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Have you ever had dissatisfied customers/clients?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm a home baker and I do cakes for customers being it a wedding birthday or just a special occasion or a treat for them.

And I always get feedback with my cakes being tasty, moist and delicious.

Recently I did a wedding cake. The cakes were what the client wanted and I can tel you try were moist and tasty because I did try them myself. Everything made from scratch and love.
However the design of the cake didn't turn out the way it had to which granted that was my mistake. What would you do of the client came back after the event and complaint about the cake and its design after the already paid you even that free the event took place.
I did however not charge them extra when they increased the size if the cake, the cake padestal was free from hire and the customize cake topper didn't include fully in the price when quoted.
What would you do after everything is done the cake is devoured and the client comes back complaining???
post #2 of 10
Quote:

However the design of the cake didn't turn out the way it had to which granted that was my mistake

 

You made a nice tasting cake, yet the design was a bit off. You are honest.

 

I assume you want to  keep your client instead of losing him/her, I would  give them 10 % off their next order and call it a day.

You end up keeping your client and you are  garanteed another order.

 

But thats just me.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
post #3 of 10

I dunno......

 

I do a lot of cakes at my place.  Had this one customer who, over the last few years has ordered maybe 6.  Last cake she ordered was the last.  The customer came back a day later and wanted a refund, complained to my partner that the cake was dry.  When I talked to her, she  complained to me that the icing was "different", but no complaints about it being dry.  She was very insistent on getting a full refund

 

What do you do?

 

She complained that the cake was only half eaten.  Now we have something.  I asked her to bring the other half back if she wanted her refund. She was very upset but couldn't argue the logic.  She came back a few hours later with the half cake.  All the decorations and chocolate dipped strawberries had been pushed to one side.

 

I gave her the full refund.

She has never come back

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 10

It sounds to me like they are just very fussy people, i hate people like that who just pull their face at everything yet don't appriciate the effort you put into making it, i would just ignore customers like that really you don't need them, watch out for those customers because they are not really unsatisfied they are just saying that to try and push their luck and get their money back so they can get a free cake, i wouldn't give any refunds to people no more especially when people do that, i see it all the time even at paper shops and they come back with a half eaten chocolate bar to say they just didn't like the chocolate lol, they boaght it and eaten it so they don't need their money back, life is all about trying things out and if they didn't like your cakes because it's not their taste then that it's their own problem and shouldn't be yours, i really don't like people that can't see that everything doesn't go their way all the time, believe me i know what that's like when everyone around me wants me to live up to their expectations all the time and as a cake maker people expect you to do that but that's just taking advantage of your services, people will try anything and the woman who didn't eat half the cake was just pushing it really, nobody could see that half the cake wouldn't of been eaten, she obviously didn't take into consideration how much sugar is just too much sugar and she changed her story saying it was dry then changed it to it being the icing :\, there is nothing wrong with your cakes hun they are just being greedy people.

 

My advice is put terms and conditions on refunds because what are you going to do with half an eaten cake? you can't give that to anyone now because it is against health and safety, all their germs from their mouths have gone all over the cake now, if the cake is already eaten then do not give them a refund due to people being cheeky like that, and for decorations tell them to be specific as possible so that you properly know what they want on their cake, of course being that other people see things a bit different creatively you can't always get their pattern right so customers need to try and see that everyone doesn't see like them ether, you can ask them to search online and give you a picture of what they would like it to be like so then your not blindly just doing the decorations. Also cakes only stay fresh for a few days and needs to be eaten, i would reccomend advising customers about cake portions and how many it can feed so lets say a small cake that would have like 6 decent slices?, you could write this on posters "A great yummy small sized cake great for little kids parties or just for you and your partner to enjoy at tea time" and then the medium and large cakes you can say "great for a whole family to enjoy or are you having a party and need a nice cake? then these are the right cakes to order with plenty of cake to go around" lol, be smart about it because people try to be a little greedy but realize at the end they ordered too much cake hehe :P.

post #5 of 10

Quite a post, emmbai 90..

 

I can't pick and choose my customers, what comes in through the doors is what I get, it 's up to me to handle the customers.  And I did the best I could.

 

I think you've got it all wrong with refunds and half-eaten cakes.  Of course the cake hit the garbage can before the customer left the door

.

Look, say you order a steak dinner, eat it all, and then complain that it wasn't good?  No waiter or owner will take that complaint, you can't argue with the logic that you should have complained BEFORE you completly ate the whole thing.

