How Would You Answer To A Customer...

Decorating By Lelka Updated 8 Feb 2012 , 9:36pm by Lelka

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 2:25am
post #1 of 22

Customer was ready to place an order, all details were out of the way. She wants to pick the order up, I am all for it. 1.5 hours away, not till end of April. I quoted her or offered to pick the order up from my location. She came back to me, furious that I quoted so much, saying that another baker gave her much lower delivery quote and she will have to talk to her husband. Most likely, delivery price that what did her in... Kinda disappointed, because I already invested myself into all the details, but not enough to budge on the delivery. I dont know what gas prices are going to be in April, its $4 right now and 3 hours of my time. So if any of you could help me with some wording for my reply to the customer (never happened to me before, lucky, I guess). Something kind but firm, polite but not mushy...

21 replies
AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 2:45am
post #2 of 22

I read that she wants to pick it up.....I don't get why she cares about the delivery charge?

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 2:58am
post #3 of 22

Because now she wants the delivery...

AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:16am
post #4 of 22

I would evaluate how important the order is to you. I'd rather lose a little bit and keep a big order. I have no idea how much you are making on this order, or if you would be hurt to budge on I guess you have to evaluate that yourself.

AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:17am
post #5 of 22

Darling work by the way!

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:39am
post #6 of 22

How much are you charging for delivery, and how much is the total order?

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:42am
post #7 of 22

The total order is little over $200, and delivery is around $75

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:57am
post #8 of 22

$75 is more than reasonable, we would have charged $180 for delivery alone for that order. If the customer is not happy with the delivery charge I would recommend politely wishing the customer the best of luck on their event and that you hope you can serve them in the future.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:57am
post #9 of 22

That $75 barely covers the tank of gas you will use and a crappy meal at a drive-thru since you will be eating one of your meals on the road.

Gas goes up every Spring as they have to change back over to summer fuel mixes for all of the gas.

$75 is a bargain.

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 3:59am
post #10 of 22

The other baker quoted her $40. I dont know how that is possible....

karukaru Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 4:00am
post #11 of 22

I think the delivery price is fine regardless of the price of the cake. The price doesn't matter becauae you still have to drive to the location. One of our local bakeries here in Ft.Lauderdale/Miami charges $85 and that is only within the same county. she charges even more if it is in other counties. If she doesn't want to pay for the fee, then she can pick it up. You can maybe pick a halfway location and bring the cake over there, for a lesser charge, so that she can take it to the final place.
I wouldn't lower the price because you would essentially be saying that you know you are charging too much and you just wanted to get as much money as you could. It takes time, money gas, etc etc to deliver the cake and If she wants it delivered then she needs to pay.
I wish I could tell you how to be nice but i struggle with the same thing. I just recently started to value my own time and I'm just starting to be more assertive even if that means losing business. If you do it once then she is going to expect the same thing again and the same thing is going to happen if she refers you to someone else.
I hope that what I wrote makes sense because I am using my phone icon_wink.gif

Good Luck!

kakeladi Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 4:03am
post #12 of 22

.......Gas goes up every Spring.....

Yes and I just heard on tv last night that by spring many places can be paying over $4.59 a gal.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 4:08am
post #13 of 22

We use $6/gallon for budgeting gas costs (for both personal and business budgets), and we increase that figure by $1 every few years for inflation. In Europe people routinely pay $8-10+/gallon, there are so many external environmental costs that are not being factored in to the US price there's no way it can stay as low as it is for much longer.

Re the other baker charging $40, they might be considerably closer to the customer, or the customer could be lying.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 4:13am
post #14 of 22

I charge by the mile, assuming it was 75 miles away, I would've charged her $112.50.

LisaPeps Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 11:12am
post #15 of 22

Don't I know about the cost of gas in the UK :'( We pay £6 per gallon which is the equivalent of $9.50/gallon... it's ridiculous!

Anyhow... I wouldn't budge either. I would say something like... "I apologise that the delivery charge wasn't what you were expecting, however with the current economic climate it is necessary to take into account the rising fuel charges. Given the distance we would need to travel, the $75 charge is unavoidable. As an alternative, the option to collect is still available should you wish to proceed with your order.

