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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Review: "It Works!" Wrap (aka "That Crazy Wrap Thing")

As my cousin said, "Wrap yourself in thirty $1 bills and
you'll get the same results."
I thought long and hard about writing this review, because it seems like every other person I know online sells them and I'm bound to offend at least a fair percentage of them. I've never shied away from truth for my readers before, though, so here goes nothin'.

Several months ago, I was given a free wrap in exchange for hosting an online informational session. I was dubious, but treated it like a science project. I had seen vast quantities of "before and after" photos that seemed to show drastic differences, so I figured it was worth a shot.

Upon getting my wrap, I read all instructions carefully and got to work. I tried it on my chin area, because it was as good a place as any and the distributor said it would work as well there as any other place. I was asked to check in regularly with her to update her on my progress. Suffice it to say, after the first message to say that I did it, I didn't initiate contact with her again, because "progress" was not something I was noticing.

Snotty ecard made by wrap-pushers
who don't quite get science yet.
Truth be told, because I had no expectations, I had no feelings about it not working. She, however, was miffed and got quite pushy. Clearly, it was user error. Well, let me back up a bit. In reading the instructions, I noticed that it included copious amounts of notes on diet and lifestyle changes. I didn't do those. If you're running a science experiment, you can't change several of the variables at once to determine which created the change, you have to change one at a time. If I start drinking vast quantities of water, cut down on caloric intake, and increase exercise, I'm sure to see results, but I'm not sure (in fact, I am sure, but I'm throwing them a bone here) whether it was the wrap or the other modifications to my life. So, I did the wrap and only the wrap. Science works. The wrap doesn't.

If the only way this sucker creates weight loss and body reshaping is by following its instruction to change ones diet and movement, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're wasting your money. Save your cash on the wrap (and myriad other gimmicky pills and supplements they also try to push), get a good reusable water bottle, sports bra, and pair of tennies and skip the wrap. Or be happy with your body as it is. Whatever you want, as long as it is what you want, not what someone else wants based on their beauty standards.

Monday, July 20, 2015

A Lesson in Customer Service for Marcy's Diner

I'm going to approach this whole Marcy's Diner ridiculousness from another angle. Sure, there's the whole childism aspect, but those in Zen Parenting-esque circles have done this to death. Besides that, we're preaching to the choir. None of her throngs of supporters give a gnat's eyelash about kids, as demonstrated by their myriad brilliant comments and I'm too tired of asinine people to worry about trying to educate them. So, let's chat about customer service instead.

Among other things, I have a strong background in customer service and public relations. I have worked in those areas and been educated in them for years. I can speak with 100% confidence when I say that the owner of this family eatery did everything WRONG when it comes to customer service and public relations. Everything. E V E R Y T H I N G.

Good customer service is scarce enough these days. That as many people are supporting her as is the case, supporting that piss-poor customer service blows me away. And yet... I mean, folks, don't wonder why you get such awful customer service yourself when you support it for others. Don't once complain about a bad experience at a store, on the phone, or in a restaurant again, because you're all out there supporting that same crappy service for other people.

You know what, don't take my word for it. Let's look at some (more) pro words of wisdom.

Allbusiness.com says that there are 10 rules for stellar customer service:

1) Commit to quality service. Nope. Per her own words, she snaps at kids who displease her with their kidness and has no problem with screaming at them. This is not a first. She's committed to something, but not quality service. Or, perhaps that shows a need to be committed......

2) Know your products. In this case, her product is food. If she can't handle a short stack of pancakes, it's pretty clear she doesn't know anything about her product or business.

3) Know your customers. If you'd like an adult only establishment, perhaps go into a more fine dining business. If you're a down-and-dirty, cash only, family diner, you're going to get kids. If you want to know about kids, you might wish to take a couple classes on child development. Then take a class or twelve on customer service itself, because customers like being treated nicely. Weird, huh?

4) Treat people with courtesy. She doesn't even think she's done this. I mean, do I really need to break this one down for anyone?

5) Never argue with a customer. Ummmmm.......

6) Don't leave the customers in limbo. Again, if you can't handle a short stack, maybe it's time to hire some help or, if that's no possible, at least communicate with the customer so they know what kind of wait they're in for.

7) Always provide what you promise. Pancakes. Pancakes in a timely manner. If someone asked for this at Fry's Electronics, that would be silly, of course, but I don't think it's out of bounds to expect a few of them on a Saturday morning at your local diner.

8) Assume customers tell the truth. I'm directing this to loyal Marcy's supporters. There's not a big reason for the parents to lie about this. There would be a reason for the owner to lie, but, as outlined above and below, her customer service skills are so lacking that she doesn't even care that people know how horrid she is. And, sadly, you all back her up. Again, don't be surprised when you cross her. Nobody's going to feel sorry for you then.

9) Focus on customers, not sales. People are loyal to you. Their money follows those loyal people. The funny thing about customer service is that good service will spread via word of mouth to just a couple people, BUT poor service will spread like wildfire. It may not seem fair, but it's reality, so you better be on point with those people who have no problem telling their friends when you're not.

10) Make it easy to buy. The best servers will always offer to put the kids' orders in first and tell the cooks to rush it. Why? Kids are kids. That means that they're sometimes impatient, irrational, and just plain pissy, especially when they're hungry. Want to circumvent a problem with the aforementioned? Get those orders out to them stat. Make it easy for the kids, the parents, and, in turn, the other customers and yourself.

You may weather this storm, Marcy's. It is guaranteed, though, that if you continue to bring the rain upon yourself, you won't be in business for the long-term. Customers quit. Word of mouth spreads. People matter. All people. Psst...kids are people, too.