Hug Your Haters – How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers (New York: Portfolio / Penguin, 2016)

Could it be that easy to make more money in your business? All I have to do is keep more customers?


Tweet: “On a logical level, it really is the baseline for every business: making customers happy.” — @jaybaer

In 1990, Harvard Review published a study showing a five percent increase in retention could boost your profits between twenty-five to eighty-five percent.

This concept is well known.

Many of us continue to struggle with this idea, and if you do too, I recommend a Jay Baer’s latest work, Hug Your Haters.

Tweet: “Advertising is a tax paid when you’re poor at retaining your current customers.” — @jaybaer

In Hug Your Haters, Jay outlines the changes occurring in the customer service industry, the role the internet and social media now play, and what your business needs to do to keep up. Better yet, with his research, Jay gives the insight to excel at service, giving you what you need to know to become a trendsetter yourself.

We spend a lot of money each year on advertising. It used to be print and direct mail, and we added email, then internet ads, and now social media. We advertise organically, we pay for it, and we look for advocates to support our brand.

But today, and one of the largest points Jay makes in Hug Your Haters is that customer service is also marketing.

Tweet: “Customer service is now a spectator sport.” — @jaybaer

Customer service used to be a private ordeal. In Hug Your Haters, Jay called this “offstage.” Now, it’s public and “onstage”.

I recall old figures that said an average customer would tell ten friends if they had poor service and three friends if they had great service. So, customer service has always been a form of marketing. However, in today’s world connected by Facebook and Twitter, this is even more so. Now I can tell my friends and thousands of strangers, instantly, what poor service I received from you and your company.

By increasing your ability to respond to these customers and make their experiences a positive one, you create advocates for your brand, not only those who had their issue resolved but also those who had the opportunity to witness the entire exchange.

Jay Baer also makes a great point that you are no longer competing, when it comes to service, with only companies in your industry. If I receive quick and pleasant service regarding a restaurant complaint on Twitter, I expect no less from you even if you are a mechanic.

But as Jay points out, this is great if you’re setting that example. Make companies compete with you by providing incredible service yourself and turning your “haters” into “lovers.”

If 90 percent of businesses will supply customer care through social media by 2020, why don’t you today? When Jay writes Hug Your Haters II, be the next example he uses of what the standard ought to be.

Hug Your Haters is full of great advice and backed with incredible research. It’s a realistic approach to understanding what customers expect from us today and how to meet that expectation.

I highly recommend you pick up a copy, evaluate your customer service policies, and find opportunities to Hug Your Haters.

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