Sheryl Thai - Founder and Co-Owner at Cupcake Central
We’re passionate about building the world’s most advanced course management system
To achieve this mission, intimately understanding the pain points and headaches that course providers – such as Cupcake Central – have are integral to fulfilling our mission.
When we first sat down with Sheryl, Founder and Co-Owner of Cupcake Central, we asked some simple questions: “Tell us about your problems. What gives you the biggest headaches? What keeps you up at night?”
This is what we discovered:
Problem 1: Managing courses are an administrative nightmare
We wanted to remove the stress and tears that resulted in what was identified as a growing course administration problem. It was evident that the process was quickly becoming an overwhelming and stressful process for the Cupcake Central team, and we wanted to significantly ease this burden.
Cupcake Central was running 4 courses per month with an average of 10 students per course. This resulted in 40 course bookings a month that required manual processing by the Cupcake Central team. Each booking had on average 3-4 touch points either by phone or email. 40 students X 4 touch points = 160 in total. Our conclusion? That’s a lot of touch points.
What started off as a passion to share the joys of cupcake baking and decorating quickly turned into an administrative headache. There had to be a better way.
The solution: Automate the entire booking process for the Cupcake Central team so that they could spend their time working on their business (the more important things) rather than inside their business (all the boring repetitive tasks).
We created an elegant booking system that does the following:
- Sends a confirmation email to the person booking the course;
- Sends a confirmation email to Cupcake Central every time someone books a course;
- Sends a course reminder email to the person booking the course before the course starts; and
- Sends a course reminder email to Cupcake Central right before a course begins.
We call it the perfect concierge service. Every single time.
As an added bonus, Cupcake Central can include private information (such as parking instructions etc.) that is sent out to each customer once they book. The result? Everything under control and no more tears!
Problem 2: High number of back and forth with customers
We wanted to reduce the number of customer touch points the Cupcake Central team were experiencing so that time wouldn’t be spent on needless phone calls and emails.
Despite having the course information readily available on the Cupcake Central website, customers were having difficulty locating the information in a quick-to-grasp manner. The Cupcake Central team experienced the same questions were being asked over and over again.
The solution: Create the perfect landing page with all the course information elegantly presented.
In fact, the landing pages are constructed in a specialised way to make the consumption of information natural and effortless.
Let’s look at one of Cupcake Central’s landing pages. It’s the “perfect landing page” and we continually A/B test to make sure conversions operate at an optimal level to result in increased sales!
Reduced touch points and more sales? Tick!
Problem 3: Overall productivity loss due to multiple course managers
We wanted to create a central place of coordination for Cupcake Central so that there was an easy place to see updated information at any time.
Cupcake Central has a fantastic management team in place to co-ordinate in-store sales, and to take, manage and track course bookings. The risk however is “communication gap” that occurs when multiple people are involved in the management process.
At times, courses were booked but class numbers weren’t updated. This resulted in multiple back and forth in between team members to verify updated course numbers resulting in lost productivity, inefficient use of time, and added stress.
The solution: A platform that allows you to “set and forget”.
Essentially, the Cupcake Central team can now create course dates, specify maximum ticket numbers, and forget about it. The platform will automatically calculate the remaining number of available tickets after every purchase. The result? Perfect class numbers every time, and no more need to keep mental track of ticket sales.
The Cupcake Central team can now schedule class dates 24 months in advance and “forget it” because we’ll do the tracking process for them. Easy.
Problem 4: “I feel married to my phone!”
We wanted to free the Cupcake Central team from feeling like they were married to their phone.
Firstly, as a business owner, Sheryl is constantly on the road, in meetings, visiting clients and growing the business. She didn’t have the luxury of waiting next to a notepad and pen to capture customer details, or when she did, processing the data end the end of every day was an exhausting process.
Secondly, keeping mental track of who booked which course for X date created a lot of stress because it required the person responsible for the management of courses to always be available, even on sick days. The reasoning was if they weren’t available, then there would be lost income as no one would be able to take bookings.
The solution: Create a system that can run itself 24/7 (even on weekends and holidays)!
Cupcake Central’s courses are now able to be booked from any location at any time without the need for staff to be behind the counter or phone to accept the booking, or even the owners being in the country! This alone was a gigantic cost saving for Cupcake Central.
As an added bonus, the booking confirmations are instantaneous and automatic. The staff at Cupcake Central can now kick up their feet at the end of the day and relax, knowing that all the data is collated and updated on-the-go.
Problem 5: Accidental overbooking and quality control concerns
We wanted the Cupcake Central team to have peace of mind; confident in the knowledge that we would handle everything. We promised that we could deliver perfect booking numbers every time (no overbooking), and ensure that each Cupcake Central customer received a consistent high level of service.
The inability to have live booking statistics resulted in numerous overbooking instances, creating logistical nightmares for the Cupcake Central team as they pulled last-minute stops to accommodate extra customers.
The solution: Live course statistics and automatic updates.
This results in perfect booking numbers. Every time.
As a bonus, as soon as a booking is made, the customer concierge service kicks in instantaneously with all the important information included so that the Cupcake Central team is confident in knowing that their customers always have the right information in a place which can be easily accessed and referenced at any time.
The best thing of all? Each and every customer receives a consistently high level of quality service. The result? Peace of mind.
Problem 6: It’s difficult to increase the number of available courses
We wanted a way to help the Cupcake Central team generate more revenue from their courses.
The manual processing of bookings and management of course resulted in a capacity of 4 courses a month. Cupcake Central had plans to increase their course sizes to 20 and was in desperate need of a way to manage the administrative process.
The solution: Create an easy-to-manage dashboard where all aspects of the courses are managed.
The Cupcake Central team can new view the health of all their courses in one simple dashboard page. At one glance, they can see:
- Which courses are performing the best?
- Which courses having the most bookings / how many bookings have been made on X date?
An added bonus? The Cupcake Central team can manage and create any detail of their courses so that they can trial new courses with minimal risk.
It’s a seamless and risk-free way to introduce new courses.
Problem 7: Missing customer contact details
We wanted to ensure that the Cupcake Central team always have a method to contact their customers.
At times, Cupcake Central had last-minute emergencies pop up right before a course began. They wanted a way to contact their students.
The solution: Perfect contact details for every student made available to the Cupcake Central team.
We make sure to capture all the important contact details of customer who books. This includes the full name, contact phone number, and contact email address.
Now, the Cupcake Central team will always have the contact details for each and every customer should they need it.
As an added bonus, we created a “one-click messaging” feature which empowers the Cupcake Central team to message each and every person booked into a course date.
Save time. Save costs. Reduce stress. Increase sales. Free yourself.
We’re quite excited about what we have been able to build with the help of the Cupcake Central team.
From increasing their efficiency and sales, what took Cupcake Central two hours per day in managing their courses and processing bookings became 15 minutes per week resulting in significant time and cost savings.
In addition to the above, the Cupcake Central team report reduced stress levels, a significant increase in sales, happier customers, and more free time.