I’m writing this from my stepdaughter Carol’s house, which is filled with potted bulbs. Carol bought them, unpotted, at a church fundraiser. While she’s thrilled to have them, she’s exasperated at the bulb company’s total lack of follow-through.
You see, her order consisted of bulbs, nothing more. No identification. No potting instructions. No way to contact the company. And since she’s not a gardener, she was lost.
She found some generic information online and figured out how to pot them, but was understandably annoyed at having to take the time to do so.
I told her which of her bulbs were paperwhites, which were hyacinths, and which were daffodils. But if she’d like more of anything, she has no idea exactly what variety she has.
She expressed an interest in looking at the company’s web site or catalog, but you guessed it: there’s no way to know who the company is, short of tracking down the fundraising chairperson.
Good instructions, good identification, company contact information and good bounceback materials are so basic that I almost feel silly writing this post. Yet I know Carol’s experience is all too common.
How about your outgoing packages? Would a non-gardener know exactly what to do?
If you’re one of the many bulb or seed companies that sells products for fundraisers, keep in mind that the end user isn’t the fundraising chairperson. With each fundraising sale, you have the opportunity to gain multiple new customers — or annoy multiple prospective ones. A little thought to your packaging can make all the difference.