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Customer Issue Need Advice Sorry its LONG

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I have a customer from my church who told me in passing end of August she wanted a cake. The she didn't contact me until the 17th of September about a cake and prices which I gave. Just standard without decoration prices to see if she was still interested. At that time the date was early October but nothing specific. 

Then she texts me on the 19th and wants to come over to talk. Umm no I'm not going to clean my house for someone who may or may not get cake. If you are coming it better be for a tasting. I have two small children and I also don't want to have a give me free cake conversation.

So I call her on the phone to make sure we are on the same page.

Enter...

Lady last night calls about a cake for reception/ bridal shower. After I tell price which includes a 4/6 inch she says

customer- well I don't need a cake to eat just a pretty cake for the center piece.
Me- well I'm sorry the price is based off servings and that is the smallest cake they make.
Customer- well maybe ill just order cake for everyone to eat
Me- thinking ya right you don't want to pay 120 but your somehow going to pay 275??? I quote price
Customer- well I just need a cake for decoration I'm not sure what to do?
Me- reminds her this is a quote for plain cakes
Customer- well put some decorations on
Me-laughs well you didn't give me a picture of what you want so I have
No idea how to quote you? Obviously custom hand made flowers will cost more than simple piping
Customer- oh (light clicks on) well you do such beautiful work and brides name doesn't even really like cake
And we just need one for decoration
Me- I understand cakes are expensive I can't afford my own cakes.
Customer- oh sure I understand ... We just need to decide what we are going to do
And your cake tasted so good we just need one for decoration....
Me- silence

Nope I'm not budging lady... Lol

 

Now that is how it ended until today..I was thinking she wasn't going to order. I mean the cake is for OCT 25th

SEP 23

Customer- I will go with the 6 and 8 inch cake. I will send a picture please let me know any additional costs.

Later that afternoon I tell her I still haven't gotten a picture and  give my email again.

Never hear back

 

Sep 25

I let her know if she wants to order a cake I still have many questions. That her date is not held until I receive payment and that I have gotten quite a few more orders. I also need time to make certain things for the cake and sometimes order things and that the longer she waits the higher probability I won't be able to make the cake.

 

Customer. Your phone won't accept my pictures the date is OCT 25. You decide. I will pay. I will try to send again. Glad you have orders.

Me. Have you tried sending them I can usually receive pictures just not send them and I gave my email as an alternative.

Customer. sent them by email just now thanks....Never got them..She is notorious for not knowing how to use email. I have had other issues with this in the past

Me. I told her haven't seen them in my emails gave her both emails again and told her she can just tell me the name of the maker of dress and I can look it up. I also said this on the phone before.

 

No response. I'm really at a loss I have done everything to try to help other than go over to her house and show her how to use her email. I was the person who went to her at church to find more info after casually passing me a month before telling me she wanted this cake. So in total she has had a month and a half from talking to me to get me this picture. She isn't a close friend but someone I do know well.

post #2 of 20

Don't chase her.  But at the same time, she may be electronically challenged.  

Perhaps she can put the picture in your mailbox or put a stamp on it and send it.  

 

You are being overly nice, and if she gets it to you before you are booked, I'm sure you will accommodate her.  

The ball is in her court.  At this rate she could send it by mail or wait until church again to give it to you.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks Lynne! Problem is I won't be there this sunday and this thing is just drudging on. I also think she might have the impression that she can pay on delivery. I don't want to send her the pricing info until I have a quote for her since she obviously was so easily offended my just asking for payment.

Was thinking of somehow wording that brides usually book 3 months in advance..not sure how to word it a nice way..

post #4 of 20
What's her budget?
post #5 of 20

You said this was a bridal shower cake.  I know people assume they are fast and can be ordered closer to the date then wedding cake.  

Since she's a church member, you can't treat it like a stranger.  In light of that I would probably call her to assure her that you care about her event and happiness and want to let her know that you didn't receive any photos.  Decide ahead if you are willing to go to her, or have her stop by.  Seems like the only way since she is electronically challenged.  And I don't laugh at that because many people are.

 

If you had a shop, she would probably have already come in and ordered.  I go through the same thing.  But the trade off of not paying rent is that we have to go out of our way for "meeting and greeting".  I just goes with the territory. 

