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Our duty as decorators - Page 2  

post #16 of 141
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bohemiagetsajob

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.



I agree totally...and lots of stories about cakes falling...now cakes do fall!!!!! I think it happens to everyone at one point. But sometimes I wonder if too many structural mistakes are being blamed on the customer's driving.

I know around here, there are potholes and road construction and all sorts of stuff and if my structure is not right, I can totally see my cake falling or sliding, if not assembled sturdily enough.

Again, not saying we aren't allowed to make mistakes....just saying as professionals we shouldn't blame the customer for our mistakes.
post #17 of 141
Well said one and all.

We really do need a like button, as I was feeling the same way as kitagrl.

<Love> kitagrl, Thank you for putting into words what I was feeling.

scp1127 - you are so right. Customer Service is #1 before baking and cake decorating. Without it you have nothing.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
post #18 of 141
Customer service is right for without the customer we would have no business. We should try to "do it right" and if we fail then we need to make amends for it. It is easy to blame the customer for the cake falling or decorations falling off as they don't drive correctly. In reality, we should examine how it was structured and how we attach decorations. What did we do that was not sufficient? I agree, there are many customers that try to get something for nothing and would find fault with every cake they get but, try to please them and if it consistently is wrong, have no openings for the day they want a cake. We can't control everyone's opinions, thoughts or actions but, if we strive to do it right the first time then the complaints should be few.
Bad words spread quicker in business than the good ones. If you've given them the product they are looking for then they won't be calling, emailing or giving bad reviews. If you make a mistake let them know ahead of time and see what they would like you to do. Maybe having made a yellow cake won't be too much of a problem if they know about ahead of time and do something to value them as a customer. Maybe a % off their next cake? Take care of them, you don't like it if your stuff isn't right, the plumber left a mess when he was at your house. Treat others as you would liked to be treated as a customer, it helps immensely.
evelyn

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

post #19 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegrandma

Bad words spread quicker in business than the good ones.


Just 2 days ago, I was sharing the story of how one florist pi$$ed me off while I was planning my daughter's wedding and that was 10 years ago!! Little did either of us know at the time that I would be in a business position to recommend florists to brides and I would sometimes tell them "Don't use blah blah florist and here's why!"

Ten. Years. Later.
post #20 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegrandma

Bad words spread quicker in business than the good ones.


Just 2 days ago, I was sharing the story of how one florist pi$$ed me off while I was planning my daughter's wedding and that was 10 years ago!! Little did either of us know at the time that I would be in a business position to recommend florists to brides and I would sometimes tell them "Don't use blah blah florist and here's why!"

Ten. Years. Later.



Those are the kind of stories that worry me -- I had a rash of b*tchy brides lately, none of whom I did business with (thankfully!) but they are just the kind to go around badmouthing anyone who didn't please them. Myself included! icon_confused.gif Oh well, it is what it is. icon_rolleyes.gif
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
post #21 of 141
Well, unfortunately, whether the customer is right doesn't matter...either the customer is right or they don't come back!

When I start selling, I will NOT be selling wedding cakes. Too much pressure for me right now.

I think that is what people need to realize...their limitations. I have ideas and grand plans in my head about things but what we can see in our minds eye and what we can do are often two different things. We come here as newbies and see tutorials and it's like "Wow, that's easy!" but forget that the people doing the tuts have been doing it for years!

I don't (or try not to) delude myself into thinking I can get it right the first (or second or tenth!) time around.

Not many people are naturals....most of us have had to work for it!!!
Had my blog listed and then realized one day that all you could see was "misadventuresofanal..." Took that sucker right off.
Had my blog listed and then realized one day that all you could see was "misadventuresofanal..." Took that sucker right off.
post #22 of 141
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristiemarie

Well, unfortunately, whether the customer is right doesn't matter...either the customer is right or they don't come back!

When I start selling, I will NOT be selling wedding cakes. Too much pressure for me right now.

I think that is what people need to realize...their limitations. I have ideas and grand plans in my head about things but what we can see in our minds eye and what we can do are often two different things. We come here as newbies and see tutorials and it's like "Wow, that's easy!" but forget that the people doing the tuts have been doing it for years!

I don't (or try not to) delude myself into thinking I can get it right the first (or second or tenth!) time around.

Not many people are naturals....most of us have had to work for it!!!



