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Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers Hardcover – March 1, 2016
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One of 2016's top 3 marketing books: Strategy+Business Magazine
“Customer service is the new marketing. You need to buy this book if you care about your customers and your business.”
—Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
“This is a landmark book in the history of customer service.”
—Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva and author of The Art of the Start 2.0
“If you need to decrypt customer service, you NEED to read Hug Your Haters. Baer gives you a better map to success than anyone else.”
—Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group
“Hug Your Haters is one of the most profound books a business can read today. Baer is one of the foremost experts on customer experience”
—John R. DiJulius III, author of The Customer Service Revolution
“When customers complain, they aren't just being negative - they're giving you fascinating insights and inspiration about your brand. Hug Your Haters reveals why detractors can become your most valuable customers.”
—Sally Hogshead, author of Fascinate and How the World Sees You
“Jay Baer demonstrates that the single greatest threat to customer retention is to appear indifferent to customer complaints.”
—Steve Curtin, author of Delight Your Customers
“Jay provides strategies that are easy to understand and can be immediately implemented.”
—Jeffrey Gitomer, author of Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless
“Finally a book with steps to get even the toughest critics on your side!”
—Jeffrey Hayzlett, primetime TV & radio host, keynote speaker, best-selling author and global business celebrity
About the Author
Jay Baer is the president of Convince & Convert, an online customer service and digital marketing consultancy and media company. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Youtility. He contributes articles to Inc., Entrepreneur, and Forbes.com; writes the world’s #1 content marketing blog; and hosts several award-winning podcasts. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with his family.
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Top Customer Reviews
1: How has the proliferation of social media, review sites, and other online forms changed the customer expectations of what good customer service really means.
2: When interactions between brands and humans are played out on the public stage, how must brands perform to in order to satisfy not only the customer, but the customer’s audience.
Hug your haters is a guidebook, informed by real data, on how to best handle complaints in this age of onstage public complaining. When I read a new business book it will sometimes take me down a particular intellectual path, other times it will provide nuggets of useful information that I can use, and sometimes I will disagree with it to such an extent, that I cannot wait to be done.
Hug your haters is different.
Hug Your Haters, for me, is validation of what I have come to believe over the last few years. Negative reviews are a chance to shine. Upset clients can be loyal clients if you can turn them around. Onstage interactions with upset clients is chance to show all those watching that you care enough to listen, empathize, apologize, and try to fix individual complaints.
It is amazing to read a book and have the author focus on a point of technique, where Jay talks about shock and awe was my favorite moment for this to happen, and realize “hey I love to do that – nice to know I’m not the only one!” Although the book primarily focuses on online strategies for customer resolution, is does deal with offline issues and really provides a blueprint, with real world examples, of how to provide customer service in almost any sized business. The basic philosophy is simple – answer every negative complaint, every time, in every channel. By doing this the author, and I agree, believes that customer service can become marketing. This is because, more often than not, these interactions are conducted in public with an audience.
If I have to have a complaint about the book it is that Jay lets Yelp off the hook far too easily. My own personal feelings about Yelp have evolved over the years; from outright despising them for their failure to engage with their clients and critics, to acceptance with a few reservations. However, the issue that Yelp arbitrarily filters out reviews from real paying clients, but does not seem to have the same scruples when it comes to negative reviews from people you do not recognize, and refuses to engage about what has happened, still stands.
However, this really is a minor quibble about what is without doubt the bible of how handle customer service in the modern age. It is not for the faint of heart. Following Jay’s playbook, you will encounter managers, owners, and employees, who feel that you are opening the company to being taken advantage or creating a culture where customers are rewarded for complaining. And there are some merits to these fears; however, these are far out-weighed by the rewards.
For me this book is validation – thank you Jay.
For others, it is heresy.
For most it will be revelatory.
But I like my competitive advantage, so please, don’t buy this book.
Who cared if the tribal knowledge, the warmth and the local support that customers really craved was replaced by impersonal call centers, even automated bots in some cases? Except for the occasional companies like Zappos or Warby-Parker who get it, customer service is basically dead in this country. Haters are often just frustrated consumers who have legitimate gripes about your products or services.
Haters are doing you a favor by giving you the OPPORTUNITY to make it right. Jay Baer makes this point very eloquently. Let's embrace complaints and keep our customers. After all - "net new" customers are many times more expensive to get than keeping satisfied customers. Who knows? You might even exceed their expectations and create a lucrative new business segment! Right, Uber? If you don't keep the customer services levels up, though, someone will take your haters from you and hug them harder. ;)