If you're like me, cake is everything. It's your life, it's what you eat, sleep and dream about. I went into business officially 3 years ago and have gotten maybe 3 "complaints" total. I follow up with every single person to make sure everything was good.
So like I always do on Mondays, I send out follow up emails to the clients from the past weekend. They are always good, thanking me for my service, "we loved the cake!" type of response. Well, I hadn't heard back from one person in 2 days (I usually hear back from clients within a couple of hours after sending out follow up emails.
Client request- last minute order (1 week in advance- I usually require a 3 week notice because I have a full time day job as well) $200 budget for all fondant covered/decorated 2 tiered cake, 30 servings (I start my fondant servings at $4.50 per serving) along with 2 dozen decorated sugar cookies. Did I mention they had a $200 (firm) budget?
By the way the communication (email) was all done during the day before (thurs), the day of and the day after Thanksgiving (friday), order was finally placed on that Saturday. I gave her my sketches with prices and other options that started at $350 and went up from there that included cake and cookies requests.
They decided to go with decorated cookies due to the budget. Ok, no problem- these can easily be done with a 6 day notice and within budget. I give them a call Saturday to take payment for cookies...then they change their mind as I am speaking to them wanting the cake instead and they are now ok with paying over their budget for a cake. So we finalize details, take payment. Several emails were exchanged from the day the order was complete to the Tuesday of- making sure I had the right color, asking me to add more candles, sending several pictures of the correct color they wanted.
I deliver the cake this past Saturday (by the way the wrong address was given to me), they were beyond pleased with the look. Mom proclaimed herself to be a 'mom-zilla' (I guess a joke between her and her friends) and was glad that I was able to deliver the design and colors exactly as they wanted.
In the email, they said the design/colors, my professionalism etc was perfection. However they said my cake tasted like cornbread and something was 'missing' and my chocolate cake was so crumbly that they couldn't cut it without it breaking apart. Also that they expected that the cake look as good as it looks- fair enough and I expect that too. I have never gotten any feedback close to these comments. In fact the only complaints that I ever got was BEFORE I went official and I was still perfecting recipes-back then friends and family said my cake were a little dry but still good. Since then I have dramatically improved my recipes and have gotten positive feedback on every single cake.
1. Yes it was my choice to take the order with just one week notice- after all I have business expenses to pay off! (don't we all!)
2. I had that little funny feeling after the payment was taken and the next day she sent me an email (again) with the exact color they wanted.
3. I taste test all my cakes as I'm stacked and icing them to make sure everything is ok- and like normal everything was ok and nothing out of the ordinary.
It's easy to read about this happening to fellow members on here, but when it happens to you, it's different. After I was able to calm myself down and take a deep breathe and look at this rationally. I tried to remember back to when I was mixing- did I forget any ingredients? When I was baking- did I bake the cakes too long? And I can honestly say that I followed the same procedure I always do. I thought I come here and ask for any feedback, opinions or advice...anything would be great!
P.S. I did offer a free tasting and 10% off her next order- I thought that was fair enough but haven't heard back from her yet.