Ugh. It’s some godforsaken hour in the morning of Christmas Eve/Day and I can’t sleep.
No, I’m not excited for Santa Claus to bring me a pony or a pair of moon shoes.
Rather I am so pissed off with my current situation with Slimband that I can’t sleep and have composed an angry rant instead.
For a list of all other Slimband related posts, please click here
I’m getting fat again and am not impressed***. I have spent 2 years and over $16,000 trying to lose weight and have only had middling success. Every other day I get an email or a comment on this blog about others in the same position and it makes me so angry that Slimband as a company doesn’t care about what happens with their patients after the wounds heal.
Oh, there are some individuals in the company that may care. I have met them. Slimband discovered how much traffic I get for my articles on having the band that both they and competing clinic CIBO approached me about it. Both tried to buy me off; as some kind of damage control, I suppose. Personally I think that was a silly idea. It’s better to get me on board and on your side and use my expertise to help fix things, than just to get me to shut up. I am a mouthpiece for the people, y’all.
I thought I was getting somewhere with Slimband. They told me about a new program they are hoping to get in place for post-op patients. There were a few little parts to it that sounded promising. But overall it sounds like they still have no clue on how to do it right and fix their reputation.
That’s right, my Slimband friends. Despite your best efforts, you have a shit reputation that will continue to get worse if you don’t take some fast actions and fess up to your mistakes. Some in your company have recognized this and sought my assistance with the situation. Did you know that I have a stellar marketing and advertising background, and specialize in social media? (Duh, I write this blog and stole your Google search rank, didn’t I?) I am an outspoken fattie and made some great suggestions as to how you can develop a truly helpful post op program for patients like me. For whatever reason, the powers that be in your company nixed that idea.
And now me, and my fellow fatties are back at square one. Stranded, abandoned and not sure whether our lack of steady weight loss is our fault or Slimband’s fault. At this point I’m going to lay most of the blame on Slimband because they have thus far chosen to turn a blind eye to our plight. Which from a social media, word of mouth and PR perspective is a dangerous thing. We’re definitely more numerous than the patients that have reached their goal weight.
Want to know what my suggestions for the company were? Since I created them based on knowledge and assumptions readily available to the public, and used my expertise as a marketing consultant to craft them, they are MINE TO SHARE. You saw them here first, folks.
Weight Loss System, not just an installation of a plastic chunk
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a decent post-op program that was part of the Slimband system? I don’t even know who to talk to when I have a problem. No check ups from the company who sells you based on their 4 years of support. I recommend (and as far as I know individuals working at Slimband agree) that I come on board and help evaluate this program they want to get going. Ashamed of our inability to lose weight, many of us don’t speak up and tell Slimband what works, what doesn’t and what we need more of. I can do that. I can be your voice and help develop a kickass program to help you reach your goals.
OMG! Someone that cares and can help you! You’re not alone!
Wouldn’t it be cool to know that there is someone out there just like you, who isn’t afraid to share her story and strive for success in weight loss? I recommended myself as the Patient Champion. The person that you can contact if you don’t know where to start, and the person who cares about your plight and will get you the help you need. It’s all there, the company just doesn’t know how to pull it all together. I do. And I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that can actually get shit done the right way. Because I’m REAL and not drinking the gastric band koolaid. I won’t stand for anything less than happy customers.
Hell, none of these companies seem to know how to do this shit. Imagine if they actually had it all together the success they would achieve! It seems obvious to me, but then again I’m just a dumb little fattie who is $16k poorer.
Let it all hang out
Ok, screw this. Here’s the damn document I went out of my way to prepare for the folks at Slimband. It was their idea to get me on board and involved in the first place, by the way. All the info is based on the emails readers have sent me, my own experiences, anecdotal information gathered from online forums and other public online sources. Again, I am a marketing professional so I have some of my own insights to share. None of this is private or confidential, since I wasn’t given anything to go with. I could write something like this for any company. Fuckin’ Marketing 101 here, folks.
Please note that if you’re thinking of just stealing my ideas and trying to do it yourselves for whatever clinic you work for… well, go ahead. But you won’t do it as well as I would, and in the end you’ll probably fail again and end up with another herd of upset patients. But hey, if it works, all the more power to ya. I hope you can help me lose the last 80 fucking pounds I have to go.
