Rachel Matthews, Greenfingers Florist

My parents set up Greenfingers in October 1987. I helped out and worked with them on Saturdays from 10 years of age, so I definitely started young!! After 3 years at college aged 19, I started to work full time alongside my Mum. She then changed career I have run Greenfingers ever since.

We have a large town centre retail shop in Worthing and we specialise in weddings. The retail part of the business is also busy, especially this past year as weddings and events have stopped. People are really loving houseplants and we sell a lot of them, as well as mixed bouquets and arrangements. I’m also an Interflora member, and employ two part-time drivers, one part-time florist and two full time florists.

 

There were a couple of reasons that pushed me towards looking for a management system to help me run Greenfingers. When my Dad made the decision to retire from helping me at peaks, I knew I needed to get something in place as he used to map reference all our orders and route plan them all so I could just make-up with the florists.

Over the years, customers had been asking for receipts more and more regularly when ordering over the phone, and having to scan our messy hand written copies over and email them was a bit embarrassing and time consuming. And so, I enquired about Strelitzia, had a demo and decided to go for it.

I also spoke to two different shops who have the system and took great comfort in them saying how much time it saved them. I would say it does take some getting used to and staff training but once you have the hang of it, it certainly makes life easier and there’s no going back!

Strelitzia has made big differences to how we do things. The emailing receipt process is a great way to assure the customer we have all the correct details for their order and gives them peace of mind and a copy for their records.

When a customer phones, especially during a peak, and asks when will their order will be delivered, I don’t have piles of paperwork to look through. I can simply look on Strelitzia and let them know which van it’s scheduled on a rough time. This massively saves time and gives the impression of a professional business with professional practices.

My favourite feature of Strelitzia is the way it links my website orders, Interflora orders and phone/shop orders all in one place. Another huge advantage of using Strelitzia is being able to get delivery sheets ready days in advance and have them printed out with all the delivery instructions and add-on items clearly stated to make it easier for the driver. This eliminates the risk of missing a box of chocolates or important delivery instructions, especially when recipients might be self-isolating or not able to come to the door immediately.

The last thing I’d like to add is the whole team at Strelitzia are so helpful. They were so patient with all my questions during set up and training, and I’d like to thank them very much for that. It made the whole process easier and it gives my staff confidence that they can ring Strelitzia if they need help with the system and I’m not there.

The last year certainly has been challenging but it is nice to know we have been able to bring comfort to people with sympathy flower deliveries and funeral tributes and help with celebrations too. We certainly miss interaction with customers in the shop but I am pleased we are able to still get a lot of business via the website and phone.

It will certainly be strange to get back to weddings after so long too!

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Rachel Matthews, Greenfingers Florist