the print menu until you hit X to exit.
You can tell flowerSoft to disable all warning pop ups (not recommended) or just some of them.
Warning pop ups provide important information about a customer’s account. For example if the account is suspended or has past due balances, if there ar no credit cards on file, etc., etc.
You can tell flowerSoft to disable all informational pop ups if you want to increase the speed in which to take an order.
Informational pop ups provide non-critical information about a customer’s account, like how many orders they have placed with you, the average amount of an order, if they have any upcoming occasions, etc.
So, if you feel adventurous, go into the Defaults menu and look at some of the setting. Maybe you will find one that you’d like to change to make flowerSoft work more like the way you like to work.