How Bloom and Wild cope with the flower industry's busiest days of the year

Online flower delivery company Bloom and Wild is focused on giving its customers the best possible experience: be that via a prettified website, a self-proclaimed easy-to-use app, the quality of the bouquets it ships to customers or the efforts of its Customer Delight team.

The company has been around for six years and although Lead Customer Delight Manager Isobel Mills describes a lingering “startup vibe”, its recent growth has prompted an evolution in business strategy. The business now offers its services in a number of different countries across Europe, however its customer service operations are all run from the UK office.

For florists and other companies that trade in the business of affection, the boom times are tied to very specific days of the year. In the flower industry, there are two annual spikes: Mother's Day and Valentine's Day.

For Bloom and Wild, whether it’s Mother’s Day in the UK, France or Germany, its regular regional customer service teams struggle to keep up with the high number of requests. For Mother's Day in the UK this year, Bloom and Wild brought in an extra 140 staff members to help support its 25 full time Customer Delight employees.

"We have three major peaks over the year. Christmas is really busy for us and then Valentine's Day, which is even busier than Christmas, and Mother's Day, which is even busier than the other two put together," says Mills. "It was important for us to have a system we could flex up and down at short notice."

When the company was launched back in 2013, everything was done via email. However, about a year after the company’s founding, the decision was made to move away from G-Suite towards a platform better suited to supporting customer needs. Mills doesn’t known why Zendesk was selected as this platform but she does know that no one has proposed switching since.

Zendesk’s product suite helps organisations improve customer relations by folding in all the tools needed to provide consumers with the necessary help and support. Its ‘Support’ platform is used by companies to track, prioritise, and solve customer support tickets and put all customer information in one place, meaning everything is in a single location.

Mills says the platform is customisable, which has proven useful for the online florist’s Customer Delight team. “It comes with lots of apps, but also loads of our developers have made apps to go into the platform as well.

“It can basically do anything and honestly, I’ve found that the biggest blocker is usually me. If you know what you’re looking for, 99 percent of the time Zendesk will have it.”

For Bloom and Wild, one of Zendesk’s most vital capabilities is the ease with which it allows the company to create well over 100 temporary accounts for the Customer Delight support staff they bring in during the company’s busiest periods. Mills also says the platform is easy to use, with new employees only needing minimal training before they can start working.

“[The platform] is super smart and actually, it’s difficult for things to go wrong. When [the agency staff] leave, we can just take them out of the system and have it back to how it was during the rest of the year.”

Zendesk has also helped to enable business growth for the online florist through its support for the company’s foreign language teams.

“For example, over French Mother's Day, it gets super busy for the French team” Mills explains, “And [Zendesk] were able to make a macro to improve our efficiency. We always ask customers to give us their phone number to improve the chance of delivery. We ask them again after they've ordered, in case they didn't put it in.

“So, during these busy periods we’d have hundreds of people literally just replying with a phone number. Zendesk then just wrote out really nice macro in French, which enables us to flag the ticket as being from a French customer and then route it specifically through to an agent to follow up on. That helped to save so much time for the French team.”

Mills believes that if the different country’s teams were using different systems, Bloom and Wild wouldn’t be able to offer the same levels of customer service as they do now.

“Having it all in one place is really useful and we've now got a really unified approach to customer delight with the platform allowing our French or German agents, for example, to work on UK tickets when it's quiet, or vice versa.”


Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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