The Best Customer Service Story Involving A Sweaty Stalker Ever

 

I’m not a big shopper. I’m not someone who typically geeks out about brands. I don’t have favourite stores. I can remember watching commercials as a child and thinking, “There’s no way this works on anybody.” (And that was just one of the many incorrect assumptions I made in my childhood.) But I do feel what can only be described as a strong sense of consumer loyalty for one establishment: Bikram Yoga Abbotsford.

This is a minor miracle because everybody knows that “hot yoga” studios are places of humid anguish. I only manage to go once a week because my appetite for staring dead-eyed at my own clumsy reflection is only so keen. But I go faithfully. I am a loyal customer. I love Bikram Yoga Abbotsford because I actually truly feel that Bikram Yoga Abbotsford loves me.

This is a story about the best customer service I have ever experienced.

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June 17, 2015

In Medias Res: For Marketing Communicators And Dorks Alike

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I am a big fan of using story when we are advocating for our businesses, brands, or big ideas. I believe that story is the royal road to understandable and engaging communication. It’s a time-saver, actually. Art: enhancing efficiency. Who would have thought?

In my own business, I offer story-based communications services, which means different things at different times. The ‘story’ in ‘story-based communication’ is anything that helps a reader or a listener to effortlessly imagine a concrete situation, rather than struggle to comprehend abstract ideas. That might mean I’m only using a briefly described scenario, example, or analogy, depending on the communications piece. But whenever it is appropriate or effective, I will include a fleshier, more traditionally story-like narrative. And when I do that, I get to use dorky literary devices. Why not? These devices exist to make the stories we read ‘for pleasure’ more interesting, compelling, and artful, and they function exactly the same way when we use them in business storytelling.

‘In medias res’ (from the Latin for ‘in the midst of things’) is a storytelling technique that builds intrigue quickly by starting the narrative from the middle of the action rather than the beginning. So in order to understand the significance of the scenario they have wandered into, the reader or viewer has to keep paying attention. They have to hang around to hear the ‘backstory’.

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December 23, 2014

‘Be The Change Room’: 3 Novel Ideas For Beating Presentation Anxiety

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As a truly spazzy stage fright sufferer, I deeply emphasize with nervous clients who are about to make presentations or go on-camera. In the tenth grade, all music and drama students at my school were forced to try out for a production of Annie by singing ‘Tomorrow’ in front of the teacher and a few student adjudicators. My audition ended in wracking on-stage sobs after a mere one or two shaky bars. I was crying so hard that my sniffles and choke-sounds were reverberating in the Suddenly Most Uncomfortable Auditorium In The World. That’s me.

I can travel from 0 to 100 on the anxiety-meter in less than 10 seconds.

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November 28, 2014

The Backstory, Birth & Vision of The Sparkle Project

The Backstory, Birth & Vision of The Sparkle Project

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August 26, 2014

Power Pose

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I had my picture taken at the end of July. My photographer, Kim Mallory, is a sensitive woman, so she quickly registered my anxiety, a surging awkwardness that made me feel subtly out of control of my own body’s movements. Kim is good at what she does, so she could deal. By the end of the session, her guidance had me smiling without so much tension that my teeth threatened to rocket out of my face. The portrait above was one of her later shots, taken after I became more relaxed and conversational.

I’ve been mildly dysmorphic since I was little. I’ve acquired the complement of attitudes and habits that mark the lives of mildly dysmorphic people. Fortunately, a combination of mindfulness training and lifestyle habits that reinforce healthy psychology has helped me to manage my tendency towards morbid perfectionism. But on occasion I do feel a twinge of it. Sitting for a professional photograph is one such occasion, I guess.

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August 21, 2014