Do You Contact Clients After The Event?

Business By SISA Updated 27 Apr 2011 , 2:06am by Kitagrl

SISA Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 2:12am
post #1 of 25

I recently had a client that at first was very surprised by my pricing. She ultimately went with the cheapest option. A few days after the event she sent me a message telling me how much she liked the cake and the design. From her message I thought she was very happy with it. I sent her another one back thanking her and telling that I was glad she enjoyed it. After this I heard from a mutual friend that she was quite upset that I didn't check back with her after the event. She thought that was bad business on my part. Am I missing something? Do most of you check with your clients after the event to make sure they were happy with the product? I would think that is opening the door for complaints and possible refunds. I kind of go with the idea that no news is good news! Any input would be appreciated. I am just really getting started with people outside of friends and family and would like to provide good customer service along with a good product.

24 replies
Cakepro Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 2:24am
post #2 of 25

No! Your client was retarded.

jenmat Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 3:10am
post #3 of 25

Yeah, that would be silly. Why would you check back? If you were a custom floral shop you wouldn't call someone to see if they liked your centerpieces, if you were a hair stylist you wouldn't call to check on how they liked the new 'do. If you were a restaurant you wouldn't call to see if the meal digested properly.
And if you would have called, she would have thought you were looking for a compliment and being pushy.


jamielu23 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 3:32am
post #4 of 25

I agree with what you all said, except the use of the "R" word... icon_sad.gif sad to see people using this word

scp1127 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 3:41am
post #5 of 25

I have to completely disagree. Checking back with your customers is a well known, and one of the best things you can do for customer service. This is all-industry relevant. Why do you think big companies send you a questionaire after a purchase? If you are afraid to hear what people say, trust me, they are telling everyone else. This is your opportunity to make an impression and fix any potential problems. I have contact with all of my customers. If something went wrong, I want to be the first to hear about it. I have not had a complaint, but I will fix it immediately if I ever do. I also have a full refund policy, including delivery fees.

jenmat Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:02am
post #6 of 25

Yeah, sorry about agreeing with the R word. Didn't know it was in a catergory with all the other words that hurt.
Oh well, live and learn.

BakerAnn Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:07am
post #7 of 25
Originally Posted by scp1127

I have to completely disagree. Checking back with your customers is a well known, and one of the best things you can do for customer service. This is all-industry relevant. Why do you think big companies send you a questionaire after a purchase? If you are afraid to hear what people say, trust me, they are telling everyone else. This is your opportunity to make an impression and fix any potential problems. I have contact with all of my customers. If something went wrong, I want to be the first to hear about it. I have not had a complaint, but I will fix it immediately if I ever do. I also have a full refund policy, including delivery fees.

I'm curious about your full refund policy. I can't imagine ever doing that, along with delivery fees, unless the cake met with total disaster before I could get it set up. Do you offer this as pretty much "unconditional" or have certain guidelines for dissatisfaction? In a worst case scenario I can see word about your policy traveling like wildfire and you doing lots of cakes for free!

Don't get me wrong, I am very big on customer service nd will fix anything immediate;y as well. But in this day and age when everyone wants somethin' for nothin' ................ icon_wink.gif

Bluehue Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:21am
post #8 of 25

No, i don't call my customers after the event.
Unless they haven't returned a cake stand or other hired equipement at the time mentioned to them.

After delivering the cake i say my *thank yous* - wish them a happy *whatever* and go on my way.

Many call/send a card to say their thankyous - - which i appreciate.

My hairdresser hasn't phond me yet today to see if i am thrilled with my new head of hair after she did it last night - nor would i expect her to.
I said my *love it* before i left - and paid in full.

If it is a wedding cake i am delivering - i always leave a little something on the present table for the B&G - with a card. If one is polite throughout the consutl - responds to any questions that may come before the delivery day - i don't see i need to phone them and check that they liked it...

I have delivered my order - they have paid - polite conversation is had - - end of transaction.

Are they then meant to cal again saying *thankyou* for my *thankyou* phone call...
Could turn into a bit of overkill.


Navyempress Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:24am
post #9 of 25

I have thank you cards printed up to send out a day or two after the event. I have one for weddings, baby birthdays, military, general thanks, etc. for what ever type of cake they ordered. This way you can show your thanks for their order without coming across too strong. I would also invite them to give me a review on so-and-so site if they were satisfied with their order. I also have customer satisfaction postcards to hand out during delivery if the client is present.

