ccenter1 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 2:52am
post #1 of

AI own a cake business in a small town. Recently I have had a few customer complaints that have really upset me.mainly because I feel like these people are just trying to get something for free. The complaint I get most is that the cake is so dry that no body at the party could eat any of it. This is a surprise to me because I add pudding mix to my cake recipe and soak it with simple syrup. I also taste every cake I make when I level it and haven't seen where my cakes were dry. I am not good with confrontations so I never know what to say to people. I obviously don't want to give refunds to everyone who complains. Especially if it seems like the type that is complaining just because they didn't want to pay. My most recent complaint waited 3 days after the cake was made to serve it (we had no idea the party was that far away) and then waited another 3 days to complain on my Facebook page so everyone could see. Please any advice would be great on how to handle this. Thanks!

18 replies
Norasmom Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:18am
post #2 of

Block that particular customer from your Facebook page.  Also, be careful who you choose as your customers...if they seem cheap and like they want a free cake, don't work for them.  

IAmPamCakes Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:34am
post #3 of

ADelete it, block them, and have confidence in your good quality work.

kikiandkyle Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:49am
post #4 of

AAs its summer are they putting them in the fridge then not bringing them up to temp?

Smckinney07 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 6:51am
post #5 of

AGet paid up front, when you take your orders have contracts with info about the customer-where and when the party is, if it's outside or not, etc. this will help you troubleshoot if there are actual problems (while making you look more professional). Also, knowing more about the event will help you advise customers against getting their cakes days in advance.

Confrontation is a part of working with people, if you want a successful business you'll have to get used to dealing with customers, there are ways to make customers satisfied without refunds. Also, repeat business and word of mouth referrals are very important for a thriving business. The longer you wait to resolve a problem with a customer the angrier they get. Of course a complaint should come to you personally, ASAP.

You said you've had a few complaints, believe me I understand you can't please everyone maybe you need to look at the customers your targeting. Have you made any changes to your recipes recently? You add pudding to your cakes so your baking with a box mix or a scratch recipe (it doesn't matter to me what kind of cakes your making just trying to help figure out if it's a problem with the cake)?

Exactly what have the customers with complaints said? Did you respond to the customer that had you make her cake really early?

Kadesan Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 7:31am
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom 

Block that particular customer from your Facebook page.  Also, be careful who you choose as your customers...if they seem cheap and like they want a free cake, don't work for them.  


^^ This

as you wish Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:05am
post #7 of

A

Original message sent by Smckinney07

Get paid up front, when you take your orders have contracts with info about the customer-where and when the party is, if it's outside or not, etc. this will help you troubleshoot if there are actual problems (while making you look more professional). Also, knowing more about the event will help you advise customers against getting their cakes days in advance.

Confrontation is a part of working with people, if you want a successful business you'll have to get used to dealing with customers, there are ways to make customers satisfied without refunds. Also, repeat business and word of mouth referrals are very important for a thriving business. The longer you wait to resolve a problem with a customer the angrier they get. Of course a complaint should come to you personally, ASAP.

You said you've had a few complaints, believe me I understand you can't please everyone maybe you need to look at the customers your targeting. Have you made any changes to your recipes recently? You add pudding to your cakes so your baking with a box mix or a scratch recipe (it doesn't matter to me what kind of cakes your making just trying to help figure out if it's a problem with the cake)?

Exactly what have the customers with complaints said? Did you respond to the customer that had you make her cake really early?

Good stuff here. I was thinking the same things. You said you have had complaints, plural. How many complaints are we looking at? I would be seriously looking at what I might be doing wrong if I had multiple complaints about the same problem. Get to the root of this. It might be a problem with your recipe, your oven, your timer, your timeline, your storage or the information you give or do not give to the customer about storage and serving. Find the problem and fix it as soon as possible. If it is just one customer (or just her and her friends) that are complaining, then certainly just block them on FB, put them on your "no cake for you" list and move on!

bct806 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 2:42pm
post #8 of

I completely agree with asyouwish and Smickenny. One complaint could be looking for a free cake but multiple people, all with the same complaint, you need to look into what you may be doing wrong. Look into what you are doing and make sure to tell your customers what they should be doing as well. If it needs to be refrigerated, if it needs to be brought to room temp, anything you would do if you were serving it yourself. If it needs to be eaten in a certain number of days, tell them that. It is easier to just type it all up and hand it to customers when they pick up their cake. Then you don't have to worry about forgetting to tell them something and you have proof of what you said.

