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Our duty as decorators  

post #1 of 141
Thread Starter 
Lately it seems there's been several threads with bakers who feel their customer is rude for not being pleased with a cake that was not decorated perfectly to specifications, but that the customer instead should have been happy enough that the cake was "still a great cake".

I'm totally not trying to blast anyone in particular, as a matter of fact, I cannot even remember who posted what or when.

Before I say anything else, let me say, I make my share of mistakes. I make MORE than my share of mistakes. However, if our mistakes directly go against what our customers order and paid for with hard-earned money, then it is our job to do whatever it takes, and lose whatever money it takes, to show that we are sorry.

When people hire us, they are hiring us to serve them. We are not doing these people a favor. Now, the perk of this job is, when we do a really good job, they usually thank us as if we've done them a favor! LOL! But in reality...we are performing a service that many of us charge quite a bit of money for. If the customer wants this, that, and the other, for $250, then it is our JOB to make SURE that customer gets this, that, and the other, for their $250 (which is a lot of money to me for cake, even though I charge it without batting an eyelash, I'd sure bat an eyelash to pay it!).

It is unfair to get mad when our customers are displeased that we thought it would be "okay" if something they wanted on their cake didn't quite make it there. Or if things are falling off the cake. Or if we ran out of time and substituted something without asking permission. Or delivered late without a super good reason....or any other mistakes that can happen. Again, mistakes happen...BUT....we as decorators should not be too proud to admit them, apologize for them, and make it right...and then strive not to repeat the error.

I guess I just wanted to remind all of us (myself included) to stay professional and to remember we should give our customers as good of service as we expect when we pay money for something. If I go out to dinner, I want my food hot and delicious and prompt. If I stay at a hotel, I want it clean and comfortable. And our customers should get professional service from us, as close to perfection as we can possibly manage...and own up to it immediately if we cannot for some reason or other.

I know there are lots of annoying customers out there....I get my share too!!!! But sometimes that happens...and to an extent, we are being paid to make our customers happy, even if they aren't the sort we'd want as our best friends.

Happy caking!
post #2 of 141
Where is the like button? thumbs_up.gif
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
post #3 of 141
I completely agree. Well said. If we make an agreement with someone and they pay us for that agreement, it's on us if we can't or don't deliver and We have to make it right with THEM. It's not "good enough" if it's not what they ordered.
post #4 of 141
I agree. I do not do cakes professionally but I read a lot of posts on here that make me wonder why the poster does make cake for a living. All they do is complain about what the customers ask for.
post #5 of 141
Also hitting the non-existant LIKE button! icon_biggrin.gif
Friends don't let friends buy grocery store cakes.
Friends don't let friends buy grocery store cakes.
post #6 of 141
People don't realize how much an inferior product or "not as expected" cakes kill their business. There are some bakers who are businesspeople first, Kitagrl being one of those bakers. It does not matter what industry you are in, the customer must be satisfied. I have a satisfaction guarantee and I wouldn't do business any other way. All of these customers that receive a less than expected cake not only don't come back, but tell everyone every time cake comes up for years... "Don't go to ____, go to anyone else". And it doesn't matter the size of the area. The good news is that as long as bakers disregard the value of the customer, these customers allow another baker's business to grow.

Before you print your business cards, read a few books on marketing. People think because they took a few Wilton classes, they are now in business. It doesn't work that way.
post #7 of 141
Yep, great post. I see a lot of 'biting off more than one can chew' a lot lately too. Is it also a matter of newbie decorators/less experienced people having a virtual chip on their shoulder, assuming any complaint is unwarranted and the complainer is trying to pull a fast one? Meaning, they read some of the stories on here about legitimate scammers and bridezillas, and they think they (decorator) can do no wrong, and if someone challenges them, it's made up and baseless?

Sometimes, you just make a sucky cake. Better to bend over backwards for the person, look a what you probably did wrong, and never do it again. And come here to do your venting. Never to the client. Never ever ever.

I blame Wilton and their expanding line of "instant decorator in a box" products. icon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 141
<LIKE>!

I just got back from having my baby and I swear there was a thread that is still chapping my butt from several days ago - I think I'm glad I went into labor to keep me from getting sucked further into it!

Well said, and thanks!

Jen
post #9 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

People think because they took a few Wilton classes, they are now in business. It doesn't work that way.

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

My favorite story that was posted on CC was the person who said she had just taken her first wilton class and had just made her first cake and was excited and wanted to start a bakery. "What do I do first?"

I WANTED to reply, "get about 10 years experience first, and get another 5-10 years business experience under your belt." icon_eek.gif

You are so right .... loving to decorate cakes and loving to run your own business are two TOTALLY different things!
post #10 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

<LIKE>!

I just got back from having my baby and I swear there was a thread that is still chapping my butt from several days ago - I think I'm glad I went into labor to keep me from getting sucked further into it!

Well said, and thanks!

Jen



Congrats on the new baby!!
Woman of God
Woman of God
post #11 of 141
I have nothing to add to the theme of this post. I just wanted to tell Jen CONGRATULATIONS!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Pam
post #12 of 141
I don't have anything to add to this thread as I'm not in the cake baking business (just a hobbyist!), but also wanted to say congrats to Jen on her newest family member. Now take some time to relax and take care of yourself and your little bundle of joy.
post #13 of 141
Aw, I didn't mean to hijack! But thanks!!!!

Jen
post #14 of 141
I have to agree. I am a hobby baker and decorator but I am also a customer. I see so many stories of legitimate customer complaints being handled with the "You'll take what you get and like it" type attitude. It has made me leary about ordering custom cakes.
post #15 of 141
Congrats Jen!!! Start a new thread and tell us about the baby!!!!!

And Debi, I did see that post. But then again, I'm sure you've seen it more than once. Sometimes I think this site is the biggest breeding ground for illegal bakers and the "business" bandwagon. Then they ask for advice and don't like what they hear... you need a license, you need business experience, you need to practice more. When I see these posts now and they start balking at the advice they don't want to hear, I don't even try to help. But then there are all the readers who never post... they deserve good information even if the OP doesn't like it. I read this site for over a year before I joined. I was reading your advice and copying posts while I planned my bakery. So we can't discount the readers.
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