I agree that it is good customer service to make sure your client is happy with their order and you never know, giving that little extra attention could mean the difference between a one-time and a repeat customer.

I don't think it is wrong not to do a follow up, but I do think many people are accustomed to this type of treatment when they order from a place that is "custom and personalized", rather than a impersonal mega store.

scp1127 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:31am
post #10 of 25

I have be a business owner all my life. Good customer service is more important today than it has ever been in the past due to social networking. My cakes aren't cheap and my clientele are mostly upper income. There is less game-playing at this level. My policy is the same whether it is a wedding cake or a small order of cupcakes. There really is no way for this policy to go wrong. And if I ever mess up, I will fix it immediately. I will probably give a gift certificate for a free item in the future if it ever happens. I want my customer to tell what I did wrong on my terms... that I not only fixed it, but invited them back for free.

My refund policy appears in two places on my site; in the"About Us" area, and at checkout where the "terms and conditions" box must be checked. Here is the wording:

We strive to make the best desserts every day, every time. If there is a problem with your dessert, please contact us by phone or email as soon as possible. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO COVER AND SAVE THE UNEATEN PORTION AND STORE ACCORDING TO OUR STORAGE TIPS. We will pick up the item and work with you for a satisfactory solution. We are very careful and complete with our descriptions. If you like the ingredients, you will be happy with our dessert. There are no surprises... just great desserts with a traditional taste.

If you call or email your customers after an event, it makes such a nice impression. Thank You cards are also a big marketing tool... handwritten, of course.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 4:45am
post #11 of 25

I always thought of contacting them afterwards as seeming pushy or fishing for something, like jentreu said. There have been times that I was curious how it went, and wanted to call or email them, but I didn't for that reason. Of course, we also get many of them that email us afterwards to tell us how much they enjoyed it, (not had a complaint yet) and I do thank them for the feedback and tell them how glad I am that they were pleased.

For weddings, I do send a congratulations email and in that I say something to the effect of that I hope they enjoyed the cake, and in the same email ask to set up a time to get the cake stand back. But that's it as far as me initializing contact after the cake has been delivered.

CakeDiva101 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 5:03am
post #12 of 25

In 25 year in the nail salon business I always called a new client to find out how she liked the is important for me to know the good and the bad if any. They appreciated my interest and how important a good work ment for me. I'm taking the same approach with my cake business. My clients pay me a very good amount of money to create their cakes and I will give them the best. The are a lot of things that can happen to a cake: accidents on delivery,colapses at venue and if it was my faut, I will stand up to it and make it right. I don't worry about the quality of my product (taste) or design. The client had a tasting and consultation. She knows what my cakes taste like and she knows the quality of my work. So, I do not call: they may be away on their Honeymoon. I think e-mail at this point is too quick and impersonal. So, after somebody spends their $ on my product, I will send them a company postcard, hand written, with a brief not and attach a gift certificate for a complementary 1 Doz cupcakes or 1 doz cake pops when they purchase another custom cake or a complementary 6" 1 Anniversary cake if it was a wedding over 100 guests.

SISA Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 2:06pm
post #13 of 25

Thanks everyone for all your responses. You all make valid points and now I have some thinking to do about how I want to handle this with future clients. The personal touch and the follow up does appeal to me. I think I would like that but, on the other hand I agree with others. I don't know that I have ever had anyone call me after such a business transaction to follow up about an order or a service. Hmmm.....things to think about. Thanks again everyone for taking the time to respond. The time you took and your opinions are appreciated.

cheatize Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 2:13pm
post #14 of 25

I am irritated when I purchase something and the company calls me to see if I am happy with my purchase. If I weren't happy, I would have contacted the company myself.

Kiddiekakes Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 5:15pm
post #15 of 25

Ditto to what Cheatize said....I don't call/email.I'm sure if they are not happy they will let you know!!

