1-800-Flowers Boss Determined to Avoid Breaking Customers' Hearts This Valentine's Day 'Things do go wrong. It's how the company responds to those challenges that really makes a difference.'

By Lindsay Friedman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Though 1-800-Flowers.com may have wilted under pressure last Valentine's Day, company President Chris McCann says it won't be a perennial problem.

In the business for 40 years, McCann understands why some customers were a little less than impressed with their orders last year. The issue went viral after complaints and photos were posted online (some flowers were wilted and other packages weren't what customers ordered, if delivered at all).

Related: 2016 Top Franchises from Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 List

McCann says the hyperbole of social-media platforms made the problem seem much more prominent than it actually was, claiming it was only a small percentage of the 25 million gifts a year across all brands.

"It's important to keep in mind that we deal with a perishable product, weather challenges and other delivery changes throughout the year," McCann says. "Things do go wrong. It's how the company responds to those challenges that really makes a difference."

For example, because the majority of its orders are made online, 1-800-Flowers.com is one of the few floral businesses offering customer assistance through social media with an average response time of five minutes, according to McCann.

"As a company we've grown over the years and continue to grow by focusing on the most important product: the customer experience," McCann says. "We look at that and what [customers] are trusting us to do and how we can help deliver that smile."

The key is to understand consumer behavior and start planning two years in advance. Using consumer data to his advantage, McCann determined requests were higher when Valentine's was on a weekday (because people order products while at work), though the Christmas holiday season is actually the busiest time of year.

As demands increase overall, the company's begun to encourage its franchisees to use other services such as Uber or Lyft to help with deliveries if needed. McCann says he has empowered them to do anything to reach goals, create quality products and provide quality service.

Not suprisingly, the most common item for 1-800-Flowers.com this time of year is roses. But the company also plans a wide range of products for its flower and edible arrangements. Affiliated stores are in on the action too, preparing staff, supplies and offering their own unique creations on a more local platform.

"It's all about stepping back," McCann says, "and looking at the the full customer experience and everything that goes into that."

Correction: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated sales showed an increase last year for the company and 25 million orders were filled. The story has since been updated.

Related: Customers Still Furious Over 1-800-Flowers' Valentine's Day Flop


Long Stem Roses

Roses and romance go hand and hand, especially on Valentine's Day. Make a statement with 100 longstem roses in a vase, ready to go.


A Vibrant Arrangement

It's never a bad thing to go with a colorfully warm option for your beautiful beau.


Hot Pink Roses

Not yet a red hot romance? Go with a less intense option, like the Hot Pink arrangement by Isaac Mizrahi.


Red Roses and Lilies

Looking for a more 'friendly' floral arrangement? The Marquis by Waterford arrangement might be a safe choice.


Lovely Lilies

Make a lasting impression with a collection of Lovely in Lenox pink roses and lilies this Valentine's Day.

Lindsay Friedman

Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends.

Lindsay Friedman is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Science & Technology

These Are the Top 6 AI Threats to Your Business Right Now

The modern workforce is forever changed by artificial intelligence. If you fail to understand that we will all need to learn AI to some degree, you haven't been paying attention.

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

I Tested the 'Invest As You Shop' App to See If It Really Makes Investing Less Intimidating

Grifin is an app that tailors a user's investments to their spending habits. Now, the app is getting even more personal.


As a Black Woman CEO, I Built a Remote Company Not Just to Save Money — But to Mirror My Commitment to Diversity. Here's How.

To fuel innovation and global success, you absolutely need diverse perspectives — and having team members all across the world with varying thought processes, life experiences and viewpoints is the key.

Business News

'This Can't Be True': Google Responds to Viral Hoax Claiming the Company Is Shutting Down Gmail

The fake news release started making its way around X on Thursday.