Horrible Feedback...i'm In Tears

Decorating By Adrianita Updated 27 Jul 2008 , 1:57am by karensjustdessert

Adrianita Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:32am
post #1 of 43

Hi guys:
I just received this email from a potential client and I'm heart broken...I'm speechless...I'm in tears...I feel like never baking a cake again...
The meeting with the couple went really well, or so I thought...

"im sorry it took a while to email, but i have been busy. im sorry, but i am going to book with someone else. i have to be honest, your cake tastes like it is betty crocker or dunkin hines, and i make my own stuff from scratch and i can tell the difference. and the vanilla cake didnt taste like vanilla at all. but on a positive note, your filling was delicious. sorry again".

I used an extender recipe and ALWAYS get great feedback...I book most of my tastings, I have never received such a horrible feedback.

I baked the samples the night before and as always my b/f (who's is the biggest complainer and toughest critic and who has great taste and who's not afraid to tell me when things taste like sh#%^t) loved them...

The vanilla didn't taste like vanilla??? what???!!! you can smell the vanilla from miles away!!!... I use good/ expensive ingredients...specially flavoring...

Should I email this person back????
I feel devastated...

On a brighter note, I also got this other email from a bride that did like my cake:

" Now that we are back from the honeymoon, I wanted to drop you a line and say thank you so much for the wonderful job you did on our cake! It was so great and I wanted to tell you that everyone thought it was awesome! Thanks so much for everything! I will definitely recommend you to my friends and family in the future!"

Thanks for listening...

42 replies
tasty_treats Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:41am
post #2 of 43

I'm sorry you got bad feedback from that person, they were probably just having a really bad day. I always find that I like the taste of my betty crocker cakes better than if I were to make my own from scratch.

Obviously you make wonderful cakes since that other person gave you such a great review of the cake you did for her.

Don't let the first one bother you too much and don't give up on cake decorating.... just think that they missed out on a great cake from you!

bisbqueenb Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:41am
post #3 of 43

That is why they make DELETE keys on the computer....use it on the first and SAVE the second one. Just be glad she DIDN'T book you... sounds like a complainer from the get-go....and would have nitpicked you to death! I think she could use some of Thumpers advice...."If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all"...a simple we have chosen another decorator would have been the polite way to contact you.

charlieinMO Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:42am
post #4 of 43

I am so sorry that happened to you! Just focus on the good and keep hangin in there!

MaisieBake Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 4:02am
post #5 of 43

No, do not email her back.

Her email to you was a courtesy to let you know that you didn't have the sale-- she didn't have to do that.

soygurl Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 4:29am
post #6 of 43

You know... she might have been TRYING to be helpful... give you some constructive criticism and let you know WHY she was going with someone else so you could improve...

Now, she could have softened her words, no doubt; and it's always hard to hear something negative! {{{hugs}}} But is it possible that most of your customers AND your BF are used to "box cakes"?? Yes, yes... TONS of people LOVE box mix cakes! Doctoring them can make them REALLY GOOD! But I'm one of those people who can ALWAYS tell if the cake was made with mix (even doctored cakes), and I was raised on cakes made from scratch... I prefer (good) scratch cakes because that's what I'm used to.

I'm not trying to say you should stop making cakes the way you do! Just realize that people tent to prefer what they're used to, and sometimes that just might be something different than what you make!

She DID complement your filling, and she had the courtesy to let you know she wasn't going to book with you... I'm really sorry it upset you (and it probably would have upset me too!), but you've got to remember that you can't please everyone! People have different tastes!

Bonnie151 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:02am
post #7 of 43

I think she could have been a bit "softer" too in how she phrased her feedback, but yeah, I think she just has different tastes to you. I only bake from scratch and I can taste a box mix cake regardless of how it has been extended. Some people only like scratch cakes in the same way that others think scratch cakes are dry/don't like the texture etc. If I were you, I'd just recognise that she's not your target customer (unless you wnat to branch out into sratch cakes as well) and let it go. It hurts to get poor feedback though, regardless of the cause so print off the other one and stick it above your PC to look at everytime you log on. icon_smile.gif

mclaren Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:17am
post #8 of 43

can someone shed some light as to what is an extender recipe?
is it the same as a doctored mix recipe?


i tend to agree with waterfallsoygurl.. the potential customer just has a different taste than yours..

fondantfrenzy Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:26am
post #9 of 43

You never know if the price was out of her range or even if she had a friend that can make cakes. that would have done if for free, dont feel bad!

cakequeen50 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:38am
post #10 of 43

You have to learn that people have discriminating tastes. I used to take it personally but then realized that there are a million recipes out there and this one person didn't like your cakes. Just like pizza. how many times have you heard people rave about their pizza place, you go there and think it sucks.

