When dealing with negative feedback, your first impulse may be to dismiss it or assume a customer is being difficult. That isn’t necessarily the case. According to this week’s book recommendation, 80% of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, while only 8% of their customers agree.
Why such a disparity? Part of it is how business leaders choose to deal with customer dissatisfaction and complaints (e.g., ignoring them). Another element is how customer interactions have changed over the years and become less and less private. Complaints were delivered by mail for decades. Telephone call centers were at the forefront of customer service in the ‘70s. By the ‘90s the Internet had come into play, providing email and discussion boards to air grievances.
Now it’s the 21st century. Customers can post a bad review or take to social media to complain about your services within seconds. When this happens the first question you should be asking yourself shouldn’t be, “What is their problem?” as much as “Why do they have a problem?”
Jay Baer’s Hug Your Haters will provide ways to navigate this era of complex communication, starting with some straightforward questions. How do you choose to interact with your customers? How quickly do you solve their problems? Are your empathetic to their concerns? How are your communication skills with customers?
In the end embracing your complaints is the quickest way to improving and optimizing your services. It’s through negative feedback that you can learn the most about what your customers need and give them the best you’ve got. Think of complaints as secret shortcuts to improvement, and the more you act on them the more quickly those complaints will fall away.
Here is the summary on Amazon:
“Eighty percent of companies say they deliver outstanding customer service, but only 8 percent of their customers agree. This book will help you close that gap by reconfiguring your customer service to deliver knockout experiences.
“The near-universal adoption of smartphones and social media has fundamentally altered the science of complaints. Critics (“haters”) can now express their displeasure faster and more publicly than ever. These trends have resulted in an overall increase in complaints and a belief by many businesses that they have to “pick their spots” when choosing to answer criticisms.
“Bestselling author Jay Baer shows why that approach is a major mistake. Based on an extensive proprietary study of how, where, and why we complain, Hug Your Haters proves that there are two types of complainers, each with very different motivations:
“Offstage haters. These people simply want solutions to their problems. They complain via legacy channels where the likelihood of a response is highest—phone, e-mail, and company websites. Offstage haters don’t care if anyone else finds out, as long as they get answers.
“Onstage haters. These people are often disappointed by a substandard interaction via traditional channels, so they turn to indirect venues, such as social media, online review sites, and discussion boards. Onstage haters want more than solutions—they want an audience to share their righteous indignation.
“Hug Your Haters shows exactly how to deal with both groups, drawing on meticulously researched case studies from businesses of all types and sizes from around the world. It includes specific playbooks and formulas as well as a fold-out poster of “the Hatrix,” which summarizes the best strategies for different situations. The book is also filled with poignant and hilarious examples of haters gone wild, and companies gone crazy, as well as inspirational stories of companies responding with speed, compassion, and humanity.
“Whether you work for a mom-and-pop store or a global brand, you will have haters—and you can’t afford to ignore them. Baer’s insights and tactics will teach you how to embrace complaints, put haters to work for you, and turn bad news into good outcomes.”
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