Hug Your Haters – Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:39:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hug Your Haters – Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting 32 32 Own Your Errors and Do Not Fauxpologize Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:00:00 +0000 When mistakes were made, why so many business execs and CEOs have an apology allergy, and what to do instead.

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Own Your Errors and Do Not Fauxpologize

You can’t fix a problem that’s already happened. You don’t have a time machine. But every time you make a mistake, you have complete and total control over what happens next.

Yet, time and again, when businesses mess up, their leaders blow it when it’s time to ask for forgiveness.

And we WANT to forgive. We’re a forgiving society in every regard and respect. Which is why it’s puzzling and frustrating that so many people seem to have an Apology Allergy that takes a bad situation and makes it worse.

Of course, in recent months, the classic apology allergy example is United Airlines. When airport police officers forcibly drag a passenger from your aircraft, you should apologize fast and without equivocation. Instead, United first blamed the passenger. Then, after they were pilloried in social media and beyond, they offered a feeble apology and admitted the flight had been overbooked.

When the crowd still wasn’t buying it, United’s chief executive released a formal apology to passengers who sat through the experience. Several equally embarrassing missteps later, United executives had an epiphany (thanks to boycotting customers and partners). In a final statement, the company took “full responsibility” for a situation it admitted shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It took them days to apologize right.

Don’t Fauxpologize

When an angry mob is marching your way, the natural reaction is to either run away or fight back. It’s understandable. But shouldn’t CEOs know better? Some CEOs might avoid apologizing out of fear that their words might appear to be a legal admission of guilt, but that’s a gross oversimplification of the law. Any prosecutor worth her salt knows proving liability involves more than holding up an “I apologize wholeheartedly” tweet in front of a judge.

If you or your CEO enjoys conflict, you could always decide to argue instead of apologizing. This might sound like a worse option than simply saying nothing, but it happens all the time. Denis Grisak, the founder of Garadget, decided to retaliate after a customer left negative reviews of his company online. Grisak opted to sever the angry customer’s server connection, meaning the customer was effectively unable to open his garage door. Not a good plan.

A Satisfactory Sorry

As bad as United’s apology was, it’s certainly not endemic to their industry, as competitor Southwest Airlines is a particularly sound example of how to apologize the right way.

In 2016, a technology failure left thousands of Southwest flights—and paying customers—grounded. Instead of hiding its head in the sand or trying to deflect the blame, Southwest executives faced the complaints directly by using Facebook Live. It might seem like a gamble, but the live broadcast notched more than 800,000 views and received nearly nine times more likes than angry emojis.

Elon Musk is also a great case study in how to apologize well. A Tesla driver who was upset about the wait time to charge his vehicle tweeted at Musk, and the Tesla CEO offered a direct response within 20 minutes. The apology didn’t stop there, as six days later Tesla developed a system to streamline the long lines plaguing some of its charging stations.

In less than a week, Musk made a major change that benefits countless Tesla customers. He helped himself and his company come across as accountable and open to consumer feedback.

Apologies Create Advocacy

Customer service and efforts to remedy mistakes are powerful tools to create devoted brand advocates. Customers are more likely to do business with companies that can solve their problems, and they’re incredibly loyal to those companies.

My research with Edison Research for my book, Hug Your Haters, found that ignoring irate customers reduces loyalty and advocacy by up to 50 percent. At the same time, addressing these issues promotes loyalty and advocacy by as much as 25 percent. Even if you aren’t able to completely solve their problems, these customers will be more faithful to your company simply because you responded and were genuinely sorry.

Stop looking for ways to not apologize or to pass blame or to half-heartedly say you’re sorry. If you screwed up, own it. It’s amazing how far that goes in creating customer loyalty.

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Why Hugging Haters Defies Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink Wed, 05 Apr 2017 13:29:12 +0000 Hugging your haters offers an alternative to the reactionary approach described in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, and that's a good thing.

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Why Hugging Haters Defies Malcolm Gladwell's Blink

Recently, I finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s classic, Blink. Yes, I am a little behind the times. I also just recently finished The West Wing. This post is not about my trials and tribulations in staying timely, however.

Gladwell’s analysis has been percolating through my brain, and somewhere in that process, it occurred to me that what Jay Baer is promoting with the concept of “hugging your haters” is actually the opposite of a “blink” reaction. Explaining this requires first a brief synopsis of a hypothesis I’ve been working on. To wit, social media is based almost entirely on blink reactions.

Social media is based almost entirely on blink reactions.
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Blink Meets the World of Social Media

Blink was published in 2005, just a few years before the social media revolution really got underway. Still, it’s not hard to see how “thin slicing,” as Gladwell calls it, as well as blink reactions, rule the roost on digital platforms.

Take, for example, the recent and rampant attention paid to the “fake news” phenomenon. How could this be happening? How could people so readily share news without verifying its veracity? It’s quite simply the blink syndrome. All you need to do is read a headline or a caption under a picture and, so it seems, you have a perfect idea of what the argument is about. More importantly, you know whether the article is aligned with your views or whether it mocks your views.

This type of “thin slicing” is not always right. A few years ago, a blog post went viral because people kept sharing it, but the post was actually an April Fool’s gag. When you are posting for a company social media account and you get a “hater,” the same primeval process takes place. You can almost hear the caveman inside. “Ugga chugga anti-my products and services. Ugga chugga enemy. Ugga chugga fight fight fight!”

The idea of hugging your haters flies in the face of all of that unconscious programming.

