September 11, 2023

The Importance of Customer Appreciation

Lisa Beach
September 11, 2023  •  5 min read

The series “Rules of Workplace Gifting” offers business gifting tips that will help you make a lasting impression on clients, employees, and others. In this article, we explore 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.‘s new Hero platform for simplifying corporate gifting.

Photo of a young manager delivering a gift to her employee as part of their company's corporate gifting program When you hear the word “Hero,” what do you think of? Commonly, it’s a person you admire for courage, outstanding achievements, and altruistic qualities. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM sees the Hero in every leader, every manager, every employee. Being a Hero is prioritizing employee happiness and retention; being a Hero is taking the time to motivate and reward teams through engagement and coaching; being a Hero is sharing recognition for a job well done.

As the workplace evolves, businesses have turned to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. to help nurture their relationships with employees with ease and effectiveness. In addition, the demand for corporate gifts and recognition programs has skyrocketed as offices transition from in-person to hybrid or remote-work models. That’s why 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. created Hero, an engagement platform that uses innovative technology to make it easier than ever to send remarkable gifts that get measurable results, whether they’re sent to employees, customers, or business prospects.

“Hero allows team managers, HR managers, sales teams, admin assistants, and their leadership to have the right individual touch at the right time with the right gift, plus satisfy common workplace goals like lowering the cost of client and talent acquisition, creating new revenue opportunities and increasing company loyalty,” says Monika Kochar, CEO of SmartGift, the Brooklyn-based startup that partnered with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. to create Hero.

Hero allows team managers, HR managers, sales teams, admin assistants, and their leadership to have the right individual touch at the right time with the right gift,




For busy managers, Hero is the ultimate time-saver. It allows them to create universal recognition triggers, like birthdays or sales milestones. And it reminds them of two important tasks: to send the gift in the first place and to write a personalized note, which has been shown to have the most powerful effect on employee satisfaction. Even better, you can give via email, Slack, LinkedIn, making it easier than ever, especially in a remote world.

With Hero, managers are empowered to seamlessly build loyalty, reduce churn, and recognize employees for a job well done across their teams. Here, Monika Kochhar shares more of her behind-the-scenes insight.

What makes Hero unique in the world of corporate gifting? Hero offers the most comprehensive platform, and it’s really a result of our innovating in this space for over five years. We have the deepest gift data that we use for machine learning and AI recommendations to nudge and suggest the right gift or appreciation to the right person at the right time. On the tech side, we offer a robust self-service platform, address-less gifting, the ability to drop gifts in real-time into a Slack channel, any Zoom-, Meet- or Teams-hosted event, conference, or webinar. Gift recipients can choose their perfect gift and select their personal preferences such as size, color, taste, shipping location, and delivery date.

​Hero saves time and effort, creating a seamless, unique journey to recognition and authentic relationship building. We offer same-day and international delivery, white-glove service, the most loved corporate gifting products like gift baskets, food items, flowers, plants, personalized swag at scale, plus a network of 40+ top global brands for spot awards.

​How does Hero save managers’ and companies’ time? Anyone can get up and running and start engaging with employees, customers, and prospects in minutes. Through our self-service product, address-less gifting campaigns product, and automation, Hero saves hundreds of hours a month by eliminating the upkeep of the traditional spreadsheet method or setting up tedious technologies. In addition, we have a gift recommendation engine to help managers make effective picks and offer end-to-end visibility into the gifting process while providing measurable ROI.

How does Hero increase employee satisfaction and loyalty?

Hero makes gifting personal, authentic, and regular. We find that the highest positive impact on retention are frequent appreciations in meaningful moments in employees’ lives, whether it’s a work milestone or anniversary, birthday, pet recognition, or expressing sympathy on a painful occasion. Employees want to feel seen for their work, purpose, and what’s going on in their personal lives. Hero helps with all those outcomes. Research shows that people leave a company more often for not feeling appreciated than for a higher-paying job. By making sure that users of Hero never forget an important milestone like an employee’s birthday or a contract renewal date, the gifts sent are actually meaningful to their recipients because their selections were informed by data sets and include the recipient in the process.

How does the platform still make corporate gifting feel personal? We know how to delight people. Our Hero platform blends innovative technology and traditional aspects of gifting so that it always feels easy, personal, delightful, and enjoyable — as gifting should be! Hero provides personalized recommendations, greeting cards, thank you notes, and sustainable gifts that speak to the values of today’s workforce. By gathering insights into people’s interests, likes, dislikes and meshing that with our gift graph, recipient feedback loops and timely delivery, we make sure that the Hero experience always feels unique and genuine. It eliminates the gifts that collect dust on a shelf or end up in a landfill by offering products and services that matter to today’s workforce.

How does the platform help prevent bias in recognition? Hero helps to promote a greater sense of belonging and celebrates all recipients’ unique strengths. Through inclusivity and de-biased outcomes, Hero helps recognize not only the top-of-mind people but also the quiet warriors of the office. It also turns away from the one-size-fits-all traditions of corporate gifting. By creating an equal playing field based on occasions, events, and milestones for all, and adding choice empowerment to the gifting experience, the Hero experience always includes the recipients.