1-800-Flowers Botches V-Day Deliveries, Shines in Twitter Customer Service

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While flower retailer 1-800-Flowers failed to deliver many Valentine’s Day arrangements on time, it has received accolades for its customer service interactions via Twitter.

Forbes reported that online customer service rating agency Stella Service said 1-800-Flowers had “the most standout performance” of any major online florist when it came to responding to Valentine’s Day complaints on Twitter, with a response time of just one minute, and follow-up within an hour.

According to Forbes:

“We’ve found that customer service has moved social,” Chris McCann, the president of 1-800-Flowers, told Stella Service. “It’s great, it’s out there and transparent. Everyone sees all the negatives, but that’s OK. We find it’s much more personalized and productive than the other channels.”

But a quick response via Twitter doesn’t always lead to a happy customer. CNNMoney recounted the experience of Vy Nguyen of South Carolina, who tried unsuccessfully to reach 1-800-Flowers via phone or email before finally receiving a response from the company on Twitter. CNNMoney added:

She was given a different phone number to call and eventually a customer representative revealed her order had been canceled and a refund was on the way. For the trouble, Nguyen said the representative offered a free “apology arrangement” — then withdrew that offer. Now, Nguyen is waiting for her original order to be refunded … plus a voucher for $20 off a future order. She said she doesn’t plan to use the voucher because she’s taking her business elsewhere.

And while 1-800-Flowers may have been quick to respond via Twitter, CNNMoney also detailed a story of one floral customer waiting at least three hours on the phone for a customer service representative. The New York Daily News said another customer waited on hold for two hours and 32 minutes.

CNNMoney said 1-800-Flowers sent 1,000 individual apologies to customers on Twitter alone.

The lesson learned? If you want a quick response to your customer service issue, you may want to put down that phone, and make your complaints public on the Twitterverse.

Was your Valentine’s Day delivery botched? Share your story in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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