More Than Just Flowers

More Than Just FlowersWhen competition comes down to customer service

My mom always had a love for flowers. Her mom, my grandma, was a very active member of the Garden Club of Rockford, Illinois, and she had a beautiful garden in her backyard. Growing up, our yard in Rockford was lined with a garden all around it. Indeed, flowers were always an important part of Mom’s life.

When my mom passed away last Valentine’s Day, I wanted to make sure that there were plenty of flowers at her funeral. I strongly urged my family to use a certain florist in Rockford, but my sister-in-law, Sylvia, urged me to consider using Debbie Quillen at Event Floral in Rockford.

My sister, my wife and I went to visit Debbie at her showroom/workplace on a Monday afternoon. Debbie’s not in a “normal” location for a florist. Event Floral is in a warehouse area on the outskirts of town. As Annie and I walked through the doors, we were a bit apprehensive. We were in for a pleasant surprise.

Debbie made us feel welcome from the very start. I asked her about her location and the name of her business. Debbie explained that most of her business comes from local businesses that need flowers for their events. That explained why she named her company “Event Floral.” Lucky for us, Debbie is expanding her business to do other things.

Debbie listened very carefully as we explained what we wanted for Mom’s funeral. She took us back to her workroom, where several team members were assembling flowers for various events around town. She showed us some of the flowers she was using and promised that she would personally pick out the flowers to use for Mom’s funeral. She also invited us to come back on Friday, the day before Mom’s funeral, to look at the arrangements and make any changes that we wanted.

Debbie was very gracious when we told her that we were going to visit the “famous” florist before we made our final decision. She did not knock her competition and said that we would be happy with them if that’s the way we decided to go.

Annie and I set off for the  “famous” florist and listened to the sales pitch from their representative. When this salesperson went to get a sample of a flower, I whispered to Annie, “Let’s get out of here. I want to use Debbie!” And off we went.

The difference between Debbie and her well-known competitor was night and day. Debbie was full of life, anxious to help us get what we wanted. The other salesperson showed us what they had and expected us to pick from that. Debbie was open to anything we requested, and was lots of fun to work with.

The Shazzam! Challenge! At the “famous” florist in town, we felt like they were doing us a favor if we did business with them. Debbie made us feel special from the start. How does your team make your customers feel?

Sylvia and my wife, Lynn, joined Annie and me at Debbie’s on Friday, and we were blown away by what she had put together. To top things off, Debbie personally delivered the flowers on Saturday morning and brought extra flowers to “freshen up” the arrangements that she and her team had made. The results of all the arrangements were beyond our wildest dreams. She delivered a major Floral Shazzam!

This was a year ago, and I’ve used Debbie on several other occasions. She has always gone above and beyond—with her floral arrangements—and her amazing attitude. She understands what “Shazzam!” is all about.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Mark Mayberry Meet the Author
Mark Mayberry is a customer service expert. He works with a wide variety of organizations around the world, helping them deliver “Service with Shazzam” to their customers. He is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and at