Poor Brand Image
Slimband is perceived by many as lacking warmth, caring and the human element. Anecdotally, many clients feel the following:
- Abandoned after the procedure was completed. Post-op care was not as expected. “Slimband just wanted my money & doesn’t care about me”.
- Unhappy with their weight loss results, experiencing minimal loss, or a plateau
- Confused about the post-op process, ongoing support system and who to reach out to if they need help
These feelings toward the company may result in negative PR/Word Of Mouth, or no Word of Mouth where there might have been some if the client felt valued. Further research is recommended.
Older clients do not know what the band does and how it works. Now that the North American medical community has a better understanding of the most effective way to use the band; It is critical that patients receive a more accurate description of the band so that they can properly utilize it. (Ed. note, Slimband is aware of this also and all new patients receive the updated information. But I’m an older patient so I didn’t know until recently and was totally confused. But now I understand things better. All other North American clinics will or should inform their past patients of this new development).
This should be handled in a delicate manner; many clients may feel deceived, confused, upset, etc. by the news despite it being helpful & informative.
Additionally, the new support program should be introduced in a friendly way, and targeted to existing clients that have not experienced full success with their band.
A case study or “poster girl” for this situation would help bring some warmth back into the company, help clients relate, and be a good point of contact for clients.
How May I Help You?
Post-Op Program Consultant
As a current client and influencer/blogger, I have no trouble sharing my thoughts on the effectiveness and accessibility of a post-op support program. My experiences thus far, combined with my insight into the bandster community and my communications expertise can help Slimband create and/or refine their support system to a best-in-class program for existing and future clients.
As I myself go through the process to “get back on track” I can take notes, make suggestions and give quality feedback to Slimband professionals on the best way to approach existing clients and implement the new program of personalized medicine with each individual.
As discussed previously, a friendly face for the post-op program may be just what the doctor ordered.
I am willing to have my journey through the post-op support program documented and shared with the patient community. This would be a spokesperson role, with or without patient interaction (TBD).
Known for my unbiased and straightforward manner, I can reach out to the clients who feel lost and help them get on track, while being an inspiration and encouraging trust. I would help inject some warmth back into the Slimband image.
Here are some additional ideas and thoughts on this potential role:
- I have a marketing and customer service background
- Currently the exact type of client you need to assist and help satisfy
- Outgoing, positive, honest, warm and charismatic, many people trust me and will open up to me
- My role could function as a spokesperson for the second stage of Slimband, and/or:
- Gatekeeper/General community outreach
- Address any concerns that bandsters have & direct them to the right resources
- Gathering information & insights from clients, conducting surveys, focus groups, coffee meetings
- Contribute articles & participate in online community
- Help Slimband provide a full weight loss program, and not just the surgery
The folks at Slimand are trying to help me, as a patient but are doing a very poor job of it so far which is why I’m so darn upset. I got my band de-filled, but now I’m not getting enough follow up or any of the other fancy post op support options they were promising me when we still thought I would be helping the company. I feel totally abandoned again and have no idea what to do or who to talk with to get this band shit figured out! So frustrating! My dietician is trying her best, but she seems limited in her abilities to assist me in my journey. And I’m gaining weight. This make me PISSED TO THE EXTREME.
Additionally, I AM trying to get a job with Slimband. The kind where I get paid real money because I provide real services and results. Despite the vitriol and frustration I have just unloaded, I think that if they just brought me on board, let me figure out where they’re going wrong, how to fix it, and then DO IT they could be a great company and be able to help so many people, past, present and future. A company with a good reputation is going to do very, very well in today’s social media world and bring in the big bucks. I’m trying to balance my desire to fix something broken and make it succeed with my desire to help all those past patients like me that don’t realize that THEY DESERVE BETTER.
Disclaimer: This is my personal online journal. I am not trying to sully the reputation of a company, but rather express my frustrations and personal experiences with said company. And hope that they listen to me and talk to me before getting lawyered up or anything because I think we could be beautiful together.
SLIMBAND: I BELIEVE IN YOU! MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE AND EMBRACE CHANGE! I know you can become a great, national company that does right by its’ patients. You just need a little help, is all. Call me.
READERS: I think they should hire me to get things going. Do you? Please show your support in the comments below or you can contact Slimband directly and tell them you want me (Lisa M) to help them help you. Because if you’re happy you’ll recommend the procedure to your friends. If Slimband becomes as awesome as I think they can be, then everyone is happy and new patients and money will flow in. Yay for fitting in your skinny jeans!