I just did my first non family/friend wedding. I would like to find out if things went well. Should I call the bride, or just wait to see if she contacts me? Thanks for your help in advance
Not hearing from the bride is a good sign, although I understand wanting to get feedback. Be sure she'd have contacted you if things hadn't been ok. =)
No news is usually good news
I agree with the others, don't contact. You could be opening a can of worms. Sometimes when you ask for feedback you don't get what you were looking for. Sometimes you get: "Well since YOU asked..." and then a list of things they thought could have been better. I like feed back (who doesn't) but I don't want to risk the customer thinking they can get a partial refund since I asked their opinion.
I ask for feedback on every cake I do. I always tell people that if I don't get feedback, I can't know what I did good--or bad.
If someone doesn't e-mail me within a month, I e-mail them a friendly reminder.
I've had no issues asking nicely for feedback. Of the one complaint I've received, it was to tell me that a particular style of cake seemed a bit dry. I took it to heart and now make the cake differently--no more complaints! The original client has since order more cakes. It was a win-win for both of us.
I'm a smallfry, so I can do this and I take my cakes rather "personally".
I also expect waitstaff to ask me how my meal was................and I always am honest--both with the good, and the bad.
I've recently started sending a thank you email to my customers a couple of days after their event. I don't specifically ask for feedback in the email - just a simple, thank you for your order, I enjoyed making the cake, hope you had a great party, etc. But often, I get feedback in response to this email. Just an idea for you. HTH.
I totally agree with BlakesCakes and mfoxx9. Feedback is important so that you can either continue doing well or improve your skills. I made some orange mini cupcakes with a orange zest buttercream. In my email, I asked the customer and she replied they were a bit dry (those pesky minis!). I received another order from her two weeks later. Just because a customer tells you something bad doesn't mean they will never do business with you again. And seriously, if the feedback is accurate and fair (key words here), why would you want to continue making something that's not right?
In addition, a followup email is a great tool to let a customer know you appreciated their business; something that is often overlooked by many people. Think about times when you received a followup of any kind for services YOU received. You have to admit it's nice to know that business or employee took the time to do that.
When you avoid feedback and don't open up the proverbial can of worms, your client will make her complaints to friends, family, and co-workers instead of you. A few dollars refund... which is entitled if the cake is not right... will be much more of a loss over time with an unhappy customer.
People are paying a premium for these cakes and that is the type of quality that should be delivered. How will you know if you don't ask?
A nice thank you note asking for the opportunity to serve them in the future is a nice door-opener. And a sentence offering to help with any questions makes you look open to praise as well as a problem. I have a full satisfaction refund policy so my customers can purchase with no worries about getting a bad cake. The full details are on my site in plain view.