In this blog article we are going to look at what causes balloons to pop, (and which reasons are likely to be the customers fault or not). How you can reduce the incidence of this in your business. The possible scenarios for dealing with customers who are unhappy their balloon has burst and a link to a handy video by the team at Balloon Market for transferring helium from a burst balloon (so saving you money in your business!)
Most of us know the feeling of seeing the message in your inbox or taking the call from a customer to say their balloon has popped. Whilst we all know that balloons are fragile and do deflate for various reasons, It’s the call or message most business owners dread. A popped balloon spells, not only disappointment for the customer, but additional stress for balloon business owners everywhere. There is no doubt it leaves a bad taste for all involved! So what is the best way to deal with customers, after all the odd balloon popping is going to happen fairly regularly so you need to be clear and ready to deal with it when it does!
First off let’s consider Why Balloons Pop!
By their very nature balloons are fairly fragile and there are a whole host of reasons why they might fail to live up to the expectations of the product. So let’s consider here what can cause them to deflate!
Reasons that are NOT the customers fault
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Reasons that ARE the customers fault
Reducing the likelihood of popped balloons in your business
So having identified the reasons why balloons can pop what can be done to reduce the likelihood of balloons popping and the number of complaints in your business?
How to deal with the customer when they have a popped balloon.
There are two schools of thought about how best to manage customers who come back with popped balloons. Each has valid arguments so you need to weigh up the options and choose whichever one best suits your business and the way you want to do business.
Option One – No Refunds or Replacements
The first school of thought is It’s not my problem – once they have left my premises any popped balloons will not be replaced or refunded.
After all balloons are fragile and customers can be clumsy. You have no idea how the balloons have been stored or handled so therefore you cannot be responsible for anything that happens there after. Such businesses need to be very responsible using good quality products and inflating them well in advance to rule out faulty balloons as much as possible and providing excellent advice, really educating their customers as to how they should be transported and looked after to get the best from them.
You need to weigh up the risk of future lost business and possible bad reviews of social media, compared to the cost and inconvenience of replacing popped balloons.
Option 2 – Establish fault for the popped balloon and replace/refund if reasonable.
The second common way of dealing with popped balloons is to try and establish where the fault lies.
Is it the responsibility of the customer, because they haven’t transported or handled it correctly, or whether it is indeed down to a faulty balloon or something you have done which hasn’t resulted in as good a product as you would’ve liked. As with the first scenario it is important to use good quality products and to inflate the balloons well in advance of collection or delivery to ensure that faulty balloons can be ruled out ahead of the customer receiving them. In this scenario it is essential to get the customer to send you a photo initially, but also ask them to return the balloon to you so you can inspect it properly. You can explain to them that you will replace if you believe the balloon is faulty but if there are obvious puncture marks or it has deflated due to manhandling etc then you will not be able to replace it. In my business I tell them that I will attempt to re-inflate the balloon as this easily shows exactly what the problem is and if its been burst due to a puncture, manhandling etc it will not re-inflate. At this point customers often become honest if they know they have caused the problem.
If you decide to manage customers returning with popped balloons in this way it is essential that you reduce the likelihood of this happening to reduce the financial impact on your business.
Create a Returns and Refunds Policy for popped balloons.
Ultimately how you choose to deal with the issue of dissatisfied customers with popped balloons in your business has to be your own decision. Way up the pros and cons above and decide what works best for you and your business. Without a doubt though, if you can reduce the incidence of popped balloons, you will not only have happy customers, but it reduces the stress and workload place upon you at short notice when things go wrong.
However, you decide to move forward with this it is important that you make a decision as to how you will deal with EVERY customer. Write a returns and refunds policy and make sure that you apply this to every situation that occurs in the business. If you employ staff make sure they are familiar with the policy and make sure that customers are aware of the policy when they make their booking.
I would love to know what you decide to do in your business or maybe you already have a procedure in place which is working well comment below! I would love to know !
🎈Until next time… Stay amazing 🎈