Got a cake complaint?

Got a cake complaint?

Occasionally you may get a cake complaint. It comes as a bolt out of the blue and something that you have never had before.
I saw one cake decorator say it was her first cake complaint in five years. Yet she had been completely thrown into a strop for the day. It ruined her week.

So what so we do about a cake complaint?

What has the customer done to alert you of their disappointment?
Have they messaged you – that they are disappointed? So the only person who has seen their comments was you?
Or have they been more vocal about their order? Have they put it up on social media for all to see?
They are both complaints. One is private and the other is public. Both hurt. And make us mistrust our judgement and want to go crawl into bed and put a pillow over our heads. Right?
But it is not so much about the complaint made privately or publically.

What do we do after we get a cake complaint?

But what we do AFTER we get the complaint.  It about how we handle the customer.
We could – take to a facebook group and rant about the unfairness of it all. This trys to prove by social proof that we are in the right. The customer is being spiteful.
We could quietly phone the customer (scary right?) and deal with the problem there and then.
It really depends upon the nature of the complaint.

What was deemed wrong with the cake?

Was the cake not completed as the customer had ordered? This means there was a mismatch of expectations from the order to completion? Thus resulting in disappointment.
Or is the customer complaining the taste was not to her liking? It was stale, didn’t taste right, wrong flavour or something else.
I have seen cake decorators receive a customer complaint – the wrong colours were used. The customer wasn’t expecting her cake to look like it did.
So whether it be the taste, the shape, the colour, the size – it really is imperative to get firm instructions.
How are you currently receiving these?
Does the customer herself/himself get to see the order before you start buying all the elements required and making it? Could they sign to agree the finer details?  What about some terms and conditions relating to complaints and refunds.  Have you considered these too?
There is only one reason we get complaints (apart from the few chancers who gobble up the cake and hope for a refund). And this reason is this – 

What the customer thought they ordered is NOT what they received.

Hence a cake complaint

Find a way to get a firm agreement to the details including any messages and variations. In this way there is simply nothing to complain about.
Why not use a professional order form to note down the details.
Get agreement to the order design, flavour, shape, colour and details.
In this way – you will not receive a customer complaint because a detail of their order was incorrect. (If you made the cake exactly to their request)
Even the Environmental Health Officer was impressed with this cake decorator being so organised with her orders.
Emma James
The Customer Orders Pads are great and I have been using them for a couple of years now.
When I started my business I used to print out duplicate copies so I had one for myself and the other for my customer, this was so time consuming!
I have to say the seal of approval was when I had one of my meetings with EHO (Environmental Health Officer).
As you know it is more paperwork and proof of where you purchase products etc than anything else.
As she was leaving she asked ” do you keep records of what your customers buy from you?”
Yes I do, here you are.
She was  so impressed by the layout and how clear the information was. Especially the section special instructions.
This is what I use for Allergies as this is extremely important.
In short, I am keeping this system and not going to be using anything else any time soon.
Thank you for a brilliant product.
We ship to the UK
If you would like to know more
If you are looking for more help and guidance with your cake decorating or home baking business
have a look at our membership – The Cake Circle.
Find out more details below.  We open a handful of times per year.