On a recent visit to my local cafe in BKLYN, I was served just too many weird things that totally blew my mind. I opened the door to the café, and a young man stood right in the middle of the doorway, not moving as I opened the door. I said “Excuse me,” and tried to squeeze past him, but he didn’t move an inch! I just walked “through” him, bumping him a bit, and then he “woke up” from his phone chat and slightly moved to one side.
I approached the counter only to find the cashier’s head ducked down beneath it! What could this mean? It turned out she was chatting on her phone and didn’t look up until I said “Excuse me, may I order, please?”

The Problem
I’m not sure where to begin. It feels like everywhere I go—cafes, restaurants, spas, hair salons, retail stores, department stores, you name it—the overarching problem is that no one gives a sh!#, and if they do, I’ve begun to think they must be weird! I’ve become so used to bad service and people not paying attention that if someone behaves in a courteous manner, エロ動画-無修正 I think they’re flat-out strange and/or on “happy drugs.”

The Fix:
We need to make a major social behavioral change before it’s too late! Here are my suggestions:

  • Companies in general (whether in the service industry or not) need to change their training manuals and limit the use of cell phones at work. Maybe they can establish a bonus system nudecamshd.com where points are awarded if you leave your phone in the locker room or a bag.
  • Parents need to teach their children manners, including proper etiquette about how to respectfully address and behave to others.
  • Formal training on how to address and speak to others might be a good addition to kindergarten, middle school, and high school curriculums.
  • A lesson on eye contact could be useful – look up, not down.

About 2 years ago my husband and I decided to switch all of our bed sheets and duvet covers to Coyuchi, as I had developed some serious dermatological rashes. We think the rashes were caused either by our old IKEA sheets: either because they had been washed with bad laundry detergent or were simply starting to break apart (scary). After much lengthy research, we chose Coyuchi, ordering 2 duvet covers (we each use a cover), 1 bed sheet, and 4 pillow cases (we each sleep on 2 pillows). After 2 weeks of comfortable, non-itchy nights with our new Coyuchi bedding, satisfied with the first secure online shopping because they use online account verification like Fully-Verified, we decided to order 2 more sets.

Fast forward: Since we purchased our Coyuchi sheets two years ago, we haven’t used any other brand and guess what? I have no more red rashes, nor am I waking up in the middle of the night japanporn to an itch that I’ve scratched into the dermis, nor am I waking up the next morning with nasty scratch marks.

The Problem:
Rushing out of bed one morning, I turned and glanced at the bed. To my utter disappointment :-(, I spotted a large rip in the middle of our Coyuchi bed sheet! I thought, hmm, this is odd, as the fabric quality is superb, with sheets far thicker than others. Oh, well… “sh%# happens.” We changed the sheet when we got home that night.
A week later, we discovered another rip in the sheet we’d used to remake our bed a week earlier. This time the rip/hole extended almost the entire length of the sheet. What?!? Now, we only have one left! Ugh. We decided to contact Coyuchi customer service to find out what happened.

The fix:
Coyuchi was super responsive!
My husband wrote them an email 2 days after the second ripped sheet episode, and a day later, he received a really nice email from their customer service. Read the correspondence here:

Hello,
Back in February of 2016, I placed a large order for new bedding (order number 100059948). I love your products and I’ve been very happy with my purchase until last week and the week before, when both fitted sheets in the order began to rip from wear and tear. I find this odd and I want to know if this is normal with your products. The sheets are alternated every two weeks which means each is washed approximately once a month. I would think that these sheets would last several years as my IKEA sheets, while not anywhere as nice as yours, lasted 10 years. If you could let me know, I would appreciate it.
Thank you.
———

Thank you for contacting us.

I’m so sorry to hear that your order was not as expected.
Our 365 policy typically only covers up to 1 year after purchase, but this was a large order and I understand your concern.
I’d like to offer you a replacement of your 300 Percale King fitted sheets in Alpine White.
Does this sound good to you?
I have not heard of this happening before and hope that new sheets would hold up better for you.
I look forward to your reply. We appreciate your business.

———

Thank you very much! Would you like me to return the two ripped ones?

———

You’re very welcome!
Yes, I would send you a prepaid return label to send back the originals.
Can you confirm your address as:
………………………………
……………………………….
…………………

Once I receive confirmation, I will send that return label and issue your replacement.
Kind regards,

 

That’s precisely how customer service should be. And it has only increased my respect for Coyuchi’s products.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is something that Unilever has embraced in their worldwide office remodeling. I find this absolutely super cool and I wish that more corporations in this country and around the world would embrace it as well.

