Originally Posted by jason_kraft
If there is no process for confirmation, no required deposit for a small order, and a first come/first served policy the customer is reasonable in assuming that their order would be filled. It would be a different story if the customer was made aware that their order was not confirmed.
Originally Posted by Stitches
I did apologize after you all helped me see I did things poorly. It's very cool to have a place like this, where people can mentor others who need it. This whole thing has me wondering exactly what everyone else writes in emails to prospective customers in their daily routines.
We share tutorials of how to make things and do things............but I need tutorials on how to respond to situations better. I know I'm not handling aspects of my business like everyone else here says they do. I feel awkward to set rules before any play happens. Instead of leading the process I seem to always be reacting to how things have gone wrong. I'm not sure if that's because I'm used to being the employee and always doing what's asked of me...........or if I'm seriously stupid. It's not like I'm a passive person who can't talk to strangers I can be VERY Bold and very out going when I have to. I understand as the business owner I need to lead the conversations..............but they always seem to get away from me, so I know I'm doing something/probably a lot of things wrong.
Anyone willing to role play with me and show me what your emails look like to customers? When SuzieQ emails you and asks are you available on May 30th because she need a special cake.........exactly what does your email response to her look like?
Um, rules are supposed to be set before the play begins, how else would you have guidelines and boundaries to work within? You have to lead the process, you're the professional.
Hello SuzieQ, thank you for contacting vgcea about your event scheduled for May 30th 2013. At this time we do have the date available but would need a bit more information about what you have in mind. Attached is a link to our request form (requestform.com) please provide as much detail as possible so that we can ascertain whether we will be able to serve you on that date.
Also attached is a link to our FAQs and Price/Menu pages. These should be helpful in providing you with information about what we have to offer at vgcea.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you again for contacting vgcea.
The way my request form is set up, the form will not submit unless you provide ALL the information: location, #servings needed, date and event time etc. The only optional entry is the photo upload field.
My pricing page states clearly on the FIRST two lines: Orders are confirmed when the retainer is paid.
Oh and by the way, OP I searched your website earlier today for anything that could have mitigated the situation... and you almost had a loophole you could have used. Almost. Since you don't specifically do ONLY wedding cakes, why is your FAQ not generalized to cover all the products you offer? I would start with simplifying things for yourself by standardizing your policy for small and large cakes, and editing your FAQ for 'custom' rather than 'wedding' cakes. If at all possible, always direct a client to your website where they can get the most information about your business, second only to speaking with you. That should cut out many unnecessary emails. I often direct clients to my pricing page and FAQs before things get deep. That alone does a lot of the weeding out.
Here's what's on your website:
Will you provide me with a written estimate? Yes, after our consultation we will write you a quote for your personalized wedding cake. We will hold your date for 10 days from the day the estimate is sent (via email).