The Hardest Question - Business Questions
Often in my job people ask me “what is the hardest part of your job?” After 6 years there is only one disappointing part of my job. It's not want to think. It's not the insane schedule trying to manage all the finances of the bakery. Not even 12 people going in different directions on a Saturday morning - which really is something to see. It's actually a little harder than that.
About once or twice a year, we really miss what a customer is looking for. It's really aggravating. Not just for the customer but for us as well. A customer orders a cake over the phone or by the website and we think we know exactly that they want - and then boom - It’s not it.
As someone whose business is built solely on providing customers what they desire - within the best of our ability. Sometimes we just don’t get it. For me it reminds me of the game telephone most of us played as a child - except with ideas and concepts. We ask a lot of clarifying questions but sometimes that just isn’t enough.
So what do we do?
For me it always boils down to simple concepts.
#1 - if there is a picture that can show someone that you’re looking for - send it! Don’t leave it up to chance. If it is important enough for you and you want a specific thing - Send the Pictures! Remember that staged pictures online come at a cost.
#2 - Answer all the questions we ask you no matter how silly they may seem. We are trying to meet your expectations - as best we can.
#3 - Trust. My grandmother who was a wealth of wisdom (some of it not repeatable in this format). Trust that any business isn’t solely set out to deny you what you are looking for. Big chain stores put stuff out on the shelf and tell you to choose. Small businesses, florist, restaurants, and bakeries - are offering you a chance to choose what you are looking for. It doesn’t make any kind of sense for them to not do their best to meet your needs - Not one bit.
#4 - Grace. Like every business, we just don’t get it right all the time. To the best of my knowledge no one got up this morning with the sole intention of disappointing you - not in my business at least. And sometimes we have an opportunity to correct errors on the spot.