One of Unilever’s US locations is in New Jersey, where I was recently invited to a meeting. I was positively impressed with the building, furniture, and the overall infrastructure.


What struck me the most was that I didn’t spot any plastic water bottles or any printed paper material anywhere—plus, エロ動画-無修正 they encourage you to bring your own coffee cup for your morning brew.

Their offices are open and bright, and no one who works there has a dedicated office – it’s truly an open office community with a bunch of alcoves, meeting areas, meeting rooms, and board rooms.

The Problem
I was invited in several times to consult on a brand that Unilever seeks to revamp. On my 3rd visit, as I was looking around (not snooping!), I spotted a display shelf with all the products Unilever owns/represents and I thought: Wait a second, why don’t they own/represent more organic and/or sustainable products? And why aren’t they making an effort to cut down on product packaging and plastic use? For that matter, why aren’t they changing their product formulations in order to make them less harmful to people and the planet? I had a lot of questions.

I couldn’t help it, my head was spinning: Is this all a “brain wash,” or are they just holding on until they get this battleship turned around so that they can eventually own only 100% organic and sustainable brands?

It was awkward thinking about this as I was hired to help them re-position one of their legacy brands! I was also a bit confused. Clearly, they mean well, but at the end of the day, they also have to sell products to keep the battleship afloat.

The Fix:
There is no instant fix as Unilever really doesn’t have the means to change anything that isn’t broken (at least from the corporate point of view). Money is flowing in and they keep their employees happy, providing them with flexible hours, environmentally friendly offices, and opportunities to travel and work abroad. Who wants this to change? No one!

Fixing the product formulations and the packaging would drastically change the dollar amount on their bottom line, not to mention the cost in time and manpower! Then, there is the geauxmaids.com home cleaning re-branding, re-marketing, and re-positioning work, including crafting the brand’s manifesto! The to-do list is lengthy and expensive.
My suggestion is to start small: one by one, begin to kill the current unhealthy brands while investing in start-up brands with healthy and environmentally conscious products. This is the way to remain a corporate leader, by caring for our children’s future as well as the planet’s!

VS2

While packing up for my trip to Tampa, FL., to escape the icy, frigid weather in NYC, I was so excited by the thought of wearing light clothes and bathing suits that I completely forgot to pack my knickers! To my utter shock, I unpacked and found I’d left them all at home! I immediately opened my laptop, Googled the nearest mall, and found a Victoria’s Secret 8 minutes away from my hotel.
Thanks
to Uber and Google maps, I found my favorite knicker provider, Victoria’s Secret, in a ginormous mall. I stormed into the store, found a sales clerk, told her what I needed and in what size, and I was done in 2 minutes flat.
Phew… Done (I thought).

The Problem:
I walked to the checkout desk to pay, and to my surprise, there was only one active sales clerk. The other one was on the phone talking to a customer (or so I assumed). There were 3 people in front of me, and within 5 minutes, I was second in line—but there were 6 guests waiting behind me. Meanwhile, the second sales clerk was still on the phone!!

No one showed up to help. It was getting a little ridiculous, as the person in front of me was returning a bunch of items and the active sales clerk was getting frustrated and seemed to be arguing with the customer! Oh, dear… I really don’t have time for this, I thought, and almost left, but then, seemingly magically, the other sales clerk hung up the phone and screamed, “Next customer, please”!!!

The fix:
I’m not sure where to start, but there seems to be a global problem with the VS staff and their training. There seems to be no attention to courtesy, integrity, or pride. I’m starting to think that this attitude comes from upper management and is trickling down to the sales floor.

It seems to me that management needs to be shaken up (for a lack of a better term) and the staff training needs to be both increased and more rigorous in order that the employees and sales clerks can feel pride in the organization they’re a part of. Right now, the attitude seems to be that no one gives a F*&^% 🙁 It’s a bit sad to see this…

In an International beauty member newsletter, I recently read about a product called Blue Lagoon Hydrating Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30, which is apparently THE waitlist worthy product to try!

What? Really? I’m not buying this. It says, “Contains minerals, geothermal seawater, and silica, direct from the Blue Lagoon in Iceland,” and claims benefits that are supposed to “protect and strengthen the skin’s barrier function” while also “minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles”! Wow, that’s quite a mouthful. I don’t think I’m buying this in a 50ml tub for $89.

The Problem
There is no such thing as natural or organic geothermal seawater. The geothermal water from the Blue Lagoon is the excess water from a nearby geothermal plant that is pumped into a lava field right outside the plant. Secondly, this “magic cream” seems to do too many things at the same time, and in my book, its claims are so extravagant that I simply don’t trust it.