IAmPamCakes Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 4:03pm
post #9 of

AI missed the 'few' customer complaints part. I read it as one complaint. Oops. Yes; address the issue quickly, and look into your methods, as already stated by others.

ccenter1 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:19pm

AWe have only had a few complaints in the four years in business. But after the first one about the cake being dry I adjusted my recipe and tried adding pudding. ( we bake from scratch) but recently we had 2 back to back. Both seemed like they just wanted a free cake. It just really upsets me that someone would go post on my business Facebook page without even calling me and trying to fix it. Being in a small town it is hard to target a certain type of client. I did make her pay upfront when she ordered. The first complaint I got about dry cake I wasn't sure what else to do and stupidly did a full refund even though I knew the cake was good. I'm trying to figure out what to do instead but sometimes it seems like people just complain to get something free. Either way is still bruises your confidence. I did write her to apologize about the cake and when she continued to trash me on Facebook I deleted the post and blocked her. Thanks for the advice.

Smckinney07 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:42pm

AI wasn't trying to be hurtful, please don't misunderstand. I just assumed you posted for advise, I'm simply trying to help. Perhaps you should go back to your original recipe. I wouldn't change my recipes after one complaint, you can't please everyone-some people are used to box mix cakes and Walmart cakes. It took me a long time to refine my scratch recipes, they are moist and yummy, after LOTS of trial and error. I imagine as a scratch baker you probably went through the same thing.

You've been in business for 4years and recently are getting complaints so logically I'd say go back to your old recipes if they served you well.

Maybe they wanted a free cake, some people are like that. Maybe they don't like the new recipe. You would know better than me ;)

I understand how a complaint can hurt, it can be utterly heartbreaking but as a professional you've got to move past it and try to learn from it or let it go. That being said, trashing you on any level is childish, especially if you've done everything possible to satisfy them.

Smckinney07 Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 11:45pm

AI'd also like to add that I don't mean any disrespect to people who bake with a box mix! I used them when I started, I simply switched because I wanted more control over what went into my cakes and I wanted to learn more about the science behind baking (which I'm still learning). A good recipe is a good recipe-I don't care what you use ;)

kikiandkyle Posted 22 Aug 2013 , 12:35am

AWas the second complaint from somebody who knows the person you just gave the full refund to?

kakeladi Posted 22 Aug 2013 , 12:53am

Many, many people these days are NOT used to scratch cakes and find them dry.  You do have to have confidence in your product.  Have family and friends try the scraps (if you have any - or bake up a couple cupcakes from the same batter) and make sure they know you expect the truth when they tell you how it is.

You do have to be able to 'read' your customer complaints.  If you are very sure they were fishing for a refund then that just might be the answer.  I don't do facebook so I can't speak to anything others have mentioned in that regard.   

bct806 Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 6:06pm

I bake from scratch as well and always get comments about how moist my cakes are so I still say look into your recipes. Simply adding pudding isn't a cure all. I spray my cakes with simple syrup after torting them. What kind of cakes are you making that soaking them doesn't make them soggy? My cakes are usually hard enough to handle when they come out. I freeze them to make them easier to handle.

loveucake Posted 2 Nov 2013 , 9:44am

AI understand how frusterating it is!!

I have been making upmarket wedding cakes for over 5 years and I got my 1st wedding complaint last weekend. I pride myself on making patisserie quality tasting cakes as well as the professional finish outside.

This customer had a falling out with a friend of mine and that friend said to me has she complained yet?

So the perfect cake went to the venue only to be called a week later told the cake was raw inside every layer. I bake and slice each cake into 3 layers then store in fridge with baking paper in each layer. This way I know it's cooked perfectly. I then frost in each layer, set in fridge then ganache set again overnight and fondant cover next day.

This customer is not letting up and us getting angry that I don't agree with what she said. What should I do? I am afraid she may try to smear my name.? [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3131881/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

loveucake Posted 2 Nov 2013 , 9:50am

AAlso ccentre1 a good way to see what your customers eat is make a cake for yourself iced. Then wait the amount of day or days till they receive it. Then cut it and see his it tastes. Then refrigerate and eat daily until its no longer good. That way you dab tell customers how long your style of baked cake will last.

That way you also know for sure your cakes are not dry.

kikiandkyle Posted 2 Nov 2013 , 12:28pm

Contact the venue and ask them if there were any problems with the cake, and see if you can find any photos of the cut cake via their photographer etc. 

costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2013 , 10:19pm

A

Original message sent by kikiandkyle

Contact the venue and ask them if there were any problems with the cake, and see if you can find any photos of the cut cake via their photographer etc. 

Check their facebook pages, too. You'd be surprised at how lax people are with posting photos of themselves shoving cake in their mouths. But yes, the first thing to do is to call the venue to see what happened. Talk to the person who cut and served the cake.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%