She was a bit harsh but maybe in some strange way, she thought she was giving you some constructive criticism.

I usually email my clients back and say "Thank you for emailing me and best wishes to you and your fiance"....you don't want to burn any bridges because your next client might know her. Plus you can kill 'em with kindness.

Don't give up and keep on baking!

Momkiksbutt Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:42am
post #11 of 43

Just chalk it up to a really tacky lady...

I think we've all had similar things happen to us...you know what they say:

"You can please some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time"...

Don't worry about it. If you have been getting positive feedback up till now....who cares about one bad apple????

miss_sweetstory Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:52am
post #12 of 43

Sounds like case of someone who doesn't have a lot of tact. Your cakes just aren't for her. Remember, this leaves you open to work with someone who loves your product!

ski Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:59am
post #13 of 43

If it's any consolation I had a customer that complained about the 1st, then 2nd then 3rd cake she ordered from me! I kept raising my prices each time she called b/c I could feel her to be a "complainer". but she just kept ordering them no matter how high they were! Some people just can't be pleased! Seriously listen to her words, just long enough to stay humble and then let the dang things go sister!

marknelliesmum Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:02am
post #14 of 43

cakequeen50 said

Quote:
Quote:

"Thank you for emailing me and best wishes to you and your fiance"




I think this is a great idea - especially in the circumstnces - would be very professional.

On to her comments: my initial thought was that it was her way of covering up that she couldn't afford what she had hoped for but after reading the posts I too am a scratch baker ( not anywhere near the standard you find on here icon_cry.gif ) and would probably notice the box mix taste too BUT that's what has worked VERY SUCCESSFULLY for you so don't let this shake your confidence, it's just a taste thing like choosing one brand of chocolate over another.

Look on the bright side -

1. you are not left to the last miniute wondering if you have this contract or not, so you can move on and create lovely cakes your other clients will adore
2. you have an email with constructive criticism (possibly unnecessary and undeserved!) use it to develop your products or bin it and chalk it up to experience - it will only affect your baking if you let it!

Keep your chin up thumbs_up.gif

AnneMarie

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 7:50am
post #15 of 43

whether you're doing something right, or doing something wrong, you're pissing someone off.

let the sale go and just keep on making your delicious cakes. icon_smile.gif

Housemouse Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:07am
post #16 of 43

Not sure why you're speechless... heartbroken.. in tears... never want to make another cake... Bet you typed this very shortly after you read that email! Are things looking in better perspective now?

It seems to me that this is just a rather blunt customer giving you some feedback. She's explaining her reasons for not using your services and she had given you good feedback on the filling.

If she was out to be just plain horrible she wouldn't have bothered with the positive feedback. Perhaps she could have enquired whether you made from scratch or used boxes but probably it never crossed her mind to do so.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time ...

You obviously have plenty of other satisfied customers so put this in perspective and move on and continue making wonderful cakes!

ShopGrl1128 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 1:55pm
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Housemouse

Not sure why you're speechless... heartbroken.. in tears... never want to make another cake... Bet you typed this very shortly after you read that email! Are things looking in better perspective now?

It seems to me that this is just a rather blunt customer giving you some feedback. She's explaining her reasons for not using your services and she had given you good feedback on the filling.

If she was out to be just plain horrible she wouldn't have bothered with the positive feedback. Perhaps she could have enquired whether you made from scratch or used boxes but probably it never crossed her mind to do so.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time ...

You obviously have plenty of other satisfied customers so put this in perspective and move on and continue making wonderful cakes!





Just wait until tomorrow, things will look better.

Adrianita Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 2:12pm
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Housemouse

Not sure why you're speechless... heartbroken.. in tears... never want to make another cake... Bet you typed this very shortly after you read that email! Are things looking in better perspective now?

It seems to me that this is just a rather blunt customer giving you some feedback. She's explaining her reasons for not using your services and she had given you good feedback on the filling.

If she was out to be just plain horrible she wouldn't have bothered with the positive feedback. Perhaps she could have enquired whether you made from scratch or used boxes but probably it never crossed her mind to do so.

You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time ...

You obviously have plenty of other satisfied customers so put this in perspective and move on and continue making wonderful cakes!




Yes you are right, I typed this message right after I read her e-mail and I see things differently now.
This is the first negative feedback I have received among many positive ones.

She is definitely no the right customer for me and Iâm not the right baker for her.
I think she was unnecessarily rude and she put it like I lied to her regarding how I bakeâ¦which I didnât!
I never promised this person I baked from scratch and I have absolutely no plans on changing what Iâve been doing just because one person itâs not happy.

