[Business] Customer Feedback – A recipe for success

Do you ask your customers what they thought of the cake you made for them? It can be a bit nerve wracking, putting yourself out there for negative comments can’t it?

When we moved to our shiny new premises in 2011, I had a brainwave. We should ask everyone who comes on a class, what they thought of us. We’d ask what we do right and what we could get better at.

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This was all a great idea written down in my notebook. Then the time came to send the little feedback requests out after the first classes at the studio. It was surprisingly scary. I kind of knew we were doing ok as over half of our customers come back for more than one cake class. But what if there was loads of stuff we’d missed? How embarrassing.

Then again, does a bit of egg on your face matter? What matters is delighting your customers right? Better to know about something and improve surely?

We’ve now received hundreds of questionnaires from our customers. The feedback has been super helpful to us. It teaches us loads.

Good stuff we’ve learnt:
You love the fact that we provide everything you need for classes.
You think our classes are really well structured.
Which new classes you want.
Kath makes a lovely cup of tea.
You think it’s brilliant that our class sizes are small.
You feel we’re warm, friendly and welcoming.

Stuff we can get better at:
You couldn’t always remember all of our names. (We got posh new name badges. We try to remember to wear them.)
You wanted some more affordable classes. (We started to offer our 2 hour Short & Sweet classes.)
You wanted as many classes as possible to use real cake rather than dummies. (We’ve changed this wherever possible.)

This is all great but what does it mean for you if you’re running a cake business? Think about asking for feedback from your customers. It’s a real chance to get better at what you do. Of course that hopefully leads to your business growing. That’s what we all want right?

Our top 3 tips:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask what you can improve on. Learn from what people tell you and don’t take it personally. People want cheaper cakes? Offer some additional, more simple designs.

2. Collate all the good feedback and shout about it. Use it in your marketing and on your website.

3. Use an online tool to make your own questionnaire. We’d really recommend Survey Monkey. It’s free to begin with and really easy to use.

Do you ask your customers what they thought of your cake or service? Have the replies been what you expected? Any surprises?

Thanks for reading. If you'd like to receive our newsletter with more tips and advice you can sign up here: Cupcake Workshops. There’s also loads more business advice and cake inspiration on our Pinterest: Blue Door Bakery (bluedoorbakery) on Pinterest.

Sarah x

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