Getting Customer Feedback?

Business By joy5678 Updated 14 Nov 2008 , 10:39am by karenm0712

joy5678 Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 6:56am
post #1 of 26

Just starting up my business from home & have had good feedback from most of my customers. As far as the ones that I do not hear from, I'm wondering if I should call them back a few days later just to ask if everything was OK & if they have any comments good or bad that they can share with me to help me improve. They know I'm new & it would be helpful to know what they are thinking & what kind of response the cake received. If I don't hear from someone, it concerns me that something may have been wrong & I wouldn't know it needed correction. Am I being too paranoid??? Or would they be appreciative that I called them?? Thanks for your ideas on this.

25 replies
andpotts Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 7:07am
post #2 of 26

Personally, I wouldn't want to be called, I would feel kind of put on the spot, but I would be happy to fill out an email or online survey. Maybe you can make one up and send it to your customers a few days after delivery or pick up and say how important their feedback is to you. Good luck! Andrea

MikeRowesHunny Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 7:28am
post #3 of 26

In my book, no news is good news!!! Believe me, if there was a complaint, most people would be on to you ASAP! I always enjoy getting a quick mail to say thank you, it was great, but I'm not going to lose sleep over those who don't have time or who just don't think to let me know what they thought.

LeanneW Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 7:30am
post #4 of 26

perhaps you could prepare a letter that you would send following a cake order.

thank them for thier business, state the purpose of the letter (to get feedback) and include a very simple form that can be filled out easily, leave room for comments.

obviously include a stamped return envelope.

this way you don't put them on the spot and you make it really easy to respond.

Here is someting I have learned through years in PR about obtaining customer testimonials.

it is easy to obtain a testimonial when you say to your customer "do you agree that (company name) provided a delicious cake that was more beautiful than you could have dreamed?"

when they say yes you can get this testimonial:

"my wedding cake from (company name) was delicious and more beautiful than I could have dreamed"

maybe this example doesn't work for you but you get the point, you just have to ask the right questions.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 12:04pm
post #5 of 26

Do not call them. I would stop ordering from a place that bothered me all the time everytime I ordered a cake. If there's a problem, I'll let you know.

littlecake Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 1:07pm
post #6 of 26

I agree with indy...you don't want to be a pain in da butt....plus if someone did that to me, i'd think they were unprofessional.

i don't hear back from 99% of my customers, but they keep comming back, i do get thank you cards in the mail at times.

ccr03 Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:12pm
post #7 of 26

indydebi is right again! icon_smile.gif

At first I would get nervous, but once they come back for more I knew I did good. But I wouldn't call, how littlecake said - it might be seen as unprofessional by some - especially if you are say you want to 'improve', that to be shows a lack of confidence.

If you did want a formal way of feedback. I would do an 'end of the year' survey to all of your customers. At the magazine I used to work with, we did it every 2-3 years.

costumeczar Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:21pm
post #8 of 26

I wouldn't call, but if you're concerned about it you could ask them to give you a call to let you know how everything was when you deliver the cakes. That way they know that you'd like to hear from them, but you're not being pushy about it. I agree with the no news is good news viewpoint, too, so if you don't hear from someone don't worry.

SugarBakerz Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:27pm
post #9 of 26

I always send a follow up email to my 1st time customers. I simply say, I appreciate the opportunity to make a cake for your special event. If I can be of further assistance to you in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me. This gives them the chance to say thanks it was great, or hey I appreciate the cake but I would have preferred this about it.... I have only ever gotten 1 reply that wasn't a good one, and it was simply, I wish I would have chosen a larger cake, but other than that it was great, we had no leftovers..... by calling them you put them on the spot and most times they aren't going to admit any thing they didn't like.... if you feel like you have to do anything, send an email.... if they are repeat customers, then don't bother, they will call you next time..... I promise! Good luck!

MacsMom Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:30pm
post #10 of 26

This is a good place to share this tip about good business practice...

"8 Key Ways to Say THANK YOU to Customers"
http://womenandbiz.com/index.php/2007/12/20/take-note-8-key-ways-to-say-thank-you-to-customers/

mmgiles Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:33pm
post #11 of 26

I do surveys. Really I'm still new, so most of them are first time customers. I would not however do this for repeat customers.