Iâm glad someone else is going to deal with her not me.

Iâll print all my âhappy customersâ emails and put them on a special place from now on.

Thank you all for your encouraging words.

Pookie59 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 3:39pm
post #19 of 43

I question that woman's motive in criticizing you like that. She could have just told you that they decided to book with someone else and left it at that. It sounded very harsh to me, as if she purposely wanted to hurt you. Well, you can't please everyone and I suspect she'd be a tough customer/pain in the neck. Good riddance!

kimmypooh79 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 5:39am
post #20 of 43

She sounds like a cake nazi!!!! What a snob!

dinas27 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 3:45pm
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmypooh79

She sounds like a cake nazi!!!! What a snob!




Having different tastes does not mean you are a cake snob!

If you didnt have a successful business wouldnt you want to know why people are not booking with you? I think she was just trying to give you honest feedback - and criticism is hard to take. Since you have a good following - don't worry about it! Be confident in your product and you will continue to be successful.

kimmypooh79 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 6:16pm
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinas27

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmypooh79

She sounds like a cake nazi!!!! What a snob!



Having different tastes does not mean you are a cake snob!

If you didnt have a successful business wouldnt you want to know why people are not booking with you? I think she was just trying to give you honest feedback - and criticism is hard to take. Since you have a good following - don't worry about it! Be confident in your product and you will continue to be successful.





This is what the lady wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrianita



"im sorry it took a while to email, but i have been busy. im sorry, but i am going to book with someone else. i have to be honest, your cake tastes like it is betty crocker or dunkin hines, and i make my own stuff from scratch and i can tell the difference. and the vanilla cake didnt taste like vanilla at all. but on a positive note, your filling was delicious. sorry again".




Sure I'd like to know IF I weren't booking any cakes, but to snub someone b/c they use a box mix IS being a cake snob. And that is ecactly what she did. I make cakes from scratch and a box. The only difference between a box and scratch are, in a box, the artificial colors, (which is why they taste different) soy lecithin to make the cake moist, and shortening to make the cake tender. The boxes still have flour, sugar, flavoring, and the leavening needed to make the cake rise. I have a scratch white cake recipe that tastes almost identical to a boxed white, but if I can save myself some time by opening a box that has the same stuff in it that I would use if I were making a cake from scratch, then I'm gonna use it and add my own touches. That doesn't make it a lesser cake than my all from scratch cake. A lot of bakeries (not just grocery store bakeries) use either pre-made frozen cakes or boxed mixes. And I'll tell you that I don't care whether the cake is from scratch or a box, I want whatever has the better taste and is moist. My DH's aunt paid hundreds of dollars, to a pro, for a Halloween cake (made from scratch) for a catered party and it was the worst cake I've ever tasted. Not only did I trash mine but the cake was hardly eaten. So 1) that lady should not have assumed it was a box cake 2) she should not have snubbed it even though it is .... and 3) getting a scratch cake (or some boxed ones for that matter) doesn't mean it's going to be good. It all depends on the recipe.

dinas27 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:12pm
post #23 of 43

The lady did not say that the cake was a boxed mix - just that was what it tasted like. She had no way of knowing that it was a mix - but guess what she guessed right.

I dont understand why it is bad to be honest - if you got a bad meal in a restaurant would you tell the waitress? Would you just bad mouth them and never go back or give them the opportunity to make things better? That way it is their choice to change things - or in this case the OP is happy and doesnt need to change to make one customer happy.

I don't know when the last time you looked at a box of cake mix kimmy pooh but I would invite you to try to pronouce some of the names on there. That being said - I am genetically predisposed to tasting some chemicals that others can't. Its a simple taste test that anyone can do - if I can taste it and you cant does that make me a cake snob?

ccr03 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:25pm
post #24 of 43

I had a VERY similar experience, but the lady actually called about the cake AFTER the b-day party. Well, my days working as a customer service rep at a retail taught me a few things:

1. Don't lower yourself to 'kicking and screaming'. Calmly say, "Thank you for the input. I am continuously looking to providing the best product and will certainly take this into consideration."

2. If they aren't happy, don't be so quick to offer a refund. We would get people ALL the time trying to exchange/refund something when the store CLEARLY had a NO REFUNDS/NO EXCHANGES policies. My policy there? If they were nice (or a good-looking guy icon_wink.gif - I'd hook them up. The managers were the same way - except on teh good-looking guy part. A simple, calm, "I do apologize for your inconvience, unfortunately there's nothing I can do at this point," goes a long way.

