Customer Frustration!!

Business By Cakemoms24 Updated 31 Jan 2016 , 12:43pm by Apti

Cakemoms24 Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 3:32pm
post #1 of 17

I am new to the baking business and have gotten a bunch of "requests"  for cakes, about 3 of them have already stopped contacting me further after i give them a price, and discuss dates, times and deposit for the cake, 1 was for this upcoming week and FINALLY the person responded back after never putting deposit down or refusing contact. I never start process of cakes until given a deposit but no contact for about 2 months and days before is when she decided to tell me She "forgot" to and she couldn't get it anymore. I also had 2 others that were the same, this is so frustrating to me because I have given up the same dates for orders I could have made. 1 bride did the same as well but backed out since she found someone cheaper.  I wasn't going to lower my price at all and confidant to stick with my initial quote but it is annoying this is happening, maybe they are liking the idea and not wanting to actually go through with it? or going around asking pricing and wasting my time. So I am wondering, at what point should i cancel the order based upon zero communication or issues with having any kind of deposit at the time specified. I have other potential orders and seem to think I may be forfeiting sincere requests for cakes just to have my time wasted....  

16 replies
Apti Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 3:52pm
post #2 of 17
I never start process of cakes until given a deposit but no contact for about 2 months and days before is when she decided to tell me She "forgot" to and she couldn't get it anymore.
Read more at http://www.cakecentral.com/forum/t/827855/customer-frustration#gGeUhOFrBZDUpGMV.99

You are doing the correct thing:  "I... never start process of cakes until given a deposit".  You are not doing the correct thing by "holding a date open" WITHOUT said deposit. 

State VERY clearly in the initial communication ("request") that the date will NOT be held if a deposit [non-refundable] is not received.    Boom....you're done.

It is similar to renting a home to prospective tenants.  The potential tenants are ALL excited and say they'll get right back to you and this is the perfect home (yada yada yada).   You never hear from them again.    No matter how desperately you, the landlord, may want to make a follow-up call to see if they are still interested, don't bother.   These tenants have found another place and they are not going to call all the people at the places they visited and tell them, "Oh, by the way, I've rented another home." 

Ain't.  Going.  To.  Happen. 

Same with cake orders.


*Last edited by Apti on 30 Jan 2016 , 3:54pm
Cakemoms24 Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 3:57pm
post #3 of 17

Good to know!! thanks so much!! definitely the best way to handle that.

leah_s Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 4:36pm
post #4 of 17

" . . .at what point should i cancel the order based upon zero communication or issues with having any kind of deposit at the time specified."


If you don't have a deposit there's NOT an order.  There might be a wish for a cake, but there's not an order.

Simple as that.  


Cakemoms24 Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 4:47pm
post #5 of 17

thank-you. This would definitely limit the frustration element. Thanks 

*Last edited by Cakemoms24 on 30 Jan 2016 , 4:47pm
Webake2gether Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 4:48pm
post #6 of 17

No deposit no order. I'm very clear about that and that I can not keep the date open we book quickly so if you would like to place the order the deposit will need to be paid the order has not been placed until the deposit is paid.  If I don't hear back from them I let it go and move on I never keep a date open for anyone unless they've paid the deposit. I had a lady keep moving her deposit date later and later and I told her the date is not secure without deposit if another order is placed where the deposit is paid I will not be available for your order. Sure enough we booked the customer paid and she lost her date she was not happy but that's life.

Cakemoms24 Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 4:58pm
post #7 of 17

YES, very understandable. I'm definitely a straight forward person, knowing this i'll for sure be more clear and will save me a headache!! 

costumeczar Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 5:05pm
post #8 of 17

I was going to say the same thing, if you don't have an order you don't have a customer, it's just an inquiry. No dates should be saved, no materials to make the cake should be bought, nothing. Unless you don't have a deposit you don't have an order.

Cakemoms24 Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 6:41pm
post #9 of 17

Yeah, just had another customer decide to not order either, frustrating!! why all these people asking and no one ends up really ordering? 

Jedi Knight Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 6:51pm
post #10 of 17

An order without a retainer is not an order, it's an inquiry.

leah_s Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 6:56pm
post #11 of 17

People price shop.  Its a fact of life.  I'm looking to book a vacation.  I've been on more hotel sites than I can count.  I'm not booking, but I am checking their availability and pricing. 

Same thing.

Webake2gether Posted 30 Jan 2016 , 8:41pm
post #12 of 17

For every 3-4 inquiries there is an average of 1 order placed with us. There is some work involved when quoting cake orders. Are you asking what their budget is? That has saved me many headaches and frustrations. Unless I have a go to place i usually do a lot of comparison browsing like Leah_s mentioned as well. There are plenty of reasons why people inquire and never order price is probably the biggest reason. 

Apti Posted 31 Jan 2016 , 2:16am
post #13 of 17

Cakemoms24 Yeah, just had another customer decide to not order either, frustrating!! why all these people asking and no one ends up really ordering? 

Most (maybe 99.9999999%) of fledging cake decorators/bakers have no experience in the cold, cruel, real world of "sales".  It's not their fault; it takes a certain type of personality to sell things and experience rejection over and over and over.    Most bakers (especially newbies) selling custom, high-end, priced cakes actually believe people when they call and act interested in an expensive, custom cake.  Many of these same fledging cake "salespeople" are also driven by very unrealistic business expectations. 

A seasoned sales professional KNOWS that it will take 10 or 100 or even 1,000 calls from potential customers before they will end up with a REAL-PAID-AND-HELD-WITH-A-DEPOSIT-AND PAID-IN-FULL-BEFORE-DELIVERY order for anything being sold.

Although people on CakeCentral can sympathize, empathize, and wish you well, the truth is something you will need to discover for yourself.  I suggest you spend the same amount of time you would spend on creating a 2 tier fondant First Birthday cake (5 hrs?  6 hrs?  8 hrs?) and invest that time reading the pricing topics here on CakeCentral.    Use the keywords:  Pricing, or How to Price Cakes.  Also research the blogs by Costumeczar (excellent) [Costumeczar~~would you please provide some links?] and consider purchasing a book like: Home Baking for Profit by Mimi Shotland Fix





Cakemoms24 Posted 31 Jan 2016 , 3:05am
post #14 of 17

I have researched pricing and other topics but thank you. 

Pastrybaglady Posted 31 Jan 2016 , 3:16am
post #15 of 17

When you're starting out it's always exciting and hopeful when you get calls, but yeah, the actual number of people who actually get cakes from you is very small.  Once you've been doing business a while longer and you've established yourself as someone who makes beautiful and delicious cakes you'll get regular customers and the bargain basement shoppers will already know you're not what they're looking for and move on.

Cakemoms24 Posted 31 Jan 2016 , 3:19am
post #16 of 17

Good thinking! Yeah as of  now there more people I know or have connections with so its just part of the process, the future will look better hopefully ☺️

Apti Posted 31 Jan 2016 , 12:43pm
post #17 of 17

Hang in there!  Sounds like you're doing things right. 

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