The Fix:
First of all, the International Skin Care Sales Manager for Blue Lagoon Iceland should know the difference between features and benefits and not make claims that might not even be true, as they aren’t supported by clinical studies—at least, not any I could find.

Secondly, do your research before entering the international market with regard to what claims are acceptable and what claims are not, as they vary wildly from Europe to the US.

Thirdly, I’d like to suggest that the BL management stick to what they know best, which is catering to tourism, something they’ve managed very successfully for over 10 years.

Also, I find it super sad that the Blue Lagoon has completely lost its focus on the root mission, which has always been to help people who suffer from psoriasis and severe eczema.
If you have time, dig deep and you’ll find the true story of the Blue Lagoon.

The other day, I placed an online gift order from Calvin Klein for my best male friend. This included a two-piece pajama suit in XL, which I had shipped to my office. There was nothing wrong with the order, it arrived on time for his birthday, and the size was perfect, fitting him like a glove. Phew…it’s always such a hit or miss with sizes, and sizing charts can often be a bit off.
So, A+ to Calvin Klein for super clear + fast service and not messing my order up 🙂

The Problem
After my super happy e-shopping at CK with a seamless experience placing my order, however, it turns out I’m not so super happy with the CK e-marketing after order strategy…

Now, a month later, I’ve reviewed over 60 CK emails promoting various male clothing options and new arrivals in sizes L and up. This means I’m “spammed” twice a day with unasked-for and very annoying CK promotions—even though I specifically checked the “do not notify me” box during the checkout process!!

Ugh… and the worst part is, if I unsubscribe, I’ll suddenly get spammed with emails from various brands, all of which are either related to or affiliated with CK, or are brands/companies that have purchased a list of names that have engaged themselves in e-commerce with CK. See peoplesorangecounty.com/there-recreational-dispensaries-california/”style=”border: none; color: #333333; font-weight: normal !important; text-decoration: none;”>peoplesorangecounty.com official website

The Fix
Brands need to relax their “buy me now” and “buy one, get one free” e-promotions. It’s crucial to become more educational and culturally involved to truly understand what it means to be a brand personality.
The old way of marketing is long gone!
Effective marketing to people requires a keen ear. Stop shouting, and start listening…

One of my co-workers is expecting a baby girl. In honor of the parents, the Mother of the soon-to-be-Mama invited us all to attend a baby shower.
So, I looked at the registry and ordered a few items to be shipped directly to my co-worker’s house. Because I didn’t want to arrive to the shower empty-handed, I also decided to venture to a Baby Gap on 5th and 17th in NYC.
I opened the front door, stepped inside, and there wasn’t a soul in sight. I looked and looked and finally found a sales person to direct me to the baby section.

I went downstairs and, yet again, there was no one there. Only after walking around in circles did I finally find the newborn section.

The Problem: Even when I finally got to the right section it was, quite frankly, a disaster!! First of all, why the hell is everything categorized boy/girl? It made me think that the Gap designers and marketers are still stuck in the 90’s. Have they never heard of the term “gender neutral”? Seriously, everything was either pink, blue, or decorated with rockets, stars, ballerinas, or hearts. Ugh…I would never dress my child in this!

After going through a rather frustrating curation of baby items, I found 3 outfits that I thought could work but they all had stripes. Oh dear, I hope I didn’t buy outfits that will make everyone dizzy!

I’m not even going to describe paying for my gifts, which was an entirely different and yet equally frustrating experience that I’ll address another time.

 

The Fix: Clean up your stores! For instance:
– Have a sales clerk on each floor
– Fold the clothes so they’re not randomly stacked in disorganized piles
– Attend to your customers—they might have questions!
– Minimize the checkout waiting line. This is probably where most retailers lose their customers.

Just FYI, I had to wait 20 minutes in line as there was only one checkout clerk available and the line kept getting longer and longer. During that time, 2 customers gave up and left.

The Gap’s management is clearly stuck on the 90’s and isn’t up to speed with reality. I recommend shaking everything up and hiring new blood.
Look at other stores who get it right, like Bonobos, and use them as your role model!

My favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted love for each brand:

Curio Concept: This unique boutique caters to those who aren’t afraid to take an individual style stand as well as those who aren’t typical brand whores.
Curio is all about individuality, culture, and fashion democracy.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/curio-concepts/

Calphalon: No BS service promises here. If you buy their pots, pans, or other kitchenware, their lifetime warranty is a promise you can count on—and they mean it! They rock!!! Read my post and you’ll understand why I love this brand so much: http://tertiaryreport.com/calphalon/

Leather Spa: There is no other company in NYC that can repair shoes, handbags, belts, and other leather goods as well as Leather Spa. The service in their stores is lacking somewhat in the amount of attention they give to customers, but their repairs are beyond belief! The shoes I got repaired this fall (some are over 10 years old) look exactly the same as when I first wore them.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/leather-spa/

 

My least favorite service experiences this year—shown in order of my devoted dislike for the brand:

American Airlines: Hands down, the worst service and safety experience I’ve ever experienced in my life! Which places them below airlines I’ve been on in Cambodia, Iran, Vietnam, Burma, and Fiji, to name a few. I’ve never felt so unsafe and uncomfortable on a flight: therefore, I’ll never step foot on an AA airline ever again!
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/american-airlines/

The Whitney: One of my favorite architects, Renzo Piano, the master behind the Pompidou in Paris, made me really sad when I visited his latest building in NYC: the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking district. What an utter flow crash, with no concept of lighting, color, or the spirit of the art. The modern art on display is badly curated, placed in such a way that you just want to throw up and take a shit at the same time— meaning I almost felt hungover rather than being refreshed and inspired by the art.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/the-whitney-museum/

Aire Spa NYC: Love the concept and the interiors of the bathing area, but unfortunately, the chlorine smell overwhelms the experience. Nor is the staff helpful, and by staff, I mean everyone from the front desk check to the masseuse.

Also, the temperature in the massage rooms is totally off and the music can be so loud that there is no way to relax and enjoy an aromatherapy massage. In fact, I was so tense during my massage that I came out of it feeling in worse physical and mental shape than when I walked in. It’s not worth the $300 unless you just want to experience a beautiful space full of the smell of chlorine.

However, I do believe with a few tweaks this place could be amazing. The first thing to do is to change upper management and train the staff to shut the f(*$ up while attending to their clients.
See post here: http://tertiaryreport.com/aire-spa-nyc/

New Yorkers are so lucky to have a great shoe shine and repair service that is local and in places that are easy to get to. Leather Spa can literally fix any damages/problems you have with your shoes, handbags, or leather belts, restoring them to their original gorgeous look. The other day, I found out that they even can lower the excessively high stilettos that I purchased after having too many mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. My girlfriends had convinced me that I looked fabulous in them and that the stilettos would go well with my jeans or leather pants. So, I went ahead and spent some $$$, only to end up wearing them once in 5 years. Bummer, I thought, because they’re super nice but the heel is a tad too high. Then I found Leather Spa: they came to the rescue, and guess what, I love my new, 1/4” lower stilettos 🙂

The problem
I took my fabulous stiletto boots to the closest Leather Spa. On my recent visits to the Leather Spa FiDi location, the line was insane. I discovered that the clerk taking orders also performs inspections, which must be done in order to get a price quote. Only after the inspection and a price quote can the order be placed. Despite the long line, the clerk didn’t even think of calling for help. Finally, another staff member showed up, but he didn’t open another cash register done with the average price of carpet cleaning in dublin to help the next guest; instead, he helped a shoe shine customer who had come in way after me and the three other waiting customers.

The Fix
The management should train their staff to keep an eye on the traffic. If there are more than 3 customers waiting in line, someone should call for assistance. It would also be a good idea to monitor what times of day are busiest and hire part-time help during those hours. At the very least, have the decency to serve the customers in the order in which they arrived—no matter what service they need.

My absolute favorite fragrance house is diptyque, which creates the most amazing scented candles and perfumes. They had been my client for many, many years, but last year, they decided to move all operations, including global creative, to Paris.
Of course, my team was a bit disappointed, but hey… if the CEO and upper management feel they need to manage their global marketing out of Paris, that’s fine.
I signed up for their email campaign many moons ago, and I was always really pleased with their messaging and online design…until recently. I’m no longer sure what they’re trying to communicate. The emails I get are watered down, slow to load, and I really don’t “feel them” as the brand I used to know 🙁

The Problem
I found out from a good friend of mine, a diptyque insider, that the new agency doesn’t have a native English-speaking writer on staff! Nor do they have any expertise in e-commerce or any know-how in terms of optimizing on-line sales.
Apparently, the copy is written in French, then Google translated, and then edited by a Parisian copywriter! WOW, I thought to myself, that’s so weird. Why are they doing that? Well, my theory is that maybe they think that we, Americans we “don’t get it” and that the right way is the French way (no pun intended)…

The Fix
diptyque should go back to its roots: the founders (who were also friends), Desmond Knox-Leet (painter), Yves Coueslant (set designer), and Christiane Gautrot (architect) embraced exploration and localization so well.
Having your headquarters in Paris is fine, but localize each market, meaning: hire creative teams who know the local culture, language/slang, as well as the customers who are already fans—they’re the ones who’ve created the LOVE for diptyque!