3. Go with your gut!! When that lady called complaining - I felt TERRIBLE and that when away the minute she started being rude! This B2B may have thought was being helpful, but she was less than tactful in doing so. HOnestly, take what she said with a grain of salt and move on.

Now, as for if you should email her back? I would send the following:

"Bride:
Thank you for input. It's unforunate that you didn't like my cake, especially since I work hard to put the best product forward.
I wish you the best on your special day and once again thank you for the consideration.
-Me"

woodthi32 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:39pm
post #25 of 43

Maisiebake, please reconsider your assessment. The criticism in the letter was rude and unsolicited. The idea that she was being polite in her content is a little silly.
That said, delete it and get on with things. Some people don't have much couth, and, yes, some people will like other peoples cakes or designs better than yours. There are a million reason to choose one vendor over another. And be grateful you don't have to work with someone who is so inappropriate. I am making a cake for someone who called, at our consult, one of my cakes "ugly", you don't want to be in a situation where you are trying to please someone who doesn't have faith in you.
"After much consideration we have decided to go with another baker. I apreciate the time that you gave to us and enjoyed meeting youicon_smile.gif"
THAT was what was called for, nothing more, nothing less.

sweetcravings Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:43pm
post #26 of 43

Really, i know that not all people like the same things but does she really have to be so rude about it? Why didn't she just say, "i'm sorry i won't be booking my cake with you. I've found another vendor."? She didn't have to go into her soap box speech about how she bakes her own cakes etc.. I think it just shows you what type of person she is. Personally, i'd be glad she moved on to another cake person. If she doesn't like your cakes, fine..move on. I think her comments were very out of line, and feel the little compliment about the fillings was just thrown in to try and save face. Ugh..i really dislike people like that. My mom always said, "if you have nothing nice to say don't say it at all". I would never say something like that to a professional cake person.
JMHO
Suz

Molly2 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:44pm
post #27 of 43

You know What consider it a blessing because if they are that critical and don't know what a real cake taste like I wouldn't want to be a part of it when the real event happens I just feel for whoever they choose I have a feeling their cake is not going to taste right on the big day, be glad it want be your cake just go on to your next customer NEXT!

Molly icon_biggrin.gif

sweetcravings Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:45pm
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodthi32

Maisiebake, please reconsider your assessment. The criticism in the letter was rude and unsolicited. The idea that she was being polite in her content is a little silly.
That said, delete it and get on with things. Some people don't have much couth, and, yes, some people will like other peoples cakes or designs better than yours. There are a million reason to choose one vendor over another. And be grateful you don't have to work with someone who is so inappropriate. I am making a cake for someone who called, at our consult, one of my cakes "ugly", you don't want to be in a situation where you are trying to please someone who doesn't have faith in you.
"After much consideration we have decided to go with another baker. I apreciate the time that you gave to us and enjoyed meeting youicon_smile.gif"
THAT was what was called for, nothing more, nothing less.




Fully agree!!!!!!!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

fondantgrl Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:51pm
post #29 of 43

Customers are customers (even when they're not customers yet)..

You can't make every one happy in this world no matter how you try. Don't worry about it.. Just ignore it. Sounds like these were just excuses. Focus on those customers that have something nice to say about you. Print their emails , enlarge them and hang them on your wall.. they make good inspiration.. for the rude ones, DELETE them then put it in the trash.. That's where they belong ...

crislen Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:53pm
post #30 of 43

*hugs* Sometimes it is hard to hear harsh feedback when we've heard good all along, it definitely makes you doubt yourself.

But... you've been getting consistently great feedback with what you are doing! Keep doing it! Don't give up on ONE piece of negative feedback. Plus she liked your filling!

She is probably like a friend and me, who grew up on scratch cake and was only exposed to boxed mixes in adult-hood and can usually tell the difference. For me personally, the taste between my vanilla white cake and a boxed white cake is HUGE ~ it doesn't taste like vanilla no matter how much real vanilla is put in, it just doesn't hide the chemical taste (however, for ME, the WASC definitely hides the chemicals, but that is almond over vanilla, who knows icon_biggrin.gif ). But those are my taste buds. Everyone is different. When you are used to one thing (and enjoyed it) getting something unexpected (she probably expected it to taste more like "scratch") it it reasonable to go with something you are more comfortable with.

I definitely think she could have worded it better, but I don't find her a cake snob... she was courteous enough to let you know she wasn't going with you and in a way also let you know that not all people are going to be in your target market!

But you've found your target market who are happy with what you are providing, don't let one potential customer get you so down!

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