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Exotic Flowers in Boston

Night Train Veeck: A Day-Late Flower Delivery Is Like a Day-Late Pizza Delivery

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Oct 03, 2013

Night Train Veeck -

 I ordered flowers yesterday for same day delivery (in the Chicago area) at just after 1 pm. Moment was lost, they didn't get there, she still hasn't received them, and I have received practically automated responses from their end haha. I'm disappointed, but still optimistic they will make it right. Anyway, this is the email I sent.chicago flowers resized 600

Hello Jocelyn,
I appreciate the email -- I have been in contact on the phone and emailing with several different people now, and I still haven't gotten any sort of confirmation or status. You say it was attempted, though, the recipient was at work all day yesterday until six pm, and she mentioned she never received. Maybe it was attempted shortly after then, but wouldn't that still be late by your standards?
I had someone named April call me yesterday that left a message, and I called back only to get another person that told me to call back in the morning. I called this morning (very early, around eight, so I didn't expect the florist to be open, which I totally understand) and she mentioned she made a note to follow up ASAP when they opened. 

As of now, I haven't heard anything back from any party, and am really starting to wonder if she will ever get these flowers. I tracked on your website, and there is no confirmation. When same day, and freshness is touted as much as it is on your website, and neither quite happen, it is a little disappointing, I must admit. 
I do appreciate, though,  that you guys have been in contact with me, and I actually have one phone call that was missed from a "No ID" number. Who knows whether that was someone on your end getting in touch or another person, but there was no voice mail, so I really have no way to tell who it was. 
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It's similar to ordering a pizza. Ordering a pizza that you don't get until the next day still will be pretty good when reheated because, hey, it's pizza! And Pizza is great. Who doesn't enjoy a good pizza? But when you ordered that pizza (with enough time and within all of the parameters!), and you get it late (a whole day!), and have to see that it is reheated, you sort of miss that pizza moment, and the enchantment is lessened, and all that wonder, beauty, excitement and happiness that you get from seeing, smelling and biting into your first bite of said delicious pizza is just not the same. 
As you can see, I really enjoy pizza, so my apologies for the lengthy email and analogy (especially if you don't eat pizza!, yikes!), but I just want to make sure that much like beautiful pizza, that this very special woman, and even though the moment is lost, gets her beautiful flowers.
Is there any chance that you can help?
Thanks again for everything, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Night Train Veeck
Night Train Veeck is a great guy and you can follow him on Twitter at VeeckAsInWreck. Some of you may recognize his name. Night Train is the son of Minor League Baseball legend and "Fun Is Good" author Mike Veeck. He is also the grandson of marketing genius, Baseball Hall of Famer and one of my heroes Bill Veeck. As you can see, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
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At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we love pizza too and will make sure your flowers are never like a late pizza delivery.

Tags: Bill Veeck, Pizza, Flower Deliveries, Customer Service

What Can Buying a Baseball Card Teach a Florist About Customer Service ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jul 19, 2013

Recently, I was on Cape Cod for July 4th with my family. While walking on Main Street, I happened upon an old fashioned baseball card shop. Unfortunately, baseball card shops are a dying breed. When I was a kid, I collected cards in the thousands and still have them. I forced myself to go into the shop, look around and even buy something.

I really wanted to show my support and even relive a bit of my childhood at the same time. Unfortunately, the windows were dirty (#fail), the lights dim (#fail) and a counter guy who seemed a bit more interested in his computer (#fail) than engaging the many clients entering the door to browse.

I was aware of some newly released items that unfortunately the shop did not have. That was okay. You cannot carry everything. But while I was there clients seemed interested and wanted to buy, but some things were out of reach, not priced and the salesman remained glued to his computer. (#fail)

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Finally in hopes of recapturing a little American spirit, I grabbed a 1968 Topps Willie Horton baseball card for $1. I know, this shop will not close early with this sale. But every sale counts and who knows a $1 dollar sale that day could turn into a $5000 Mickey Mantle card sale down the road.

Well as I  handed my purchase and my $1 bill to the salesman, still at his computer (#fail). He asked me to go to the register (#fail). Go where the customer goes. He rang my sale = $1.06 (I forgot tax but it is only 6 cents). He offered a bag (must cost at least 3-4 cents) I deferred. He then really should waived the six cents but did not. (#fail)

I won't be back. Not really angry about the six cents, just the indifference of the staff. After all, who in Boston buys a Willie Horton card ? What a great conversation starter.

