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Weekly Message From Margo DeGange - Pet Peeves

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"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I'll add...   "and by how its customers are treated, too." ~Margo

National Pet Day is April 10th:
In Honor of it, Here are my Business Pet-Peeves!

In honor of National Pet Day (which is April 10th by some sources, September 12th by another, and various other days according to other sources—which could be a pet-peeve) this Weekly Message is about some of the many PET-PEEVES I have around the practice of business, particularly small business, in the civilized world.

Here are 20 of them in no particular order, based on real experiences me or my family have personally had during the past year, reflecting the fact that regardless of the industry we are in, as business people, we need to preserve the quality of our service to customers. The list is not conclusive by the way (so please treat me and others well when we visit your place of business). 
Please feel free to send me YOUR Business Pet-Peeve at
Margarett@degangigroup.com, and I will put them all together soon in a fun E-Book. Everyone who contributes will get a FREE copy!

Here we go! Margo’s List of Business Pet-Peeves:

1. Department stores, restaurant’s, furniture stores, and other establishments whose managers and owners hope people do not use their toilet paper, as evidenced by the fact that it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to get more than one square of tissue off the roll with a single, labor-intensive pull.

2. Online companies that hide behind the Internet, as though we don’t deserve, desire, or require the name of the real person behind the biz.

3. Starbucks and other coffee house cashiers who first take my dirty money, hand me germ-infested change, and then proceed to stick their fingers INSIDE the cup I am about to drink from—all during cold or flu season (shouldn’t this be basic training?). I have seen this mistake happen SO MANY TIMES, in New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Texas, Hawaii, and just about every state in–between (if there is such a thing as “in between” in this instance).

4. Business representatives who:
a) lie in any way, shape, or form.
b) lie in any way, shape, or form, and lie about lying when they are called on it
c) lie in any way, shape, or form, lie about lying when they are called on it , and never seem to have a conscience about it.

5. Deli’s that glop all the meat in a big pile in the middle of the sandwich so that almost all of the bread has no meat, and so that I would have to open my mouth way wider than it naturally goes—even when I’m mad— in order to take a bite. Can they not spread the meat around evenly? I thought that’s why I paid 9-plus bucks for a sandwich.

6. People who send me newsletters and email blasts that I DID NOT ASK FOR. (Would you like a ride to spam jail? Oh wait, I can’t drive you right now…I have to read 12,000 newsletters.)

7. Online business services that have a cow—and a fee—or worse,  an interruption of service—if you pay your monthly service late, yet who give absolutely no compensation when their system is down, broken, or quirky when you are trying to use it during the business day.

8. Workers at restaurant’s who, while wearing protective gloves, feel free to pick their ears, nose, and rear-end, and touch dirty door handles only seconds before they make our food. (I guess they are the ones being protected, not us).

9. Sales consultants who use the sales floor to air their dirty laundry, their personal and business frustrations, their incredibly boring life-stories, their marital dis-harmonies, their hangover tales, and their immediate need for a work break or food. I blame managers for hiring—and being willing to be around— such low-energy people.

10. Business people who are super-de-duper nice, totally available, and perfectly warm and fuzzy on the day of the sale and the days leading up to it, and who then become mysteriously unavailable, completely dysfunctional in personality, or flat out rude on the days after the sale (the take-the-money-and-run syndrome, and yes, I promise, this ACTUALLY happens).

11. Salespeople who TELL ME why I need what they are selling (please give this some thought, some of you will get it right away), and who tell me the solution to my problem even before they have asked me a single assessment question.

12. Monthly memberships with higher than normal fees because they promise ongoing support, whose owners or managers seem put-out, annoyed, or in a hurry every time I ask a simple question (memberships like this suffer from the NEW-media take-the-money-and-run syndrome).

13. This one is for the salesman who did not “get” #11 (because I was talking about him). Salespeople who run rampant with their sales pitches before they even find out what the needs of the customer are, who not only tell me why I need what they are selling, but who miss enormous amounts of additional on-the-spot sales, add-on sales, and future sales and referrals (you do the math) because they had to “run the show” instead of simply hearing what I was saying I needed.

14. Business owners and sales consultants who boldly confess. “We are closing in 5 minutes so please hurry and make your final selections”. Are you freaking crazy? Do you know how much an advertised lead costs (or ANY lead for that matter). You’ve got me RIGHT IN YOUR STORE and I WAS ready to buy!

15. Businesses—particularly online services such as certain shopping carts—that now charge a PREMIUM membership fee for what they call their “upgraded membership”, which allows us the “privilege” of actually talking to a customer service rep on the phone if we ever have an issue. Customer service by phone (instead of through a website’s contact system) used to be included in what we all know as BASIC customer service, but now these “clever sons-of-guns” (would you like to buy a used car?) see basic service as a way to rake our pockets for more cash. All of us should stand up and make a fuss about this one!