CakeDiva101 Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 5:44pm
post #16 of 25

I would not contact a client to survey or ask her if she like the cake or not. As it was said here, if they did not like it, you will know soon enough. The reason I contact my cake clients is to let them know I appreciate their business. I'm a very personable person and been in customer service for decades. Going out of your way to send a thank you note will only benefit your business. As a consumer myself, I would not expect or be upset if I did not get contacted like the OP costumer was. However, I always remember who send me thank you notes and who doesn't. The little extras will set you apart from your competition. thumbs_up.gif

jammjenks Posted 21 Apr 2011 , 8:59pm
post #17 of 25

I never follow up afterward.

Even if I cross paths when the customer in the grocery store, I don't even mention it.

Larkin121 Posted 22 Apr 2011 , 9:35pm
post #18 of 25

I am super annoyed if someone calls to me follow up on a purchase. I find it to be fishing for more business, remindning me to use them in the future, etc.

It's also considered good customer service to approach people shopping in a store and "help" them find what they need... I worked in several retail places when I was young. I hated this aspect of the job because everyone I knows HATES it when the sales people come "help" you which really means "help you spend your money even if you don't want to." If I need help, I expect someone to be around so I can ask for it and that they will then do their best to help - that's good customer service.

If I purchase something and have a complaint, then I expect to be able to deal with someone pleasant and helpful. That is what I expect for customer service.

A nice card sent in the mail seems less intrusive and I do actually appreciate that - a friendly note comes across differently than someone you have to speak with on the phone who may or may not be trying to sell you something else.

indydebi Posted 23 Apr 2011 , 12:36am
post #19 of 25

I am also one who does not like to be contacted after a purchase or event. If there's a problem, I will call you. Don't clog my VM, email or mailbox.

On a sidenote, I also REALLY dislike restaurant managers hovering by my table asking me if everything is alright. If there's a problem, trust me ..... I WILL request your presence. Hubby actually put on Facebook one time "Hey managers! If I wanted to have lunch with you, I would have asked you to pull up a chair. Leave me alone so I can enjoy my lunch."

Not saying that follow up is bad or anything. But I think the OP's client was a little full of herself to "expect" someone to call and ask her if she liked the cake. wow, in her world, I guess everything DOES revolve around her, huh? icon_lol.gif I mean, geesh, was she really stomping her little foot and complaining about "the cake lady didn't call ME!" icon_confused.gificon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 23 Apr 2011 , 2:19am
post #20 of 25

I don't contact people afterward, but I can see the point of doing it if that's what you think your clients want. I personally am on the "not liking it" side, so I don't want to do it to other people.

Bluehue Posted 23 Apr 2011 , 6:58am
post #21 of 25

We bought a new TV last week
icon_sad.gif no one has phoned me and asked "are you happy with it"? icon_wink.gif

Like me with my customers - they told me everything i needed to know - and if i had a problem - who to phone - just ike my customers know who to phone - if they ever have a problem.

LOLLL - @ Indy - yes, we are the same with wait staff -
I don't like people hovering over me or my plate...
Ask me once if all is to my liking - then let me eat my meal with those *seated* at our table.......... thank you.


loriemoms Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 10:29pm
post #22 of 25

gads, if I called all my customers after they had their cake, I would never be able to get anything done, I would be on the phone all day! ;-0

scp1127 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 1:27am
post #23 of 25

I personally know many of my clients, so I call them. The others get a thank you note on a really nice note card, handwritten, about a week later.

FromScratchSF Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 1:59am
post #24 of 25

Some I do, some I don't. I check back with clients, I don't with customers.

A client is someone I've built a relationship with by speaking with or emailed them a bazillion times to nail a design or event details. I feel that we've "hit it off" so they are my best chance at word of mouth, a positive Yelp review and to become their future resource for all things cake. I have several clients that keep coming back to me over and over, and I even landed a pretty lucrative corporate account just by keeping in touch after the fact.

Customers are the one time people that email me for cupcakes or something basic. I can generally tell if they've just contacted me because my pick-up location is easy, not because they really care too much about where the baked good comes from.


Kitagrl Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:06am
post #25 of 25

I've gone back and forth on it...I've gotten to where if its a smaller order, I don't get back with them. If its a larger order that I post a photo of it in my blog, then I send them an email with the link to my blog, telling them they are free to use the photo on Facebook or whatever, and thanking them again for their purchase.

Sometimes I hear back from customers, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I won't hear back until the next year when they want another cake. As long as I do not hear back, I assume everything was okay, because in our day, if something is not okay, then you DO hear about it!!!

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