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Cake Business: Finding and Keeping Customers

By: Kate Simpson BA, MA - Updated: 9 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
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A cake baking business cannot flourish without a wealth of keen customers, so it's vital to give careful thought to acquiring and developing your client base. High levels of customer service promote customer loyalty and encourage positive Word of Mouth Publicity, strengthening your cake baking brand.

Where To Find Customers for your Cake Business

The nature of your business will make a difference to where your clients will be found.
  • If you are operating an online cake delivery service you could try buying advertising space on a Relevant Website
  • On the other hand, if you are running a local cafe or cake shop, try going out into the streets with samples of your most delicious produce and a collection of leaflets with an offer coupon for first time customers
  • Consider hosting a launch part for your business, inviting local consumers, journalists and public figures
  • Email a press release to your local newspaper or to a baking magazine, making your text punchy, entertaining and informative. To improve your chances of publication, send an eye-catching photograph too
  • If you’re confident about your skills of self-presentation, try contacting your local radio station and offering to do an interview

Fostering Customer Loyalty

Of course, offering a delicious selection of cakes is intrinsic to the success of your cake business. The hard work doesn’t stop there, however:
  • Seek feedback from your customers
  • If you are running a cafe, keep discreet comment cards by the till or on tables
  • Ask customers to leave an email address in exchange for entering a prize draw
  • Send regular, but not too frequent, email updates to your client database, informing them of exciting new products and exclusive offers
  • To build your client base, experiment with referral offers. Your existing customer might receive a 25% discount for referring three of their friends to you, for example

This will help customers to feel involved in your business and will give you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses, pinpointing areas for improvement. Most importantly - customer details will prove an invaluable resource for future marketing campaigns.

Building Relationships With Your Customers

A confident, professional telephone manner and carefully crafted emails will help to strengthen the relationship between business owner and customer. When dealing with customers in person, make a real effort to remember regular faces and recall their names.

Think carefully about your style of business and what sort of level of formality or friendliness you should strive for in your customer relationships. How will you customers expect to be addressed? What can you do to build upon those expectations? Decorum is key here, remember that a business catering for corporate events will require a more reserved tone than a village tea shop.

Regardless of the tenor of your client relations, it is vital to think consciously about your customer service strategy. Be sure to devise and follow a uniform complaints procedure. Make sure, too, that you reward loyal customers. Above all, ensure that you and any staff you might employ always behave professionally and treat customers with politeness,enthusiasm and respect.

Create Customer Service Vision

Before launching your cake baking business, take time to put pen to paper and document your customer service vision. What are your key objectives? How do you want customers to feel about your business? What will you do if you receive a complaint? If appropriate, you may even choose to publish such details on your website in order to indicate your commitment to customer service to both current and prospective clients.

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