Every day we have moments that we should learn from. Sometimes they’re gentle nudges to remind us what’s right and what’s wrong. Sometimes they’re huge, punch you in the stomach moments that knock the wind out of you. I had one of those recently with my first unhappy customer, and it broke my heart. I know that you can’t make everyone happy, and blah, blah, blah-but it didn’t make it hurt any less. I won’t divulge the details; all you need to know is that she had an expectation that I didn’t meet. She was incredibly kind about it, but I HATED that I couldn’t-no, DIDN’T make her day. That’s just it. I was capable of exceeding her expectations, but I didn’t. So from this, this is what I learned, and hopefully you can also learn from my mistakes.
1) Communicate, communicate, communicate. Talk about what you BOTH envision, then talk about it again. Make sure to repeat to the customer what you think they want. Them just saying they want a certain theme is not enough because your perception may be different than theirs.
2) Get visual. Even if drawing is not your strong suit, sketch out what’s in your head and show it to them. Most people are visual and need something to look at to feel secure.
3) Do not make last minute changes. We are creative people by nature. Unless the customer has given you free reign on the design, do not put your creative twist on it without letting them know.
4) Make sure you love what you’ve created 100%. Chances are, if you don’t love it, they won’t either.
Like I said, I was so heartbroken that I failed to meet my customer’s expectations, but all I can do from this point on is to take this experience, work on bettering myself, and try to prevent it from happening again. This is one of those learning moments that will stay with me for the rest of my Cake Ball Love journey.
On a side note, I came across this about 5 minutes ago, and it seemed absolutely perfect (warning, profanity): “It’s OK If You Suck At This…”