When I began working to help businesses with their customer service reviews, something known today as online reputation management and marketing, the topic wasn’t on the priority list, or even the radar of many businesses or customer service managers. But losing sleep over complaints online and bad reviews is now common.
Today, more and more businesses and managers realize that the business ecosystem is changing at warp speed. What was missing in the arsenal was some solid data. Data driven decisions are something most people miss but when it is wrapped in a good package, it is easier to consume and pivot, if you need help on this front, sit back and read my review of the book, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer and why I think it is useful.
Disclosure: This review is from a pre-release digital version of the book when I pre-ordered the title. So, no monetary or in-kind compensation was received for this review but receiving a review copy does not affect the substance of my opinion either way. Book purchase links included in this review are to encourage readers to buy this work. It doesn’t cost buyers extra and may result in a small commission for my efforts.
Well written, and well designed from a marketer’s standpoint, Hug Your Haters (#HugYourHaters) takes you into the world of customer service experiences and gets into who complains, why they complain and how to leverage, pivot and address those complaints. Although I have always told clients they need to respond to each and every review within 24 hours, the data collected and presented from a collaboration with Edison Research (surveying more than 2,000 Americans to determine why and how people complain about businesses) makes it clear to businesses and customer service managers just why this is so important.
Have you ever lost sleep over a bad review? If so you are not alone, and there is a biological component involved that can have an impact lasting 26 hours. Baer shares a variety of information on the repercussions and experiences of customer service gone wrong, and having a concrete explanation gleaned from Judith & Richard Glaser and their Harvard Review contribution, The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations might not ease the pain, but at least you’ll understand the sleep loss disturbance and maybe be motivated to take steps to avoid future situations.
Overall my delight came from finding more recent facts and figures, feedback from other experts on the topic, as well as some real life examples of both big brands and smaller businesses. Although I already understood that customer advocacy increases through review responses, Hug Your Haters breaks it down into bite-size portions and shares four ways businesses benefit by responding. The psychological phenomenon is that a successful service recovery can have 20 times the impact of regular advertising…and increased customer advocacy.
The good news is that 65% of complaints are first made by telephone or email which means a business needs to mitigate those quickly before frustration takes things online…and get it handled during the first exchange. BUT realize that social is becoming a channel of first resort and that is changing the customer service ecosystem and so businesses need to adapt–and do it quickly as things go wrong and get syndicated and spread online fast.
The book contains a variety of trend leaders in customer service along with examples and numbers gleaned from the research. It was really an enjoyable read. Plus, the screenwriter touch and expert comments from a variety of business, brands, and professional customer service experts took it to a higher level than a lot of business books I’ve read. On a side note, I am waiting in anticipation of the Hatrix poster when it hits my mailbox when the hard copy of the book arrives.
- Why You Should Embrace Complaints
- Two Types of Haters
- Who Complains, Where & Why
- Customer Service is a Spectator Sport
- Big Buts – 5 Obstacles to Providing Great Services
- Future of Customer Service
Jay Baer is making the rounds on a variety of blogs and podcasts and it would be worth a listen during drive time. BTW the book release date is March 1, 2016 but you can always order now.
Hug Your Haters Book Takeaways
- Two Types of Hater Ecosystems
- The “offstage” haters who complain using tradition channels or platforms, phone, and email. They desire, expect, and anticipate an answer.
- The “on-stage” haters complain to an audience using social media, review sites, discussion boards and don’t necessarily expect an answer.
- Businesses or customer service managers need to answer every complaint on every channel in a timely manner.
- Be Human
- Use One Channel
- Unify Your Data
- Resolve the Issue
- with Speed
- Find all Mentions
- Display Empathy
- Answer Publicly
- Reply Only Once
- Switch Channels
Although the topic is often an uncomfortable one, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers is a palatable and interesting read that will be useful to any business owner, customer service manager or customer support specialist.
All images and excerpts Copyright 2016 by Jay Baer.