I just say I like to follow-up and make sure they were completely satisified and ask if they have time to complete and online survey. Most people do this and I havent had any problems. One lady was pretty particular and didnt really care for her cake, but from what she's told me, I've made some changes and had nothing but compliments since then.

http://www.freewebs.com/mmgiles/survey.htm
That's my survey if you're interested.

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:33pm
post #12 of 26

I'd say if it's a first time customer than I'd do what leannewinslow suggests: a pre-addressed and stamped envelope back to you with a short uncomplicated 'survey'. After the first time - once you have a repeat customer, just say to them when they pick up or you deliver, something along these lines: "Hope you enjoy. Let me know, please," and just leave it at that - no survey letter or call.

Me personally, I don't mind filling out surveys, etc. when I have a minute to sit down and read, etc., but I hate getting phone calls. I think many feel the same way.

I think this shows you care about your craft and client without being too demanding and unprofessional. Needless to say, if they come back more than twice, don't worry at all!

ziggytarheel Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:41pm
post #13 of 26

I can't decide about the mail in survey, even with the SASE. I'm thinking I don't want any homework, even if it only takes a minute. icon_smile.gif

I think what I, as a customer, would prefer, is the opportunity to fill out a web-based survey, if I so chose. Maybe an e-mail with a link, or something to that effect. If I didn't want to do the survey, for whatever reason, I would like to feel as though it were completely optional and not feel obliged to complete it.

So, if I really liked the cake, really hated the cake, or had a memorable experience concerning the cake or its maker, I would have a way to comment about that.

I just don't like junk mail, extra papers, extra forms, anything extra to sit around and add to my piles or clutter up my to do list.

Do you think your customers might think like I do?

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 5:25pm
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggytarheel

I can't decide about the mail in survey, even with the SASE. I'm thinking I don't want any homework, even if it only takes a minute. icon_smile.gif

I think what I, as a customer, would prefer, is the opportunity to fill out a web-based survey, if I so chose. Maybe an e-mail with a link, or something to that effect. If I didn't want to do the survey, for whatever reason, I would like to feel as though it were completely optional and not feel obliged to complete it.

So, if I really liked the cake, really hated the cake, or had a memorable experience concerning the cake or its maker, I would have a way to comment about that.

I just don't like junk mail, extra papers, extra forms, anything extra to sit around and add to my piles or clutter up my to do list.

Do you think your customers might think like I do?




I agree, but believe it or not, some people still don't have computers in the home or aren't computer-savvy. I know this as they're all related to me! icon_lol.gif Seriously, I do agree that would be my first preference. Maybe just include the website and give the option or even just ask if they have a computer then give them either a business card or the survey depending upon the answer.

edited for spelling - when did I start not being able to type?

joy5678 Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 4:51am
post #15 of 26

Thank you all so much for your ideas & thoughts on this. I've never given it much thought until this week when a lady picked up her cake & was expressionless & unimpressed. She said it was pretty, but not very convincingly. I try hard to make each customer happy enough to light up & get all excited about it when they pick up their cake.. When she didn't, I wondered "why didn't she like it, did I do something wrong" This was a 1st for me. That's why I thought about calling her. I e-mailed her to say thank you & asked for any comments she may have. Really curious to hear back from her. I do think I'll do the thank you survey thing for 1st timers until I get so busy I don't have time! icon_smile.gif You all are so nice & helpful. I'll let ya know if I hear from her! Thanks again

Kitagrl Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 5:00am
post #16 of 26

I used to send emails but I don't anymore, unless there was a cake I was seriously worried about, or a question I have. I have decided some, I don't even want to know. For instance recently a dad was worried he didn't have enough cake. I never wrote him back after the pickup. I don't really want to know if he ran out of cake or not, because I know I gave him the right number of servings. If he had a major problem he would have emailed. If it was just a minor problem, I'll feel better not knowing. If he liked it, he'll be back and that will be my answer. I find I worry less if I don't follow up on everybody, and many people voluntarily email me compliments anyway. The ones that don't, I don't worry about it...and sometimes they write back months later to say "I totally forgot to write you but thanks for the great cake!"