I don't think wedding cakes are as stressful as some of the party cakes I've done...
post #23 of 141
I am new at the cake decorating part, for fun, but have been the owner of another business for more than 20 years and my original education is advertising and marketing. Hard as it is to swallow, there are times that you have to decide that you cannot take on a particular customer. You know just from your 'intake' with them that you will be unable to please them. That's true whether you are making them a cake or selling them a pair of pants. You need to decide when to part ways before everyone is invested. And there are times to 'take the loss' because it is good PR. I am happy to see that so many share the same opinion!
post #24 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by kristiemarie

Well, unfortunately, whether the customer is right doesn't matter...either the customer is right or they don't come back!

When I start selling, I will NOT be selling wedding cakes. Too much pressure for me right now.

I think that is what people need to realize...their limitations. I have ideas and grand plans in my head about things but what we can see in our minds eye and what we can do are often two different things. We come here as newbies and see tutorials and it's like "Wow, that's easy!" but forget that the people doing the tuts have been doing it for years!

I don't (or try not to) delude myself into thinking I can get it right the first (or second or tenth!) time around.

Not many people are naturals....most of us have had to work for it!!!



I don't think wedding cakes are as stressful as some of the party cakes I've done...



I just don't want to be the one who ruins someone's wedding. They tend to be bigger than party cakes and I don't have much experience in large cakes.
Had my blog listed and then realized one day that all you could see was "misadventuresofanal..." Took that sucker right off.
Had my blog listed and then realized one day that all you could see was "misadventuresofanal..." Took that sucker right off.
post #25 of 141
Well said!! Don't take the order if you can't feel ABSOLUTELY sure that you can pull off the design they want, and have it look as good or better than the original, AND make them thrilled that they spent all that hard earned cash on a cake! If they show me a design I'm not positive I can thrill them (and myself) with, I design them something *similar* that I can really rock. I also like a challenge, but I still don't say yes unless I'm sure I can figure it out before the wedding. icon_cool.gif

I love my brides. I love their cakes. I love their designs. I take care that every cake I do is my new Favorite Cake Ever, and I want them to feel like it's the best cake they've ever seen or tasted, and that they got my absolute best work. They are definitely paying for nothing less.

*like*! thumbs_up.gif

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

post #26 of 141
Indydeb's Ten. Years. Later. reminds me of a similar story I still tell 24 years later!!! I was in the drive thru of a certain ice cream/hamburger chain's restaurant ordering a chocolate cone with chocolate sprinkles. I noticed the back door propped open and the owners daughter sitting on a stack of buckets decorating the ice cream cakes. Piping bag in hand.

Pipe on the cake, squirt in the mouth (lips touching the tip!!!), pipe on the cake, tip in the mouth. In full view of everyone driving through the drive-thru!!!

Needless to say that was the last time I ordered anything there, and the owner is still the same, so I continue to tell the story. Especially to new cake decorators or bakery workers to teach BASIC sanitation DON'Ts.

Tami
Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
post #27 of 141
There is a great book that just came out. It is called "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000", by Pete Blackshaw.
post #28 of 141
So glad I came across this post! You took the words right out of my mouth. There's been an increasing number of "vents" on here, and I'd say probably 75% of them are people trying to make excuses for their own mistakes and blame it all on the customer. We have become a society of "It's not my fault." (don't even get me started on youth sports!) Anyway, difficult customer or not, people need to own up to their errors and do what's right for the customer. Let's not forget if it weren't for the customer there would be no business!
post #29 of 141
Well said, of course. While I don't mind taking my potato chips and settling back for a good read when the post says "vent" icon_smile.gif, there have been more and more where I'm screaming at the screen , "NO WAY, you delivered THAT?!"

OK, too harsh, I know. I have had my share of vents on here, but while I may vent about a customer's behavior, I have always made sure they have the absolute best cake I can produce, AND that they never know I was less than happy to serve with a smile.

I think for home-based (licensed) businesses, it is even MORE crucial to gain the customer's respect by delivering above and beyond their expectations, simply because we have a HOME studio.

While a customer can annoy me, and I can whine about it, it is still MY responsibility to produce a top quality product. And if I took their order, it is MY fault if I bit off more than I can chew, and then I need to "take it like a gal" and do whatever it takes to produce. I think we all need time to vent, but then to look at the part we play in any unfortunate situation, and to learn and grow from it.

And I STILL haven't taken that Wilton course. Maybe I should...
life is short, get a cakesafe.
life is short, get a cakesafe.
post #30 of 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

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!




THANK YOU!!! Couldn't have said it any better. thumbs_up.gif
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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