Following Up On Order Inquiries??

Business By ConfectionsCC Updated 27 Apr 2011 , 11:23pm by costumeczar

ConfectionsCC Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 8:36pm
post #1 of 19

I have a customer that used my online cake inquiry form. I sent her an email letting her know I received her inquiry, and gave her a few pricing options as well. She left me her email and phone #, so today after not hearing back from her last week, I gave her a call, no answer. I sent her an email informing her that I tried calling, and that she had until Saturday to confirm her order...is that too much? a call then an email letting her know I tried calling? I don't want her to think i am pushy, nor want her to feel forgotten. I will not send her another email or phone call, the rest is up to her...

Anyways, my question really is, how do you follow up after inquiries? Do you return inquiries with a phone call, email, or not at all?

18 replies
snowshoe1 Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 9:56pm
post #2 of 19

I can't tell from your post if you left a voice mail message...but we have a contact form on our site also. I've heard from several people that we've responded to via email they never got our reply. Ends up that often emails will go into the SPAM folder and many people don't check their spam. They have the option on our form to enter a phone number or not - I always contact via phone if they leave a number.

Oh - and to give you my thoughts on your question - no, you're not being pushy, sounds like just trying to follow-up.

loriemoms Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 10:04pm
post #3 of 19

I don't take orders online anymore...because of Spam issues. I tell people to please call our shop. We usually just use emails for people who want to send a photo, etc.. People seem to like coming in and talking in person more anyway. Can do a drawing and such with them.

but back to your question, I agree, doesnt sound too pushy to me!

quietude Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 10:12pm
post #4 of 19

I like for my first contact after someone's submitted a contact us form to be via phone. After that initial talk, much of the other communication is handled via email. For me, it helps to talk initially so that we can be on the same page with things

VanillaCoke Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 10:34pm
post #5 of 19

I email or call back once. If they want me, they will track me down.

ConfectionsCC Posted 26 Apr 2011 , 11:01pm
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

I can't tell from your post if you left a voice mail message...but we have a contact form on our site also. I've heard from several people that we've responded to via email they never got our reply. Ends up that often emails will go into the SPAM folder and many people don't check their spam. They have the option on our form to enter a phone number or not - I always contact via phone if they leave a number.

Oh - and to give you my thoughts on your question - no, you're not being pushy, sounds like just trying to follow-up.





ee spam folder, didn't think of that one. They had a voicemail box, but it wouldn't let me record a message! Said her mailbox was too full?? Apparently she misses a lot of calls LOL!! The reason I am doing a lot of online stuff is for one, no store front, people can not just stop in to place an order. Second, most people find out about me through Facebook! I require that confirmation be done over the phone or in person, and I am not requiring a deposit so I usually designate a time to meet with them to pick that up, or invoice them with paypal!

love2makecakes Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:05pm
post #7 of 19

I use my email for a lot of business. I have talked to a lot of brides and others who routinely thank me for taking care of things via email because they can get a hold of me almost always. A lot of people can not make calls during business hours because they are at work, but can check emails. I can answer emails at 1am if I'm on the computer.

However, I will say that I do not take wedding orders solely via email. I always meet with my clients then if we need to go back and forth via email after that that is okay.

A lot of my returning clients just shoot me an email with orders, seems to work out good for me.

I figure if people contact me via email I tend to think that they should also check email and look through their spam (just as I). If I get no response from them after a quote is sent, I send one more email letting them know that I have not heard back and that they have NOT ordered a cake... At that point I do no further communication.

ConfectionsCC Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:08pm
post #8 of 19

Thanks yall! Love2makecakes...I do pretty much the same thing! I INSIST on an inperson consultation for brides, with the option of tasting, but I make them sign a contract and pay a deposit on their cake to lock in their date...after that email is fine. Party cakes, I am fine with just email, but I tell them that I will call them with their final quote and for confirmation on colors, design and price!

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:26pm
post #9 of 19

I would do one follow up on inquiries and it was a simple "Just following up to make sure you got all of the info ok and to see if there is anything else you need from me. Give me a call when you are ready to make a cake decision!" 99.9% of my cake orders were weddings, so I always had an in-person sampling/consultation before taking the order.

I did everything by email. Everything.

Not knowing the time frame or circumstances, I would have been put off by an email that told me I had until such and such date to place my order. If I had only made an inquiry, I would have felt "threatened" by such wording. Again, I dont' know how last minute this was or anything, just sharing my initial reaction.

love2makecakes Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:33pm
post #10 of 19

I get so many orders that begin with...

Hi I would like to order a cake for such and such date for such and such event, I need this many servings.