Also heard that the store is up for sale and closing. Owning a small business is hard work. People really want to go stores, it is up to the retailer to astonish and delight its customers.


Tags: Baseball, Customer Relationships, July 4th, Customer Service

What Can Red Sox Larry Lucchino Teach a Florist in Boston ?

Posted by Rick Canale on Tue, Mar 26, 2013

Larry Lucchino Cares About Red Sox Fans One at a Time

a few months ago my 8 year old son came home and said I should be a Yankees fans. He is a huge fan of Fenway Park, but the Red Sox recent woes had made him look elsewhere. He argued that the Yankees had Babe Ruth, the greatest of all time.
Being a lifelong Red Sox fan, I was stumped. I wrote a letter to Sox chief Larry Lucchino asking for advice.
Here is the letter he wrote back.
"Dear Rick,
I received your 'urgent' note and wanted to lend a few ideas to ensure that your son remains a member of Red Sox Nation. You mentioned that your son's love of Fenway Park, and that's a good place to start as any. Yankee Stadium is a fine venue, to be sure, but nothing can match a Red Sox game at America's Most Beloved Ballpark with its 100 years of tradition (and counting).
Second, your son should consider the personalities of Red Sox past and present. From all-time greats like Ted Williams and Yaz to modern heroes like Big Papi and Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox have a lineage of ballplayers unlike any in our game's history. And while it's true the Yankees 'had' Babe Ruth, we did win three championships of our own with the Bambino and had the good sense to use him as both a pitcher and a  hitter.
Finally, I hope your son continues to see the payoff in rooting for our club instead of the Yankees. Supporting the Yankees is like rooting for the Roman Empire (or even the 'Evil Empire' - as I once said about our rivals to the south). Encourage your son to pick the good side as he considers his baseball loyalties. We look forward to calling your son one of our most loyal fans. "
                                                Larry Lucchino
P.S. Enclosed is a Red Sox hat for your son - used as bribery to sway your son away from the Yankees.
as a florist in Boston, who has done lots of business with the Red Sox, I have a new found respect for Larry Lucchino and see why those argue for his plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Tags: Baseball, Customer Relationships, Rick Canale, Red Sox, Customer Service

Exotic Flowers in Boston - Top Books for Summer

Posted by Rick Canale on Thu, Jun 21, 2012

Candy Roses of Cape CareThe Candy Roses of Cape Care is the third installment in The Beantown Tales: Green Series where a group of six cousins rally together to save a magical beach's candy sprouting roses from extinction. Growing every sweet treat imaginable from lollipops to gummy bears, the team must work fast to clean up their sandy shores before pollution threatens to halt the production of an enchanted potion produced by the sea. Keeping in theme with the prequels, The Land of Chocolate Cosmos (winner of the 2011 Green Difference Book by the Massachusetts Green Schools Org and 2011 Honorable Mention by the New England Book Festival) and The Popcorn Hydrangea of Poppingtom, Suzie Canale, the author educates while empowering readers to make key changes within their communities. This book tantalizes tummies with yummy imagery nestled in fantastical worlds. Suzie is also an Exotic Flowers' blogger and our poet in residence.

calico joe resized 600A surprising and moving novel of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, set in the world of Major League Baseball… A quick read, kind of like a good short story; vintage Grisham. Cannot wait for the movie.

Winning the Customer On vacation but feel like you should be building your business ? Marketing guru, Lou Imbriano sets forth an ideal blue print for growing your business. Many of Lou's ideas are cost effective and easy to implement right away. 

The Art of FieldingNo mystery why this novel remains a best seller. Now in paperback, you have no excuse but to pick up a copy. This is one of the best books I have read in years. If you enjoy baseball and have always wanted to find a great novel, you cannot miss with this book.

micah resized 600Micah Solomon's latest book really hits the mark. He lays a great foundation of customer service applications in the first seven chapters. With real world companies used as models, Micah provides a foundation that businesses of all sizes can implement.
Great takeaways include the importance of a company culture and showing how it really defines your business. Micah's book addresses an important need of creating on line loyalty. This question is asked by brick and mortar stores every day. Micah really understands the importance of quick response, anticipating a client's needs and the need for standards.
From his principles of on line self service to his theme of 'let customers hear from you before they have to ask for anything themselves.' This book will remain on my shelf as a reference/ customer service text book for years to come.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a web presence of any type, no matter how big or small.

