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When deliveries go WRONG!

Apr 23, 2024

How to handle HORRIBLE deliveries!

What if I told you we DROPPED THIS CAKE?! 😳😱…

The customer looks happy with it, right? Well, IT’S FAKE because we had a DELIVERY CATASTROPHE with the “real cake” during transport… 112 degrees, middle of the summer, over an hour of traffic, AND… a CAR ACCIDENT! 😨 πŸ˜«

The cake not only flew around the back of my trunk, (and was COMPLETELY DESTROYED) but it also melted! So… we had to get resourceful, round up 50 cupcakes from the bakery (to compensate for dessert servings), then recreate the cake on DUMMY FOAMS in record-breaking time, in order to deliver it to the customer, and not COMPLETELY RUIN her event! AND then we also refunded her order…

STRESSFUL huh? πŸ˜…

No one wants to ever experience a delivery gone wrong but unfortunately, it’s going to happen whether you want it to or not.

So, what do you do when SH*T goes wrong? πŸ€”

Let’s talk about it! πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

First up, delayed deliveries. Traffic jams, unexpected road closures, getting pulled over or even a flat tire can throw a wrench into your delivery timeline. The key here? Prepare in advance. Anticipate potential snags, have backup routes mapped out, and keep your customers in the loop every step of the way. Communication is your best friend – keep those lines open, confirm delivery details in advance, and address any concerns the customer may have upfront.

Car Accidents!

Nobody likes to think about it, but accidents happen. If your delivery driver finds themselves in a fender bender while out on a delivery, stay calm and keep your customer in the loop. Be transparent about the situation, offer alternatives if possible, and above all, apologize sincerely. A little empathy can go a long way in turning a negative experience into a positive one. Most people are understanding, especially in situations like this so stay calm, assess the situation BEFORE worrying your customer, and communicate the best solution to them.

Delivering the WRONG cake/order?

This is one of the biggest nightmares for bakery owners. Own up to the mistake, apologize profusely, and offer to make it right – whether that means sending out a replacement cake ASAP or offering a refund or discount on their next order. Your customers will appreciate your honesty and your commitment to making things right. One way you can avoid this is by double and triple-checking the orders in advance and making sure your orders are labeled CORRECTLY!

Extreme TEMPERATURE!

So what do you do when you have to do a delivery in extreme weather? Again, communication is key. First, you know based on the time of the year what the weather is going to typically be like. When initially speaking with your customer also educate them on what the weather could possibly be like and what that means for your potential delivery. In the bakery, we knew that the summer months could get up to the high 90’s, low 100s in Cali. So we would ALWAYS limit the mileage we would be able to deliver and let our customers know how long their order/cake could be out of the fridge before it starts to become compromised. (AKA FALLING APART/MELTING) Even if this meant we wouldn’t be able to do a cake for them, we would much RATHER refer them to a bakery that was more local to them so they wouldn’t risk paying HUNDREDS of dollars for a cake only for it to fall apart before they can celebrate.

And if the worst-case scenario does happen – say, your cake arrives a little worse for wear due to the heat – don't panic. Get creative, think outside the box, and find a solution that works for both you and your customer.

At the end of the day, handling delivery mishaps is all about staying calm, cool, collected, and staying committed to delivering the best possible experience for your customers. Don’t place BLAME on your customers even if they are the ones “in the wrong.” At the end of the day, you are the business owner so it’s on YOU to make things right.

So take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and remember: that every challenge is an opportunity to learn and create a process so you can be more equipped to handle similar situations in the future!

Happy Deliveries!

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