Store Tours Build Loyalty, Excitement for NYC Florist

It’s easy to take for granted the beauty and interest of a flower shop’s operations when you experience it every day.

For outsiders, your design room and cooler can seem pretty magical.

About a month ago, Nic Faitos started hosting private tours of Starbright Floral Design, a tactic he says is a great way to impress and engage potential customers.

“It gets people excited about our surroundings, what we do, and how we do it,” Faitos said.

For his first tour, Faitos entertained a handful of Australians in New York City for IMEX, a trade show for travel agents and tour operators.

“My client owns a tour company and was putting on a three-day tour to show off what he can get do,” Faitos. “Basically, it was a look at the New York City most people never see.”

Among the group’s stops: an exclusive restaurant, private areas of Carnegie Hall, a vault at the New York Stock Exchange, and Starbright Floral Design.

Faitos walked visitors around the shop, giving them a quick rundown of how it functions. Then he paired each of them up with one of his designers to make an arrangement. Instead of taking their creations back to their hotel, the Australians opted to donate them to a charity. Faitos recommended the Ronald McDonald House, an organization near and dear to his heart.

“They wrote nice notes to accompany the flowers,” he said. “It was an all-around wonderful experience that made so many people happy.”

Additionally, it was a great PR opportunity.

“The tour will build loyalty on two levels,” he said. “First, these people are going to go back to Australia with a newfound appreciation for flowers. I might not see them again, but the floral industry will benefit from their new enthusiasm.”

“Second, my client is grateful that I provided this level of service for his clients,” Faitos said. “He’s not going to shop around and will probably give me even more referrals.”

A few weeks later, Faitos repeated the experience with about 40 Yelp All-Stars.

“It was a ton of fun,” he said. “The event was scheduled from 5 to 8, but a lot of people hung around until 9 just getting to know us.”

Tours, Faitos said, help his staff mingle with prospective customers in casual atmosphere.

“We made a lot of new friends, friends who are very passionate about local businesses and sharing their opinions,” he said. “I suspect we’ll be doing a lot more of these in the future.”