Great customer service is all about going the extra mile so that your customer can indeed have their cake and eat it too.

A few weeks ago, I was in Monaco shooting the Grand Prix and celebrating my birthday, and experienced abysmal customer service that left me both without my cake and without being able to eat it!

On Saturday, my birthday, Daniel Bois from Grand Prix Events dropped off a birthday cake for me on the boat we were staying on. I decided we would eat it on Sunday night, so I asked one of the kitchen staff if they’d put it in the fridge until then.

After the race on Sunday, while sitting on the back deck, I asked one of the hostesses if she could fetch the double chocolate birthday cake. She seemed confused by the request, so I asked the captain if he could arrange it.

Kym Cake

Some time later he returned to tell me the cake was nowhere to be found. It had vanished. “Apparently,” he said, “these things happen.”

Then, ten minutes later, he returned to tell us they’d found the cake and although it wasn’t all of the cake (no explanation about that bit was offered), what was left would be brought out shortly.

More time followed before the ship’s chef arrived to bring us bad news. There was, once again, no cake. When asked what happened, he couldn’t be 100% sure (in actual fact he couldn’t even be 10% sure) but felt there probably wasn’t enough room in the ship’s fridges to store it and it was probably never refrigerated and, instead, thrown out.

More time followed and we were surprised to see the captain return and ask if we enjoyed the cake. “What?” we replied. “Didn’t you like it?” he asked again to which one of the other guests on board—a very funny Brit named Tony—chimed in, “We never had it!”

It was at this point we suggested the captain go and get the chef. That way, between the six of us, we might get to the bottom of where this elusive cake might be.

Captain Clueless and Chef No Idea presented a few minutes later to explain themselves. And here was the final version of what happened to the much discussed birthday cake.

“We can’t serve food that is more than 24 hours old as it is a health issue,” the chef proclaimed, “so it had to be binned”.

I didn’t bother pointing out that this bizarre discussion was going on less than 24 hours after the cake was brought on board the vessel.

Cakes don’t simply go missing and the repeated miscommunication and lack of explanation was simply the icing on top! If any business ever needed staff training, it is this one. With Canity, training staff to become exceptional customer service providers is a piece of cake. No business can afford to be so careless with their customer service, including yours!