costumeczar Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 1:53pm
post #17 of 26

joy5678 said:

Quote:
Quote:

I've never given it much thought until this week when a lady picked up her cake & was expressionless & unimpressed. She said it was pretty, but not very convincingly. I try hard to make each customer happy enough to light up & get all excited about it when they pick up their cake.. When she didn't, I wondered "why didn't she like it, did I do something wrong"




Maybe she'd just had a bad day...I had to put one of my cats to sleep this week unexpectedly, and I've been distracted ever since. If she was really unhappy with it she'll call you. If it makes you feel better to contact her with something neutral like "please let me know any suggestions or comments" then go ahead, but I don't think you need to worry unless she calls to complain.

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 5:35am
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Maybe she'd just had a bad day...I had to put one of my cats to sleep this week unexpectedly, and I've been distracted ever since. If she was really unhappy with it she'll call you. If it makes you feel better to contact her with something neutral like "please let me know any suggestions or comments" then go ahead, but I don't think you need to worry unless she calls to complain.




Just wanted to let you know how sorry I am to hear about your cat. I have three myself and they become family. In the past I've had to have two of my dogs put down and it was torture. My condolences.

joy5678 Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 3:59am
post #19 of 26

OK, so I've been paranoid & experienced cake doubt! icon_cry.gif But now, I'm excited again. The customer that I was so "freaked out" about, finally responded to my e-mail today! Everyone loved the cake & it tasted good & she is going to order another one! Yea!! icon_biggrin.gif I feel better now & promise to "let go" and not worry about them anymore & just "do my thang!" icon_smile.gif Thanks for all your help & encouragement. thumbs_up.gif

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 4:54am
post #20 of 26

CONGRATULATIONS!!! party.gif

karenm0712 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:54am
post #21 of 26

I am glad I found this post! I FINALLY received a cake order from someone I only met once at a mommy get-together and my first official "customer" who is not a friend or close co-worker, family, etc. I was and still am so darn proud of this cake (stacked Sesame Street cake in photos). When customer came to pick up she was estatic saying it was even better than the photo that she sent me and that she would refer me to everyone she knew. I was hoping for an email with feedback but haven't heard a word from her yet. I hope that all went well and everyone loved the cake....

Part of me wants to send an email asking for feedback, but part of me says she will come back if she really liked it! Still torn... she would email at 10:30PM or later when we were going back and forth with the order info so I assume that maybe emailing me is the last thing on her mind once she gets off of work (she has 3 kids). I know, I have two myself! icon_biggrin.gif

At any rate, glad I searched the forums for my question on feedback b/c I was getting ready to create a new post! icon_wink.gif

-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 1:51pm
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenm0712

...When customer came to pick up she was estatic saying it was even better than the photo that she sent me and that she would refer me to everyone she knew. ..




I mean that's not too shabby all by itself huh?

karenm0712 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 11:15pm
post #23 of 26

k8memphis - I know, I know... icon_biggrin.gif I was just hoping for an email about the taste of the cake itself. icon_wink.gif

CakeForte Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 1:20am
post #24 of 26

I've had a disaster and definitely heard about that right away. Then I send follow up emails an had great reviews, or heard nothing at all. There was one bride that said she didn't like the cake flavor of one of her tiers. Obviously it didn't bother her that much b/c it was 3 months later when she told me, but that was because I went fishing for for feedback and it did hurt my feelings. She had ordered several cakes from me before, so I think that's why she didn't even bother to say anything.

So my point is that no news is definitely good news.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 2:03am
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenm0712

k8memphis - I know, I know... icon_biggrin.gif I was just hoping for an email about the taste of the cake itself. icon_wink.gif




I'm gonna play devil's advocate with this question, did your cake suck? (No of course not.)

Be confident, Munchkin, and know your stuff is great. You can control that. You can't control and don't need affirmation that may or may not come. Dig it if it comes but otherwise it's gotta come from inside.

karenm0712 Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 10:39am
post #26 of 26

k8memphis - you put a smile on my face first thing in the morning, Thank You! icon_smile.gif

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