Some Days People Make Me Crazy (Vent)

Business By costumeczar Updated 23 Nov 2008 , 1:59am by step0nmi

costumeczar Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 6:12pm
post #1 of 12

What is it recently with clients who email to ask a question, then don't respond with the information that you need to answer it? I've had two or three people this past week alone write with a vague question, to which I respond that I need this, that and that detail before I can answer it. They respond with one of the three pieces, so I have to write back and ask again for the other details. They then respond with the second of the three pieces, and I have to write back again. For pete's sake, what are they thinking? You'd think they'd give me the information I ask for since they're the one who wants the answer! icon_mad.gif

11 replies
Auryn Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 7:04pm
post #2 of 12

I wish I could tell you
I am in the boating industry and it happens to us all the time too.
People don't read.

ShopGrl1128 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 7:26pm
post #3 of 12

In my day job (I'm a engineer) I deal with customers from all over South America.

My customers are not individuals but companies and I mostly deal with their engineers and business owners that are highly educated and I have the same problem.
The type of work I do require clear instructions and specifications and one single millimeter or misunderstanding can ruin a several thousand dollar job.

I've come to a point that I email my customers :
âIn order to proceed and give you a correct answer I need you to answer ALL of the following questionsâ, and I number them 1), 2), 3), etc.
and believe it or not they start rambling and donât answer my precise questionsâ¦to which I just copy and paste the saaaaaame questions until the finally answer themâ¦

Heheheâ¦I can be a pain in the butt some timesâ¦but in my type of job making a mistake or assuming this or that is not an option.

Itâs not only with cake civilians, most people nowadays donât read and donât know how to follow directions.

KKC Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 7:31pm
post #4 of 12

Yeah..i agree with Auryn...i think that they don't read and if they do its only what they want to read. My hubby said why don't u just ask them one question at a time instead of in the one email...seriously, who has time to do stuff like that?!

Deb_ Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:29pm
post #5 of 12

That's the one pet peeve I have about e-mail orders. Why can't people go back to the "old fashioned" phone call, it's a lot quicker and less problematic. You ask a question, they answer, etc.....icon_rolleyes.gif Now I'm starting to sound like my parents.............

karateka Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:10pm
post #6 of 12

I'm having the same issue with a bride right now. She comes in and wants one thing. Then I don't hear from her and assume she hired someone else.

Next she emails, asking a question about pricing with an entirely new configuration. Finally she says, yes, we want you....did you mail the contract yet?

I'm thinking WTF??? icon_confused.gif

I've asked you in all of your emails what configuraion you want: square, round, 4 tier, 3 tier, what flavors you decided on, what flavor in what tier, any fillings, do you want fondant or buttercream and have gotten NO concrete answers! But I'm supposed to have mailed a contract??? And describe the cake how, exactly?? will be a wedding cake, unknown flavor, unknown icing, between 190 and 250 servings, either square or round, and it will be delivered on so and so date at x time!

Yeah, that should cover it.

She finally specified flavors and fillings and in what order, but failed to be specific on the fondant issue. icon_cry.gif

I want to strangle her.

arosstx Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:16pm
post #7 of 12

I sometimes number stuff when I need specific answers to avoid this very issue.

In order to do your cake I need to know:
1. date of reception
2. # of servings
3. blah blah
4. blah!

I think seeing the numbers helps.

Kay_NL Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 2:27pm
post #8 of 12

I'm working on a new website that will have a form to submit cake inquiries, rather than direct email. On the form the fields are all mandatory so I'm hoping this cuts down on the problem!! There is one particular customer I have who still hasn't told me what flavor she wants after 5-6 emails back and forth where she answers all the questions except that one...

I don't handle a lot of phone calls because it is my side job and I don't answer my cell phone for non-emergency calls during my regular work day! I certainly don't mind handling phone calls, but I often have to call back because I need to look at my spreadsheet for pricing and availability, etc.

mommicakes Posted 20 Nov 2008 , 8:54pm
post #9 of 12

icon_mad.gif People have NO clue. I really get perturbed at the ones that call on Tuesday and need a cake for Wednesday afternoon. UH NOOOOO!!!!

Can't stand it. Lead times are discussed at length during consults and if I don't hear back within 1 week afterwards, I will send 1 inquiry to them, after that, not chasing.

cakesdivine Posted 22 Nov 2008 , 9:10pm
post #10 of 12

Had this happen to me today, well sort of...Bride sees my ad on Craigslist, emails me and tells me she will only pay $200 for a wedding cake that will feed 100.

Here is my response to her:
"Dear Kimberly,

I hate to say this, but you will more than likely have to go to Walmart, Sam's, or Costco, or a non-licensed baker for your cake (very risky). Most legitimate bakeries that do custom cakes and wedding cakes have prices that begin at $3.00 per serving for a cake serving 100, and that is a basic butter cream cake with border and a few buttercream flowers. If you want something fancier or you want fondant the prices begin at $6 per serving for 100 servings. The grocery stores do not use fondant, and your cake gets no more concern than little Susie's birthday cake, or the other 75 to 85 cake orders they have for that day. Just to warn, you get what you pay for.

A wedding cake worth anything in taste and looks takes over 8 man hours to make from start to finish. Most professional cake designers make $20 to $25 per hour for their labor so just with that alone, not taking into consideration costs of ingredients, pillars, cake boards, boxes, support equipment, and any other decorating items disposable or otherwise you are at $200. Add in the cost of all the other things listed above and the bakery has lost money on that $200 cake.

I would hate to see your wedding day ruined by a cake made by an inexperienced, unlicensed decorator who doesn't know how to properly build a wedding cake, or a grocery store decorator who is rushing to meet her many cake deadlines she has at the store so the job looks sloppy. I have 24 years of decorating experience. I have worked in grocery stores so I know what I am talking about there, private bakeries, and have had my own cake shop since 2000.

I think you will find a baker or two on Craigslist that will do the cake for the price you want, but they more than likely are doing them out of their homes which in the State of Texas is illegal. Those of us legitimate bakers who have insurance & a licensed kitchen (other items factored into the cost of a cake) are a much safer bet to invest your wedding dollars.

There are somethings you should never skimp on...a wedding cake is one.

Angela Pineda, Owner
Cakes Divine, LLC

I seriously doubt she will get it icon_wink.gif

loriemoms Posted 23 Nov 2008 , 1:35am
post #11 of 12

I hate when you answer all their questions and they never write back. (I usually don't have that many questions, as most of my orders are placed thorugh an online order form) So you figure ok, they don't want the order. Then a week before the date they wanted thier cake, they write back. I usually am booked at that point. I get too many emails (over 100 a day during busy season) to keep track of people who haven't written back! I agree, use the phone to place your order!

step0nmi Posted 23 Nov 2008 , 1:59am
post #12 of 12
Originally Posted by arosstx

I sometimes number stuff when I need specific answers to avoid this very issue.

In order to do your cake I need to know:
1. date of reception
2. # of servings
3. blah blah
4. blah!

I think seeing the numbers helps.

YES!! you HAVE to number's like when people only go to respond...they only think of the first thing you mention. IF you have them in numbered order then they know there are multiple things to respond to. people just don't go back to read...they read it the first time...they just don't answer thoroughly. its a psychological thing icon_razz.gif

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