Whether you lead a Fortune 500 company or are an entrepreneur running a small business, there are two things you can be sure of:
First is that your bread is buttered by your customers. As Sam Walton famously said, “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
Second is that you will have a number of these customers who will be unhappy with their experience and want to complain. Some will do so — as Jay Baer, author of the great new book, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers says — “offstage” meaning privately. And, others will do so “onstage” meaning on some type of public forum where many others are sure to notice.
The biggest problem with this second challenge is not the complaints themselves but the failure to respond to them and/or not responding to them correctly.
For ease of explanation the author refers to all complainers as “haters.” However, he actually discusses situations ranging from those who are simply information-seekers and mild complainers, to yes…the somewhat insane actual haters who can truly ruin a company’s reputation if not handled correctly.
The bad news about the fact that haters can take their issues (regardless of whether real or imagined) public is obvious.
However, there’s also much good news. IF you handle it correctly, not only can you turn these haters into your most loyal fans and ambassadors; you can do the same with the people who are merely looking on as undecideds.
In this brief chat with Jay, we’ll discuss:
- The brave new world of haters
- The fact that haters are not your problem, but something else most definitely is
- Why the saying, “Don’t feed the trolls” is no longer good advice
- The importance of playing, not just to the hater, but to the…spectators
- Why haters actually represent your greatest opportunity
- The best way to head off haters in the first place
- The three most important things he learned while writing this book (that he hopes we learn, too!)
Jay Baer truly brings a wise perspective to what we think we know about customer engagement; especially the more difficult — and potentially dangerous — type. As he says in the introduction to the book, “I wrote this to help all business owners and managers understand how to turn customer service into marketing, and use it as your true competitive advantage.”
Be sure and visit www.HugYourHaters.com and purchase his book, and put this fantastic information to use.
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