Thursday, July 1, 2010

Losing a Client

I lost a client dammit. I lost him. He's gone. He's not coming back. I lost money too, but that's not as important. I lost a relationship, a trust, potential for future business. I let someone down. Dammit.

My "job" this summer is catering dinner parties and events. It's mine. It's my own thing. I work for myself. I answer only to me. And I like that. It's great. I work my own hours and am only bossed around by myself. I'm no one else's slave (if you live in the Philly area and wanna hire me shoot me an email).

So I had this one party for about 20 people planned for mid-July and I had been talking with the host about the food, service, etc. via email. After corresponding as such for a week or so, he asked me to stop by sometime at his house which was right down the street. I told him that I could stop by that night around 7.

I shouldn't have said that. I was cooking and eating with the family then. It crossed my mind to cancel the appointment, but I was under the impression that it was an informal kind of "stop by if you can" type thing. It wasn't. I emailed him later, apologizing and asking if the next night would be ok. But he had already made up his mind. I had lost the job.

Darned customer service. It's infinitely important. Our negotiations were going great until then. But he was right. I easily could've cancelled. And I should've. But this was a valuable business lesson and one that I won't easily forget.

6 comments:

James said...

But look at it the other way and it's them that's missing out. Same happened to me last week. Organiser went elsewhere because I'd turned up to meet them a day early by mistake. The first person I've ever known to complain about anyone being early. There is no mercy.

There are so many scare stories spread about cooks/ chefs/ caterers not turning up on time or sometimes not at all it makes it all the much harder for those who do.

sola fide said...

mmmm. ouch.
that there bites.
but Good onya the entrepreneurship!
Kudos for that i must say.

Cn give more info on, say how you started this, advertising, pricing and such.
I too am working on a self-employment, cooking thing this summer and any info i can get would be insane.

good lesson thou, :)
drop by my blog sometime if you're so compelled.

Anonymous said...

Dude, welcome to the real world. You gotta make those appts.

limoncello said...

Hate to say it, but even "canceling" would not have given a good impression; if you set up the appointment day-of, you should have known what your schedule was before setting the appointment.
But hey, it's a lesson learned and at least you have the wisdom to see that and get the "service" thing. A lot of people prefer to shift responsibility to the other party.

Ashley said...

Sucks, but it is a valuable lesson! You have to follow through on your commitments.

cook eat FRET said...

learn it while you're young, my friend...