Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tip # 235: Handle Customer Complaints Like a Pro

Customer service today is customer driven and in the world of social media, businesses need to be ready to respond.  Customers can share their frustrations online in real time, reaching a larger audience than just one or two. Learning to respond quickly and appropriately can often help with customer loyalty and retention.

Respond Quickly – It’s important to respond quickly on social media. It is hard to always respond to everything, but be sure to respond to at least 90% of disgruntled feedback.

Acknowledge Mistakes – Customers know that not everyone is perfect, which is why it is important if you know you were at fault to own up to that mistake. Doing so will likely gain the respect of this customer.

Communicate Offline – We have all seen disgruntled customers and business owners in a digital war of words and watched in dismay. If you are dealing with a very negative situation, take the conversation offline through a private message.

Get Personal – Customers often complain because they want you to respond and help resolve their issue. A personalized response from you or one of your team members will make a big difference in how they react to the response.

Go the Extra Mile – Don’t just resolve the issue with the customer, but take steps to go the extra mile. Give them a free item or offer something above what they are requesting.

Follow Up – Finally, follow up with the customer and make sure they are happy with your resolution.

You have great products and a great business; don’t let one customer complaint take over your social media presence. Take the time to put a plan in place to effectively respond when a complaint occurs and not only resolve the issue, but also retain a customer for life. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tip # 234: How to Apply Water Marbling Effect to Moulded Chocolates

For members looking to gain creative ideas at RCI’s 2017 Annual Convention & Industry Expo, Candy Clinic did not disappoint. Since the thirties, this member-exclusive event has allowed RCI members from across the United States, Canada and abroad to share their best ideas and gain inspiration from fellow candy makers. Keep reading for an idea that won the award for best innovation at the latest Candy Clinic.

Inspired by an associate’s manicured finger nails, RCI member Cher Diamond of Maurie’s Fine Chocolates of Madison, shared a creative technique for applying cocoa butter to moulded chocolates. Water marbling is a technique used to create a unique nail polish design by adding droplets of nail polish to water before applying it to the nail. A similar effect can be achieved with cocoa butter and water.

Start by filling a bowl with room temperature water. If you read tutorials online for water marbling, they recommend using filtered or bottled water. Get cocoa butter spray, shake it up and spray it into the water. Because the oils in cocoa butter resist the water, the cocoa butter will float on top of the water, allowing you to create a unique design with a variety of different colored cocoa butters. Drag a toothpick or other similar object through the cocoa butter, cleaning it after each use.

Once the desired marbleized effect is achieved, take a finished moulded piece or just the shell and run it through the cocoa butter. Let each moulded piece dry for three hours or overnight. You may finish the piece by applying a glaze spray, but according to Cher, the cocoa butter will not rub off or detemper the chocolate.

If you’re looking to create stunning chocolate pieces, give this simple and fun water marbling technique a try and let us know how it turns out by leaving a comment below.

Want to learn more innovative ideas like this one? Idea sharing is just one of the many benefits of membership with Retail Confectioners International (RCI)! Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Throwback Tip # 137: Tips for Making Caramel Stick to Apples

After recently wrapping up RCI’s second Caramels, Toffees & Brittles course, we want to share a favorite caramel apple tip.

Have you ever experienced problems with caramel slipping off your caramel apples? The wax on your apple may be the culprit. By simply wiping each apple with a damp cloth prior to dipping, you can remove the waxy residue that rests on the apples.

An apple naturally produces a waxy film to protect itself, however, in some instances additional food-grade wax is added by suppliers to further increase an apple’s shelf life. For this reason, it could save you time and effort to request unwaxed apples from your supplier, if they do add wax to their apples.

If that doesn’t help, consider adding white compound to your caramel at a 5 to 1 ratio to help it better adhere to the apple.

Caramel apple season is just around the corner, so we hope this quick and easy tip will help when making this customer favorite.

Stay connected with RCI through Facebook for more tips and inspiration dedicated to the retail candy maker. Not a member? Click here to learn how RCI can help you build your sweet business.