So I had a call from a lady a couple of weeks ago enquiring about a cake with a Hairdressing theme for her daugther in law who's a hairdresser. She was quite vague on the phone, and didn't have any idea what she wanted apart from that theme. I gave her a price, and she said she would get back to me on the Monday to confirm if she wanted it. She called a few days after monday to say she would like it, and asked me what design i would do. I said I would make hairdressing objects like hairdryer, straighteners, etc to go on the top. She asked me if I could provide candles which I agreed to do, she vaguely asked for me to put them round the "40" (the message for the cake was Happy 40th Birthday.
I made the cake, I did a hairdryer, some GHD straighteners and a can of hair spray and made the message part of the objects. "Happy" was the straightener flex, 40th was being sprayed by the hairspay and "birthday" was comming out of the hairdryer. I thought it looked fine. She arrived to pick it up and was obviously underwhelmed, and kept asking "what is this?" about the objects I'd moddeled then said she couldnt tell what they were becasue she didnt have her glasses
She sort of complained because I had put the candles in an arc round the top edge of thecake, as I thought that by putting them in the fourty, it would spoil how the cake message read, distorting the word "happy", she was annoyed at this I think, but I explained why I'd done it and offered right away to put a few candles in the fourty if she wanted as it was her cake after all! I wish now I had put the candles where shed asked me to in the first place!
I feel really dissappointed that one of my first cakes since setting up as a propper business hasn't gone down well and it has really knocked my confidence. Would any of you mind taking a look and giving me an honest opinion of the cake? Its in my pics....and some advice about how you would deal with this sort of situation? Do you mention it to the client if they seem dissappointed?
My husband said she came accross a bit funny anyway, as in a bit stand offish before shed even seen the cake so maybe I read her wrong, but I feel really dissappinted in myself
Sorry for the long message!!
I think the cake is really cute and it's very apparent what the decorations are supposed to be. I wouldn't let that one experience get me down. She didn't have any definite ideas of what she wanted so what did she expect? Just shrug it off and keep making great cakes. Congratulations on opening your shop. Good luck in the future.
The cake was lovely, I could tell what all the objects were. The customer may have just been looking for a freebie. Just shake it off and start thinking about your next cake.
The only thing I notice about your cute cake is the word happy. I would have made it from much thinner rope of fondant (that's how you did it isn't it?).
We cannot please *every* customer every time! She was vague about what wanted then complains? Only time will tell how the rest of the people like it.
There is nothing wrong with your cake as far as I can tell. You did exactly what you told her and it looks very clean and neat. Now, if "In her mind" she was picturing something else, that is not your fault. I would be different if there was an sketch agreed upon and you did it totally different.
For what i can tell about this costumer, there is no way that you are going to please her now.
Plus, I've looked at all your pictures and they all look great!
You know, you can't please everybody....i've had people say "the frosting was too sweet" or the cake was too moist etc.... I'll just say: I'll add the comment to your file so I know your preferences for the next time.
I think your cake was quite clever. The decorations were obvious. Sometimes when people say they don't have definite ideas I think they really do. Keep on cakin'.
In the future, tell people to get their own candles, or if you're fine w/ selling the candles to them, have them place them on the cake themselves.
The cake is very cute and I love how you did the wording in with the objects.
I agree that this was a very clever execution of the theme. As someone else said, it is very likely that the problem comes from what someone imagines, and what they actually see. Unfortunately, that happens everyday with many different types of situations. If only we could read others minds, and see what they see mentally! Don't beat yourself up over something that is common to human nature. Keep doing the lovely cakes you do!
I'm a hairstylist and I am impressed at the clever way you made this cake incorporating everything (which I knew what everything was immediately, so would the birthday girl.) You did a great job. Can't please everyone but it wasn't due to anything on your part!
I really like your cake and after your explained the idea of the word "happy" being part of the flat iron and the word "birthday" being blown out of the hair dryer, I realized how really cool that was and got your vision. I don't do cakes, but I've been in the food industry for 30 years and have dealt with thousands of patrons. Now here's some advice in dealing with customers. If you can, as in if time allows; meet with your customers before you make the cake and rough sketch and explain your vision to them. If you can't meet with them face to face you could even do it thru email; but face to face is better. If you do that, I think they will see the creativity and uniqueness in your design and then they will be just as excited about your cakes as you are. Good luck with your new business. I like the way you think, so don't change that, you just have to get the customer too see your vision.
Clever is the operative word.
I'm reading your explanation & I'm thinking, Oh no she didn't!!
Then when I saw it & it's really blowing and spraying I'm like wow oh yes she did~~how cool!