To me that sounds like one is absolutely ordering a cake. However, I have learned over time that I do NOT have a cake order till I have confirmed a price, deposit, and pick up time with anyone before assuming I have a cake order.

With that being said I in those cases I make sure they know they have NOT ordered a cake by just emailing me and telling me they want one. I'm not trying to be rude or anything by my emails. I sure do not respond that way to emails requesting info and pricing and such. I might say something like "I am just following up with your inquiry as I had not heard back from you and am wondering if you are still interested in a cake from ABC for such and such event".

ConfectionsCC Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 2:58pm
post #11 of 19

Oh yea, I am not rude about it, and the only reason I gave her until saturday is because I require a 2 week min notice on orders, her cake is for May 14th! I state very clearly in my inquiry form" Filling out this form does not commit you to ordering a cake, nor does it confirm that you have placed an order. Confirmation will take place either during an in person consultation, or over the phone." I do not rely on email alone to confirm orders, I don't know that they are just getting a quote or what, for all i know, they are emailing other bakers. I have had people do the email thing, and then "forget" to let me know they went with someone else! I gave this customer a "friendly reminder that there is a 2 week minimum notice on cake orders"

ConfectionsCC Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 3:07pm
post #12 of 19

Here is the exact emails that were sent. I would love to get some feed back to know if I worded everything ok, and if I come across as professional, or just like your neighbor selling you a cake LOL!

"Thank you for taking the time to fill out my little questionarie I have set up for ordering cakes! I see you are not sure yet of design, so I will give you a few ideas of prices to give you a general idea of how much a may cost!

2 tier cake, Feeds 24:
Buttercream: $2 per serving, or $48
Buttercream with fondant accents: $2.50 per serving, or $60
Fondant: $3.50 per serving, or $84

2 tier to feed 32:
Buttercream: $64
Buttercream with fondant accents: $80
Fondant: $112

Some items that may add to the above costs would be premium cake and filling flavors, and certain fondant accents such as large bows, and fondant figurines! I require a 2 week minimum notice to orders with a 30% non-refundable deposit of the total cake cost. I accept PayPal!

You may reach me at any time through email or at xxx-xxx-xxxx! I look forward to hearing back from you soon!

Kayla Carter- Confections Custom Cakes"

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi again! I have tried to contact you today by phone and was not able to get through to you! I am just checking in to see if you would like to proceed with making a cake order! As a reminder, I require a two week notice for cake orders, so you will have until Saturday, April 30th to confirm an order! You may reach my by email or at 228-219-4156! I hope to hear from you soon icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you for your business,
Kayla Carter- Confections Custom Cakes

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 3:16pm
post #13 of 19

Those sound very nice. I would not have had any negative reaction to that wording. (it just sounded different in the reader's digest version in the above post! icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif )

cakification Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 3:34pm
post #14 of 19

I think your emails sounds very nice and professional and not pushy at all. If i were the customer i would just think you were being helpful in reminding me of the deadline to order.

Just a side note tho - I don't know if i'm the only one who noticed, (and i'm sorry i don't mean to laugh) but it seems like you have a big fondness for the exclamation point icon_smile.gif I've never seen someone be so positive about accepting paypal! icon_wink.gif I'm just kidding with you.. it comes across as very happy icon_smile.gif !

ConfectionsCC Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 4:38pm
post #15 of 19

hehe, yes, I do have a fondness for the "!"!!!! and icon_biggrin.gif I am very happy and bubbley so I guess you can even see it in my emails LOL!! I think people like when their baker is smiling all the time! (even when I don't want to be icon_razz.gif)

cakification Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 5:03pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConfectionsCC

hehe, yes, I do have a fondness for the "!"!!!! and icon_biggrin.gif I am very happy and bubbley so I guess you can even see it in my emails LOL!! I think people like when their baker is smiling all the time! (even when I don't want to be icon_razz.gif)



I think everyone likes it icon_smile.gif It makes me smile just to read your posts! ( !!)

Kitagrl Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 5:26pm
post #17 of 19

If you send them a price and they don't write back, I take that as a "no".

ConfectionsCC Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:53pm
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

If you send them a price and they don't write back, I take that as a "no".



Yea, I have taken it as a no! For future purposes though...I do not have a store front, so its not like someone can just pass by and say" hey, i need to stop in there and order a cake" People come to me online!

costumeczar Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 11:23pm
post #19 of 19

As far as following up, if I send an email and they don't respond I don't email again. Once I hit the "send" button I delete the original message and it's out of my mind. I do require a deposit to lock in dates, so if there's no deposit then an inquiry via email is just an inquiry.

I don't usually take orders online, but I do it occasionally, so it isn't unheard of. But I don't chase people down if they don't respond to me.

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