 

So, I called the customer's bluff:  Show me the half eaten cake. She did.  I can't back out now, and I didn't.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 10

I know what your saying but see it's not your fault they don't use their logic and that woman didn't use hers and think the cake she ordered was too much cake, you shouldn't refund them for it because people come in and say it's not nice when it really was but they just simply don't want to actually really pay for the cake see, you sound like a lovely person just you need to be careful of people because they will do this, i would not give refunds back when they have already eaten some of it because as you said it will just get thrown away, you can't really sell the rest of the cake and it just messes with your cake making buisness too, a lot of people are very greedy and over consume, they think they need a huge cake just for 2 or 3 people when they don't but coming back with the half eaten cake wanting her money back because she ordered too much isn't really nice of her, so really if i had a cake buisiness i would put up a poster advising them on portion sizes and what sizes is enough for how many people so then they don't go and buy too much cake and then come back saying nobody ate half the cake, it's just not right really.

post #7 of 10

No, you got it all wrong, again.

 

Customer figured she was entitled to a freebie after ordering 5 or 6 cakes from me, that's why she wanted the refund, nothing to do with the size of the cake. A scam if you will, or maybe just self entitlement. After all, she did get 5 or 6 full price cakes from, so she should be entitled to a discount,right? 

 

Look, you sound like a lovely person, but try running your own business for 15 years, it's an eye opener O.K.?.  You have to be diplomatic with customers, can't just flat-out say no to them.

 

Here's a secret you might have learned watching TV police shows:  Kidnapper holds hostage ransom for 1 million.   Police  negotiates with the kidnapper, 1 million is not possible for at least a month, how about 750,000 within 12 hours?  Reason for this?  If the kidnapper agrees to the 1 million right away, then the kidnapper automatically feels like he should have gotten a better deal and will welch on the 1 million deal. 

 

If I automatically give the customer a full refund they will want more, and will whine and moan non-stop for months on end to all their friends and FB buddies. 

 

If I don't,  it's the same. 

 

If I haggle and make the customer move their lazy conniving butt and bring back the uneaten cake that they complained about,(but didn't bring with them--which they should have done if the complaint was genuine) then they will get their refund, BUT can't eat their cake that in all likelyhood would have been eaten that night.

 

Bittersweet..... 

 

Thus, customer can't whine and moan to their buddies, because I called thier bluff.

 

Embarassing.... 

 

Makes them really think next time they want to pull that stunt at another bakery or store.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

P.S.

Work on your customer service stuff if you want to run your own business or manage one...........

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 10

Haha i know it was a stunt, just hate it when they do that and a lot of bakeries just let them do it to get them to come back for more that's how they keep their clients, shame really, well... i guess it's funny making her bring the half eaten cake back hehe but i don't like how people are so greedy these days, you should be a police woman then if your that good at haggling haha although a kidnapper would want the 1 million straight away usually and accepting 750k within 12 months is dumb because you wouldn't actually get it since you would have to come out after you agree with it haha (which then you know if you come out you would get arrested and left empty handed lol) hmm... i never get why they make them look dumb in the programmes, it's not entirely realistic but i do love them that's for sure., mainly CSI. I bet she didn't come back because you made her bring the cake she knew you probs had to throw away after lol. I think other bakeries say after every so many cakes they will promise to give them a discount, maybe try that as an actual deal? lol.

post #9 of 10

Uhhh no... it was  $750,000 within 12 hours, I was quite clear on that in my post.  No one has that kind of money under the bed, ready for emergencies do they?.  The point I wished to make was that if the first offer is too good, then the other person will never have any respect for you and will always "take a mile rather than an inch".  I do not do things like the above because I think they are funny or to get "even", I do them to earn respect.  Once a customer respects you, they will behave and not seek revenge.

 

No it wasn't a stunt, the customer really felt she was entitled to a free cake.  This is a problem that every store owner, and restaurant owner has to deal with on an almost daily basis.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #10 of 10

I agree with Petals only I would give them 15% off. When a client has a complaint,as in a restaurant they should tell you right away not after the meal has been consumed and service has been rendered. They should have called you right away and told you about the design which you may have had opportunity.to fix. They admitted cake was good as far as overall quality and taste. So a refund is not in order. I do not agree with the culinary student above as I feel that every customer is different and as far as needing them . Well if you don't have customers, then you are not needed or for that matter in business anymore. Be ever mindful of word of mouth, people do talk to one another.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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