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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Jackson, MO
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    Default Favorite Explanation

    Okay, a customer comes up to you with a half-jar of honey that's granulated. They shake it in your face and say, "You're honey went bad. It turned to sugar! This is not raw honey."

    Outside of shooting them on the spot and burying the body behind the outhouse, what's your favorite, perhaps most effective explanation to placate their sense of outrage?

    I'm running out of room behind the outhouse.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Of course it did, you can't shake raw honey like that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    "I'm sorry you have been inconvenienced. How may I help?"

    Or, "Crystalization happens to [almost] all honey, sooner or later. Having never been heated, raw honey may crystalize sooner than honey which has been heated and strained. If you will carefully heat this jar of honey you can return it to its liquid state."

    Or, "If you would like to exchange the jar you have for this one which has not yet crystalized, I would be glad to do that for you."
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 11-19-2012 at 01:11 PM. Reason: edited for greater accuracy
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,866

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    All very good answers Mark.


    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,638

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Not all honey crystallizes.....if your customer has a 10 year old jar of buckwheat or tupulo at home, and you tell them that all honey will crystallize, they will discover you are not an accurate source of information.
    You have to know what you are talking about in order to deal with customers....if you can't explain this well enough, then you probably don't understand well enough yourself. Of course, if you sell it crystallized, you have no explaining to do later.
    Exchanging a perfectly good jar of honey is a losing game....it's just going to crystalline again.

    Deknow

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    And I will bet that most of them say "I even kept it in the refrigerator". I see why many put re-liquefying instructions on the label.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    This gets us back to the whole question of why honey packers choose to over heat and filter honey. It's not because it's cheaper or easier to do its because many consumers equate crystallized honey with spoiled honey and many more may understand its properties but don't want the inconvenience. Unhappy consumers = lots of returns and chargebacks.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    The local Publix (grocery store) sell Brazilian organic raw honey it is crystallized.
    I've had several request for "raw" honey and people are describing this product. They ask for the solid, unmelted honey.
    I get lots of "is it raw?" "is it organic?" "is it filtered?" As I explain I can see they didn't understand the question they asked.

    I would have never guessed people are so confused about honey !!!

    Don't even get me started on Tupelo!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Not all honey crystallizes.....if your customer has a 10 year old jar of buckwheat or tupulo at home, and you tell them that all honey will crystallize, they will discover you are not an accurate source of information.
    You have to know what you are talking about in order to deal with customers....if you can't explain this well enough, then you probably don't understand well enough yourself. Of course, if you sell it crystallized, you have no explaining to do later.
    Exchanging a perfectly good jar of honey is a losing game....it's just going to crystalline again.

    Deknow
    Dean,
    you are right. I meant to say, "Gee, I don't know what to say."

    Actually Dean is probably correct and I should have said "almost all honey will crystalize". What I recall learning back in thge dark ages, so thing shave probablyu changed, is that of the 300 or so different honeys in the world there were only two which do not crystalize. Buckwheat was not one of them. One could have been tupelo and the other was a honey from out West I believe. But my memory is not as good as it should be.

    I would have thought that Customer Satisfaction would be at the top of Dean's list and that offering a jar of honey to a dissatisfied customer would go a long way towards keeping them as a customer and keep them coming back. But, Dean is much more successful a marketer than I so I defer to his expertise.
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 11-19-2012 at 01:19 PM.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    I have a sheet printed up that explains why Honey Crystallizes and what to do about it when it does. I think that maybe I found it in the recent newsletter that Kelly put out. I think that this will help educate my customers. At least it is something to give them to help explain THEIR problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Not all honey crystallizes.....if your customer has a 10 year old jar of buckwheat or tupulo at home, and you tell them that all honey will crystallize, they will discover you are not an accurate source of information.
    You have to know what you are talking about in order to deal with customers....if you can't explain this well enough, then you probably don't understand well enough yourself. Of course, if you sell it crystallized, you have no explaining to do later.
    Exchanging a perfectly good jar of honey is a losing game....it's just going to crystalline again.

    Deknow
    So what's your answer to the original Post?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Honey will crystalline...that is the nature of most honey. Most customers, even if they want liquid honey, don't want it heated and filtered.
    Customer service is paramount, but if you were selling apples, and some came back to you and said "I'd like to return these apples, they taste like apples"..you get the point? Do you really want to be apologetic about your honey just because it it has the properties of honey?

    Deknow

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Wouldn't you say that it would be more accurate tyo say that most consumers of honey don't know if honey is heated and may believe that all honey is filtered, because of the honey they are most used to consuming?

    In my scenario I offered a jar in exchange, the customer didn't ask.

    You still haven't said what you would say. Or is that what the first line of the above Post is? Your reply.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Salem, IN, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    I take the same approach as Russ and explain crystalization upon purchase. Most of my customers are repeat customers so they have heard the speech before but I ALWAYS explain it to the new ones. I have a pint jar from two years ago that has fully crystalized and I keep this at my stand to show them as well. A pamphlet like Russ mentioned seems to be a good idea and I may do something like that next season. I haven't had any problems yet but I don't think I would offer a new jar to anyone complaining of crystalized honey. I'd send them to a health food store to look at the honey there, the ones I have been to have half of their stock crystalized due to being on the shelves forever. I have some of my August batch that has already started to form crystals. Hmmm... cheap marketing ploy "Naturally Creamed Honey"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
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    623

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    My thinking is that if the Customer knows about Crystallization when they buy your Honey, they won't come back blaming you for BAD Honey. Maybe like someone said above, they stored it in the refrigerator or some other place that was too cool. Honey should be stored at room temperature around 70 Deg's F. 53 Deg's F is the Ideal Temp to Crystallize Honey. Just another step in educating the public. It's a never ending job. Most people just don't know any different and this helps educate them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    I often try to head off future problems by explaining it to them at the point of sale, if it's a person I'll end up seeing in the future, like a coworker or someone from church.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Okay, a customer comes up to you with a half-jar of honey that's granulated. They shake it in your face and say, "You're honey went bad. It turned to sugar! This is not raw honey."

    Outside of shooting them on the spot and burying the body behind the outhouse, what's your favorite, perhaps most effective explanation to placate their sense of outrage?

    I'm running out of room behind the outhouse.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Why don't you just start burying them behind the church like the rest?

    I deal with your same "general public" on a daily basis and wonder what keeps them from drowning in the rain. But with the local drought this year, maybe that is why we have to deal with them more lately....

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    I would add a sentence in small letters to the label. Something like this (excuse my ESL): "Note that raw honey may naturally crystallize, which is not affecting the product's quality". Customer should be properly informed.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Kelley sells a label for about a penny;

    The labels read "All pure honey granulates - some in a week or so and some not for several years. To liquefy, place the container in very hot water (but not boiling) and let stand until completely liquified."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Favorite Explanation

    Thanks for the Heads Up on the label Don. I will order some of those.

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