Hi all, I'm looking for alittle advice. I have had a repeat customer that has just annoyed the crap out of me that I don't want to take anymore orders from. What are some ways to politely tell her HELL NO when they want to order another cake? Long story short this customer is not great at communicating final design until the day before her cake order, she did this to me twice. I know shame on me.. Yes I should've cut her loose the first time and I've def learned my lesson with her. I've never been so aggrevated with a customer before, after waiting patiently for days a few glasses of wine the night before her order I had to convince myself that playing baseball with her cake was a bad idea. I've gotten many new customers thru her referrals so i'm trying to be nice instead of telling her what I really think of her. Thanks
If she has said a specific date, simply tell her you are booked?? If she is wanting a cake from you and willing to change the date to get it you might make sure you have deadlines for things in your contract and tell her you are sticking to it? I know it is easier to say than do when you are working with someone you kind of know but otherwise you stress yourself out. Best of luck
I'm not sure what types of cakes these are, maybe they are not large elaborate cakes where you would have an actual contract, but with any cake order there should be some terms related to design and payment. You can provide a date where no changes can be made and stick to it. It might help to make this the same day the payment for the cake or a deposit is due, that way she has made a commitment by putting down money.
It is great that she is providing you with referrals, she must really like your work. What you don't want is for her to be referring her friends to you telling them they can call you last minute with changes and you will be accommodating, that would be a nightmare. I think you just need to set expectations with this customer and stick to them.
You're going to run across a lot of people who, for what ever the reason, are disorganized in cake ordering and it's your job to give them clear guidelines.
Do something approximating the following:
Tell her you have a new rule that cakes must be completely designed no later than 2 weeks prior to the date and no changes are allowed after. You're very sorry, but this is the only thing that will work for you and there's nothing you can do about it. You can say it's because of an increase in business.
Then stick with it - the first time she waits past one day of the deadline, tell her you had to take another order and now your booked up. Since she didn't get the order in on time, you figured she had changed her mind.
AAnother option is to institute a change fee. Once the customer books the order and puts down a deposit, the order is considered finalized. Every time the customer makes a change after that point a 10% change fee (or whatever makes sense for you) would be payable immediately. Be sure the customer understands this and signs separately for this clause.
Starting two weeks prior to the event, any changes would require placing a new order (payable in full immediately) and forfeiting the nonrefundable deposit and any change fees paid for the previous order. Or you could just say no changes are allowed at all after 2 weeks prior.
These responses are much appreciated and are really good advice. I think I have a better idea of how to handle it now. Thanks everyone