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Her budget was $100 but she wanted to feed like 50ppl. So she wanted me to make her cake basically for nothing which I wasn't going to do. This cake is both a wedding cake and reception cake because they are getting married in another city far away near the grooms family. So this is so everyone here can come. She is combining shower and reception. lol

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by smittyditty View Post

Her budget was $100 but she wanted to feed like 50ppl.

At this point I would state your typical price range for 50 servings and tell her that unless she increases her budget you are unfortunately unable to provide her with a cake.
post #8 of 20

Just be firm and direct.  "Mrs. Customer, I am sorry that we seem to be having so much trouble communicating about this cake order, but I need to have firm details ASAP.  Generally these sort of cakes are booked 3 months in advance, so with the date so quickly approaching, I suggest simply sending me the photo in the mail. I will call you will a quote as soon as it arrives so that you can get the full payment to me at least a week prior to the event.  Let me give you my address...."    :)

 

Personally, I would just tell her that because of the delays, you have already totally booked that date and are unable to make her cake....maybe even recommend a neighboring bakery.  ;)

With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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With 30 years as a cake artist under my belt, I'm just here to share my knowledge and experience to anyone willing to listen!
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post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

I did at which point she then says she wants to order a month later at my price range. However, I could only give her a basic non-decorated price because she has a picture of the dress and wants me to utilize that. However she hasn't sent the picture in over a month. I have continuously tried to let her know I'm not receiving it and she acts as though its my fault.  At first she wasn't even into the price, then she tried to get it for free, and now all of a sudden she wants it at my $ and I'm just supposed to hold a date. She has been SO FLIGHTY. I have gotten two orders in the last week and after the one I'm delivering this weekend I expect more.

 

I was trying to let her know to get with it. I am not going to turn down a $$$ appreciative customer just because this lady says hold the date. I'm not so worried about her being offended. I made a cake for her son who was not flighty and loved it. So there is a close relative who can counter anything she says. He also goes to my church.

I just want all the nonsense stopped. Either order or don't..so we can both get on with it.

post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakedout View Post
 

Just be firm and direct.  "Mrs. Customer, I am sorry that we seem to be having so much trouble communicating about this cake order, but I need to have firm details ASAP.  Generally these sort of cakes are booked 3 months in advance, so with the date so quickly approaching, I suggest simply sending me the photo in the mail. I will call you will a quote as soon as it arrives so that you can get the full payment to me at least a week prior to the event.  Let me give you my address...."    :)

 

Personally, I would just tell her that because of the delays, you have already totally booked that date and are unable to make her cake....maybe even recommend a neighboring bakery.  ;)

Thank you that works great! I'll give her till the end of day to give me the email. Then send her the above. She has had my address since the beginning..its in our directory for church. She has no excuse really.

post #11 of 20
If you want it to be over, you may have to meet her face-to-face. She can give you the pic, you can give her final price & have her sign your contract ( def. do one on this order since she's flighty) and also collect her deposit. I know it's a hassle, so set a time that's convenient for you. If she balks, that's a no & wash your hands of this order. I hate up in the air orders too!
Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #12 of 20

I really don't know what some people are thinking when they drag their feet. I have a customer doing something similar. She says she wants a particular cake, but doesn't want flowers, so she asked me what else I can pipe onto the cake. Of course, I can pipe almost anything onto a cake, but she hasn't given me any idea of who the cake is for. I know she thinks, based on the language in her emails, that she has ordered a cake, but I have no idea what this cake is going to look like, and she hasn't replied to my last two emails. The cake is for Saturday...

 

I agree that you might want to track her down and get your hot little hands on whatever picture she has, in its 3d form, if you still want to make this cake. 

 

 

jen 

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

No I really don't want to make it Jen..lol..I'm so over it.

I have tracked her down every single time. Unless I go to her house it seems I'm never going to see it. I really don't care.

post #14 of 20

If you truly don't want to do the cake, if she calls again, just tell her she missed your cut-off and you are all booked.

post #15 of 20

Time to be done with it.  She doesn't really want to pay what the cake is worth, can't get her act together (believe me, if it was really THAT important to her she would find someone technology proficient to help her get the picture to you) and you don't want to do the order anyway.

 

I would call her and tell her that you are now completely booked with other orders and won't be able to make the cake.

Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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