What percent of the time do you business gals (or guys!) please your customers?
I feel like most of the time I do, but then on the other hand the more business I get....the more people expect and once in awhile I feel I don't deliver quite what they expected. It doesn't happen all the time...I feel like most of the time I exceed what people hoped...but once in awhile I get a customer that is slightly let down, I think...maybe I had trouble with their design or had an "off" week. Nothing bad enough to refund or get them truly upset but just not living up to the reputation the people thought I had.
I assume that the more customers I get, the greater chance I have of letting someone down. I guess I want to hear from some of you bakery owners with awesome reputations about letting customers down? I know it must happen, as we are all human, but I'd love to hear about it...and if it affected your business at all?
As long as you're doing your best to do good work, and you deliver what the customer wanted, you can't do more than that. You're going to have some people who are let down, but they probably had unrealistic expectations in the first place. As long as you know that you filled their order the way they ordered it, you can't do more than that.
The chef that taught my cake decorating class at culinary school told us to always remember that "in general, most people are very easy to impress." She just wanted us to not bo too hard on ourselves, since we're our own worst critics.
As far as affecting our business, I can think of two people who complained after I did their cakes exactly the way they insisted on having them done. Neither liked the way that THEIR designs turned out, but I had delivered exactly what they had ordered. It didn't affect my business one bit, both venues that had their receptions have since put me on their preferred vendor lists. Most business that I get is by word-of-mouth, so I'm careful to maintain good relationships with other vendors. If you do get a complaint, do your own follow-up with the reception venue or anyone else that you can contact to get a neutral description of what happened. I think that everyone in business has "interesting" clients once in a while, so they'll understand.
I'd also be curious to see how others measure customer satisfaction. Most times, when I deliver cookies, you can tell from someone's reaction/expression that they are happy with the order. I also have found my business on "review" websites, such as Yelp.com and then you can really read people's honest feedback I always just hope that if there is something wrong with the order, the customer is up front about it and not just pretending to like something to be "nice" (and then plasters the bad feedback all over the internet!!)
I also wonder if there is an industry standard in the bakery biz for "repeat" business vs new customers, as I think that's one measure of customer satisfaction. (hopefully not TOO many "repeat wedding customers! but most of my stuff is special event vs. wedding)
I recently found a review online that was 3 out of 5 stars, but the person never emailed me or complained or anything. Their actual comments were not bad but the star rating wasn't great. So I'm wondering...I mean I think everyone likes their cakes but I guess once in awhile things aren't as good as they should be.
I already posted about the rating a few weeks ago, but I'm just wondering if its normal that a person here or there gets disappointed.
I've had the same thing happen...The remarks were all really great, then they give you three out of 5 stars for some reason. Some people don't give 100% just on principal, but who can figure it out?? As long as the remarks are good, don't worry too much.
Also, remember that for every 100 positive remarks you'll have one negative, and the negative tends to be the one that we all dwell on!