Wishing you the best with your event.. blah blah blah... etc.. "


scp1127 Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 12:03pm
post #16 of 22

I hate to sound like the bad guy, but these issues of budget and delivery should be discussed long before the design.

For example, I got a call from the mother of a student from our rival prep school. She would be across the country and would miss her son's birthday. She was specific about the cake and I made a suggestion to make it a sheet cake because only kids would be there to cut the cake. I asked about plates and napkins and she said she needed it as it was a boarding school, so specialty iteme would be hard to get. I will preface this whith the fact that she had already been to my website. This part of the conversation took about two minutes. Next question was budget. She said under $50.00. I told her that even my 9 inch smallest cake would be over budget. She said could we leave off the plates and napkins? This conversation was a total of three minutes because budget and need had been established. She agreed to the small order. Ironically, the tuition for that school is $31,000 a year.

My point.... get to the budget and need right away. She should have been told up front the approximate cake price including the delivery based on how many servings. It is not the customer's fault that you went to so much trouble. It is yours for not finding the total budget and giving her an idea of the cost based on servings. If those two points don't meet, total budget and servings, the conversation is over in three minutes. The idea of wowing them with your design hoping that the money will be there is not good business. The customer does not want to be surprised or have her time wasted any more than you do.

If someone asks me about a wedding cake, I ask how many people? I next inform them that the cake would be a minimum of $$$ and is this in line with their budget? If the answer is that it is too high, you can ask some probing questions and find if she is way off and no cake can be bought anywhere, you can spend a few minutes talking about cake prices in general. If you help her and are informative, as she shops, she may come back to the baker who was so helpful with a more realistic budget.

AZCouture Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 2:48pm
post #17 of 22

I think your delivery price was already too low, and $45 or whatever that other person supposedly quoted is insane. $200 can't possibly be that big of a cake, so she can either pick it up or pay it, I would say.

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 5:26pm
post #18 of 22

We didnt discuss the delivery because from the beginning she wanted to pick it up. My wedding quotes are always including the delivery/set up fees. I know I shouldn't budge, specially my calender in April as full as it is already, I just wanted to phrase it in my email eloquently and was asking for suggestions. Thank you all and thank you LisaPeps for answering my question icon_smile.gif

BizCoCos Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 7:47pm
post #19 of 22

great answer lisapeps! I , did a little research in my area
1-$15 minimum with $! pe mile so that would be 108 plus extra for elaborate cakes
2-$30.00-local then $100.00 minimum for long distance plus extra for elaborate?
3.Most of the bakeries do not list delivery info-you have to call to get an estimate-i'm guessing these might start in the 150-250.00 range. so yes, your quote seems more than reasonable, good luck

scp1127 Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 9:08pm
post #20 of 22

The quote for delivery was added to the order by you. Since you knew it was a good distance away, maybe it would have been better to tell her up front about the option or just leave it out. Ayway, you went to all of that trouble and then added the surprise. Sorry, but if you knew that you always include it, I would have told her up front. Problems come when bakers add information on the quote because they don't want to discuss them up front or in person. Again, it just wastes everyone's time. If you make that many cakes, you should know that people say they will pick up, but in the end, common sense tells them that they may not be capable of transport.

The price is the price. It is so irritating when a customer gets the roundabout price dance. It's like the use car dealer that keeps skirting the issue of the price put on your trade. The answer may be met with resistance, so it gets put off.

Pros do not have these surprise pricing questions and wasted time by not being up front. Customers appreciate this too.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 9:14pm
post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by scp1127

The quote for delivery was added to the order by you. Since you knew it was a good distance away, maybe it would have been better to tell her up front about the option or just leave it out.

When we get a customer who asks to pick up the cake we don't quote them a delivery price just in case they change their mind. If they ask how much it would cost with delivery that's a different story, but it doesn't sound like that's the case here.

Lelka Posted 8 Feb 2012 , 9:36pm
post #22 of 22

As Jason, I do not quote for delivery unless customer is asking for it. Majority of my customers come in to pick the order up. Large orders and wedding cakes are always delivered and customer is always informed about the charges and I never had a problem before. My cake quotes never contain the "delivery" charges. If you call any bakery and ask how much is "xyz" cake, you dont hear "would you like us to deliver it". That is up to a customer to decide and for you to quote once you are being asked.

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