Josh at In the Country Garden & Gifts made a comment on my post about Plant Guarantees. He said "I, too, think guaranteeing a living item is absurd. One of our local nurseries offers a 1 year guarantee on trees and shrubs or a 20% discount without a guarantee. What is your response when a customer (usually a first time customer, in my experience) asks if your guarantee your plants?" We get asked about plant guarantees by approx. 5% of our customers. There may be others that assume we have some sort of policy but only a small percentage ask. I realize that what they are asking is really, "If I screw up and kill this plant will you give me a new one?" Of course we will, and in addition we will try and figure out why it died and come to a plan of action to prevent any future loss.
I came across this suggestion at Duct Tape Marketing. They mention a One Conditional Guarantee, which is basically what we have been doing all along. Tell the customer "that the only condition the buyer must meet in order to receive a full refund is that they suggest to you ways that you could make the product or service better or more in line with what they wanted or expected." I like it!
We are in a business that attracts people that are generally in a good mood. We don't have the problem that other retail business might have with consumers returns. Most of our customers are like m. sinclair stevens ,who commented at the same post "If any of the nurseries I shop at have a plant guarantee, I am unaware of it. I have lost many plants over the years but it never once popped into my mind that I might be able to take them back and ask for a refund. Even if I now learned that it was a perfectly acceptable practice, I would not do so. I think the idea is appalling. I know I killed the things. Why should I expect someone else to pay. Have we Americans really come to that?" Yes, it has come to that, just check out the return line at The Home Depot on the weekends.
We get taken up on plant guarantees so little that when it does happen it seems like a bigger issue than it is. Just like irate consumers, we see so little of that as compared to so many retail establishments that when it does happen its blown out of proportion to the total number of satisfied consumers. We are invested in your success, as if you fail we may not see you again. So lets figure out how the plant died without pointing fingers, and see if we can be more successful with a replacement. "The One Conditional Guarantee". What do you think?
The picture above was from our weekend "Make a Living Wreath" workshop. The wreaths are made out of succulents and can be placed flat or hung. It was very popular and we'll do it again!