16. Business owners who just DO NOT GET (see peeve #15 above) that any customer service issue, and YES, any complaint, is a GOLDEN revenue-generating opportunity and NOT a deficit. Stop treating customers as if they annoy you—or you may as well just close your business and get a job picking up soda cans and cigarette packs in the mall parking lot where no one will bother you and where you will never become financially independent, either.

17. Sales consultants ON THE SALES FLOOR, who:
a) have no clue about ANYTHING.
b) cannot answer even basic questions intelligently.
c) seem proud to announce boldly, “I don’t know” (not even, “I’ll find out”).

PLEASE, just quit your job, I beg you. My daughter’s friend, who is actually looking for a job, would be happy to take your place and learn everything she needs to know to not only keep a good work ethic and a reasonable level of self respect, but her job as well).

18. Businesses (that now charge a PREMIUM for basic phone support) that have crappy—and I mean CRAPPY—email support, not getting back to me for days on end, and never really resolving issues (because the issues really need to be communicated by phone).

19. A restaurant manager that comes to your table when you did not ask to see him (because the waitress told him you were not happy with something, such as cold “hot tea” or collard greens that taste like what I would imagine sweaty, dirty socks to taste like, and because he HAS to come since it is store policy), who greets you in a condescending manner with “Did you need something”?  “Yes, I need you to stop doing your job strictly out of obligation, stop putting the monkey on MY back, and start acting like a manager!”

20. Restaurants that run out of their main food,  like the Chicken Express running out of chicken—on two different days (hello, the ONLY thing you sell is chicken) or the Dairy Queen running out of ice cream for a Dip Cone. People, it’s called planning for the business day.

So, there you have my rant and rave and 20 of my Business Pet-Peeves (even though I am not finished). Happy National Pet Day.

If animals ruled the world, we would have no business problems whatsoever, because animals do exactly what they are supposed to do. It turns out that we humans rule the world, so let’s do it with some pride (the good kind) and dignity.

By the way, if you are a pet-owner, please hug your doggie, kitty, fish or fowl (as I will), and as a business owner, please try (as I will) to keep the potential business PET-PEEVES to an absolute minimum. I know we are only human, after all, but we can do amazing things if we only set our minds to it.

Oh, and don’t forget to send me YOUR Business Pet-Peeve for the e-book. You’ll get a FREE copy for doing so!

Have a Wildly Pet-Peeve FREE Week,

P.S. Here are some other special pet days you may be interested in (various sources may suggest other dates than those below, but these represent the consensus):

National Bird Day - January 5
National Dress up Your Pet Day - January 14
National Answer Your Cat's Question Day - January 22
Pet Dental Health Month - February 1-28
Responsible Pet Owners Month - February 1-28
Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week - February 7-14
Pet Theft Awareness Day - February 14
National Dog Biscuit Day - February 23
National Pig Day - March 1
National Puppy Day- March 23
National Pet Month - April 7- May 7
National Pet ID Week - April 18-24
National Pet Day - April 10
National Kids & Pets Day - April 26
National Pet Week - 1st week of May
Be Kind to Animals Week - 1st week of May
National Dog Bite Prevention Week May 13-19
National Disabled Pets Day - May 3
Frog Jumping Jubilee Day - May 19
Adopt-a-Shelter- Cat Month - June 1-30
Take Your Dog to Work - June 22
Rat Catcher's Day - July 22
National Mutt Day - July 31'st
National Dog Day - August 26th
National Dog Week - Last week of September
Adopt-a-Dog Month - October 1-31
National Feral Cat Day - October 16
National Cat Day- October 29
National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week - Nov 5-11

Margarett (Margo) DeGange, M.Ed. is a Business and Design Coach in the Home Fashions Industry. She creates and delivers custom training programs for managed businesses and their sales consultants to help them communicate better with customers and increase sales and profits. Margarett is a Writer and Professional Speaker, and the President of The DeGangi Group and The DeGangi School of Interior Decoration, with both on sight and on-line courses in Interior Decorating, Marketing, and Redesign. For almost 20 years she has helped individuals and managed business owners in the interior fashions and decorating industries to earn more while fully enjoying the process.

Two of Margo’s popular products for furniture store owners and their sales professionals are The Decorating School Crash Course Power-Ed Pack (9 design lessons on video/audio with 12 hours of content), and the matching Decorating School Crash Course Learner Files to measure learning, provide added interactivity, and motivate sales consultants to own their opportunities for growth.

Visit Margo DeGange’s website at www.DecoratingForProfits.com  for more information. Send email and questions to her at Margarett@furninfo.com.

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