Tags: Suzie Hearl Canale, Marketing, Childrens Book, Customer Service, Lou Imbriano

Customer Service for Florists is About Doing What is Right

Posted by Rick Canale on Wed, May 16, 2012

boston graduation flowers resized 600 Having been a Boston florist for more than seventy five years, Exotic Flowers has seen our share of mistakes and mishaps. We have made some errors along the way and have witnessed some of the best ecuadorian roses wilt without explanation. As a top florist in Boston, we have a responsibility to our clients. If things go wrong, we make them right. When people buy flowers, they are often sending their emotions.

graduation flowers in boston resized 600 At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we send thousands of our orders around the world. We have a great list of florists who we send flowers to for our clients. These florists practice the same customer service skills as Exotic Flowers and send similar outstanding flowers arrangements as well. These florists like Exotic Flowers are in high demand and sell out fast. Sometimes like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day we use other flower shops to get your last minute orders out. Sometimes these shops mess up.

For example, we recently used a flower shop in Lithonia, Georgia. We were assured by the owner Victoria that our delivery was in good hands. Guess what ? Victoria messed up and lost the order and the delivery did not get made. Everyone makes mistakes, but owning up to them is key to making things right. Victoria was truly sorry, but had no clue how to make things right. Victoria should have offered a new arrangement at no charge. Alas she did not. At Exotic Flowers, we stepped up; refunded the customer, paid for the price of replacement and sent the sender a box of Godiva of chocolates. It was not in the name of saving the customer, but in the name of doing the right thing.

The sender even kindly sent this note us: "Thank you for your courtesy. My mother was really pleased to receive her flowers. They are beautiful. 

You are very much appreciated. And you have our continued support. 



Sometimes our staff may be rushed and under stress and may be referred to as The Surly Florists in Boston. Everything we do at Exotic Flowers is about doing what is right. We are a member of the community. 

Tags: Customer Relationships, Teleflora, Worldwide Flowers, Surly Florist, Customer Service

Exotic Flowers Top 5 Business Books for Summer 2011

Posted by Rick Canale on Fri, Jul 22, 2011

5. Toots ShorToots by Bob Considine

No longer in print, this book about the famous saloon keeper Toots Shor -  is a nice read for all restauranteuers and small businessmen. 'Toots' not only teaches how to build solid business relationships, but also how to make money while doing it. His concept of spending quality time with his customers is practiced every day at Exotic Flowers in Boston.

4. veeck marketing resized 600Marketing Your Dreams by Pat Williams, Michael Weinreb

Williams insists that 'Marketing Your Dreams isn't a Bill Veeck biography; instead, it's a book about success, a book about one of the most relentless and fascinating personalities in the history of organized sports. It's a book about extracting Veeck's traits and concentrating them into their purest form so that the reader can pull the same kind of inspiration from the master that Williams did.'

The reader will find many of Pat and Bill's marketing ideas implemented at Exotic Flowers in Boston. Bill Veeck has always been one of my idols.



Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization

by Leonardo Inghilleri,Micah Solomon,Horst Schulze
the chapter on Building Customer Loyalty Online and the Appendixes are worth the price of the book alone.
Just wish more companies practiced these policies.
At Exotic Flowers in Boston, we are making a concerted effort to implement many of these policies.
Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History

by David Meerman Scott,Brian Halligan
This book is great for the beach or the lake. A quick read with original insight. You can finish in a day or two.
Halligan and Meerman Scott have offered the staff at Exotic Flowers lots of fresh ideas for social media and marketing in Boston.
Veeck--As In Wreck: The Autobiography of Bill Veeck
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by Bill Veeck,Ed Linn
I am now reading this book for the third time. Not only inspiring, but enjoyable. This book is a must have for baseball fans, marketing fans and all small business owners. Bill inspires and teaches.

Tags: Bill Veeck, Marketing, Customer Service

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