Why taking orders online beats relying on voicemail

So, you’ve built up a brilliant bakery, worked hard to gain your enviable reputation and you’re taking a steady stream of calls from your wholesale customers to place their orders.

But what if you are now so busy that you can’t always get to the phone? When this situation starts to become the norm, many otherwise wonderful bakeries end up relying on their voicemail or answerphone to take their customers’ orders.

If you have a regular set of customers, after a while, they get used to ordering by voicemail. But what about the sales you miss because your phone line is busy or a prospective new customer is put off?

OK, not everyone who reaches your voicemail will hang up when there’s no one around to take their call. Some might leave a message or call back at a later date, but those who don’t take their business elsewhere. How much money have you lost out on as potential sales have fallen through the cracks?

Ordering via voicemail is not brilliant for your existing customers, either. What if they want to query a recent delivery, need to know about items they don’t usually order or check some details on their account?

The obvious answer to this all too common scenario is to let your wholesale customers place their orders online. This ability comes as standard with the Cybake 4 bakery management system and we can set you up in no time.

Cybake is online and cloud-based, so your customers can now place their orders at any time, wherever they want. Your ordering pages inform them of the right cut-off times, today for tomorrow and by product lead time, i.e. for two-day sourdough products.

As well as being able to manage their orders, customers can message you, enter their own purchase order numbers and browse your product catalogue. They can access/ download historical invoices, so there are no more phone calls about lost copies.

Since your customers are making their orders direct into your Cybake system, there is no need to re-enter them from their voicemail (or, indeed, email) messages. This is both time-consuming and error-prone. And as the customer fills in their order themselves, your bakery cannot be blamed for any mistakes.

In our experience, new customers are attracted by the convenience of being able to make their orders online and old customers appreciate the improved service. Either way, it’s got to be a whole lot better than telling them to leave you a message after the beep.

Jane Tyler is the managing director of Cybake creator RedBlack Software, vice-chair of the British Society of Baking and a regular speaker at food and technology industry events in the UK. You can follow her on Twitter at @Jane_RedBlack and on LinkedIn here.

About Jane Tyler

Jane Tyler founded RedBlack Software in 1998 and is the chief architect of Cybake, Britain’s leading bakery management software suite.