Nothing doubting it's a great cake.
Mediocre client--fabulous idea done very well.
I love the cake! Sometimes I think customers have an exact picture in their mind as to what their cake will look like (not that they've communicated this!). It's a great cake.
Why I think it's a really cute cake - absolutely nothing wrong with it! Mabe she's just "old fashioned" and hasn't seen many of really wonderful ideas I see all over this site. I think some older people are just stuck in their old ways.
I think your cake was great! I bet the recipient "got it" and loved it as well.
You guys, thanks so much for your LOVELY messages! You have made me feel so much better about the whole thing, shall just chalk it up as experience! Thanks everyone for the very kind comments about the cake, you made me smile!
I agree. the cake looks fine to me, and I believe the recipient will LOVE it, because it represents her. Maybe, the lady just really couldn't see well. When it gets rave reviews, she will be beaming with pride that SHE did such a great job ordering the cake...LOL.
I just saw your cake and loved it. I didn't find anything wrong with it, I was able to read the message as soon as I saw it. So if she calls back for a discount please don't give it.
I would swear your customer must be my ex-mother-in-law but she doesn't have any daughter-in-laws that she's speaking to right now!
That was a great cake. I loved the "blowing" effects.
ok, so the cake looks awesome so no worries there!! I just wanted to tell you that I had a customer not too long ago do this same exact thing. She ordered a cake, even gave me a photo of exactlly what she wanted, I duplicated it almost dead on (IMO) and when she picked it up, she didn't say anything....not a smile, not anything!! Just said, thanks and left with it!
Well, 3 days later I got an email from her just gushing over how amazing the cake was and how perfect strangers were asking to take photos of it and how her daughter wouldn't leave the table to go play (party at Chuck e. cheese) with her friends because she wanted to stay with the cake.
Moral of this story, people are sometimes preoccupied with PLANNINg the parties that they forget that you're standing there wondering what they think!
The cake looks awesome, i wouldn't worry about it.......I had the same "oh no" feelings when the lady got the tinkerbell doll cake, and turned out she LOVEd it!
i will be stealing your writing idea!
listen...some customers just aren't very demonstrative....and are real nit picky....even if they did like it, they wouldn't show it.
at one of the bakeries i worked at, after one of the old pruney, don't like anything ladies left...one of the workers used to say ..."how'd you like to be the poor old guy who has to sleep with her???"
i guess it's kinda crude, but it was still funny...after they leave...ya need a laugh.
It took me a long time to get used to but there is a big difference when someone is paying for a cake vs. you gifting one. When you're giving away a cake people heap praise on you as a way of "paying" you back with compliments. When someone is paying the reaction is very different. Some of the cakes that I am proudest of I never hear back from the people. I've gotten used to it by now, especially wedding cakes. I just think that they've got so much going on and they're paying you, they don't have to praise you.
I do freebie cakes for the praise, and paid cakes for the money! Don't worry, they probably loved it.
I think the cake is so unique and you should be really proud of it. If she didn't like it, she would not have liked anything you did, AND it may just be that she is a bit odd, and you are reading her signals wrong. Either way, you did great, and you should be happy!
I thought it was a clever design and done well. Like somebody else posted, if she had a different image in her mind...well, she needed to have been clearer in her request.
Another note, some people you just can't read. It's hard not to take it personally but, don't.
I think the cake came out wonderful! I bet that once people compliment her on it, she'll think, "Yeah, you know what- the cake IS nice!".
Sometimes it takes others to like it for US to like it too.
wonderful cake. clever design and so well executed
the customer is a unimaginative prune
I bet the recipient will love it.
I think the cake turned out great!! Can't understand her disappointment.
Maybe she's just one of those "I'm so picky nothing makes me happy" kinda women? The cake is lovely and I know MY hairdresser would get SUCH a kick out of it. I'm sure the lady's daughter did too.
As decorators we can be hardest on ourselves...don't let this shake you up. Some people walk in the door unhappy and nothing you could (or even Duff Goldman) do would make them happy.
She arrived to pick it up and was obviously underwhelmed, and kept asking "what is this?" about the objects I'd moddeled then said she couldnt tell what they were becasue she didnt have her glasses
She even said she couldn't see it because she didn't have her glasses. She had to ask because she couldn't see, so how could she give you a proper assessment? I think you might be just too hard on yourself. If I don't have my glasses on, I ask what something is that I'm trying to make out. It doesn't mean I don't like it, I just can't see it.
I love the design ! Very well done !! I'm guessing she doesn't know what kind of styling tools they now use !! lol
oh yea... I hope you dont' mind I using the idea when my daughter graduates from cosmotology in the spring !!