Hug Your Haters Instead

The verbiage here is somewhat “blinky” in and of itself. What is a “hater”? Part of Jay’s argument is that the term “hater” often gets used to describe someone who actually has a legitimate gripe. When we call someone a “hater,” we are setting ourselves up to react to them in a negative fashion in turn. When we undo our programming and evaluate what someone is saying, our reaction, and hence the results, may be entirely different. This idea is actually about not blinking, not thin-slicing, but rather taking a step back, listening, and then engaging intelligently.

Naturally, as Jay fully covers in his book, sometimes there will be people who are, if not haters, at least trolls. Even in those scenarios, however, it is beneficial to avoid reacting with that pre-programmed, vengeful stance. While that person may not appreciate your manners, someone else who is watching will.

That’s the beauty of Jay’s whole concept. It’s not just a catchy phrase—it’s a truly revolutionary idea about how we can overcome a blink reaction to criticism. Maybe this could even be useful beyond business. But then, we can’t ask for too much, right?

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The 3 Ways to Handle Customer Complaints Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:00:00 +0000 How they handle customer complaints tells you everything about a company. Which of the 3 methods do you employ, asks Jay Baer.

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The 3 Ways to Handle Customer Complaints

It doesn’t matter how good you are—some customers will be unhappy. If you’re lucky, they’ll complain.

That may sound odd, but remember that 95 percent of dissatisfied customers never complain in a way you can find it. So the five percent that do complain are doing you a favor, for two reasons:

  1. They tell you where you can improve
  2. They give you a chance to do something about their unhappiness

The second one is what we’ll cover today.

When customers complain, I see too many businesses fretting about whose fault it is that the customer is unhappy. That internal deconstruction is valid, eventually, but not at first. Because what’s done is DONE. The customer perceives that you failed to meet or exceed their expectations in one or more ways, period.

How do YOU handle complaints?

The FIRST and ONLY thing to worry about immediately is to figure out what you’re going to do about it. And here, you have three (and only three) options.

Option 1: Ignore or Dismiss the Complaint

Sounds unreasonable, but research I included in Hug Your Haters found that one-third of all customer complaints are ignored. Disturbingly, the venues where complaints are most commonly ignored are the public venues: social media, review sites, and forums.

Option 2: Respond with Argument or Malice

Again, this sounds like a less than ideal option in the abstract, but it’s remarkable to me how many tales I see of businesses slamming unhappy customers. This probably feels pretty good in the moment, and may even generate some cheerleaders. But I do not believe it is a sound customer service approach  – in social media or elsewhere – to make the aggrieved customer the enemy, even if the customer is an indefensible knob.

There is always oxygen on the high road.

HRD Software is a company that produces ham radio software, and cannot find the high road with a map, compass, GPS, and a Sherpa guide.

In a truly remarkable piece of blame redirection, the firm intentionally “bricked” a customer’s software, making his system wholly inoperable. Why? He left a negative review of the software on a forum called eHam, months earlier.

The company’s response:

“If you remove the eHam review, which was blatantly false, we will remove the blacklist from you call. You are not buying software, you are buying your callsign’s access to the software. the so called bug you reported is not one in HRD, but one in the CAT commands of the FT­3000 radio, which have been verified with yaesu. Again refer to section 8 of the TOS, which was written by our Attorney.”

Yikes. The ham radio community did not like that. At. All. A thread on the forum racked up 37 PAGES of negative comments about HRD Software, before the owner finally jumped in with an apology, setting off 20 more pages of back-and-forth mea culpa.

TechDirt has great coverage about this one, if you’d like to see the blow-by-blow.

Option 3: Do Something About It, ASAP

Frustrated Tesla driver and digital influencer Loic Le Meur tweeted at Tesla founder Elon Musk, complaining about long lines at northern California superchargers. (superchargers are public “electricity stations” where Tesla drivers can charge their car in about one hour, for free)

Musk himself responds in 20 minutes. He acknowledges the issue, and promises action.

Six days later, Tesla published a blog post outlining a new policy that charges owners 40 cents per minute for “idle time” if their car is parked in a charging station after it is 100% full of electrons.


A global company creates and institutes a policy change impacting its entire customer base stemming from a customer complaint on Twitter, and does it inside of a week.

That’s accountability. That’s focus on effect, not cause. And that’s taking customer complaints for what they really are: the petri dish for improving operations.

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6 Leaders and Readers Who Care About Customer Service Wed, 06 Jul 2016 13:00:00 +0000 These business leaders share their favorite customer service stories and thoughts on Jay Baer's book, Hug Your Haters.

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6 Leaders and Readers Who Care About Customer Service

Image via Unsplash

My new book, Hug Your Haters, shows businesses how to handle customer service in this disruptive, digital era. Increasingly, customer service is now a spectator sport, which makes it more difficult – and more important – to be good at it.

A few weeks ago, I asked readers of the book to provide an honest review on Amazon. (visit this link to see all reviews…a 4.9 average!). Among those readers who created a review, these six were randomly selected to be profiled here at Convince & Convert.

Let’s meet these six readers and leaders who care about customer service.

Chrissanne Long

Chrissanne LongCEO, Maximize Digital Media
Lakeland, Florida
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
If you are still sticking your head in the sand and turning off the ability for fans to write reviews on your Facebook page, thinking it’s bad for business, LISTEN UP! Hug Your Haters will walk you through real examples of businesses who leveraged reviews (even negative ones) to successfully grow their businesses.

Chrissane’s Favorite Customer Service Story
In March, 2014, Maximize Digital Media emerged after combining MSBLocal – the company Craig Hosking and I had created in 2009 with Maximize Social Media. This merger was a great step for our 3 person operation, allowing us to grow “overnight” to a team of 7 (and now, just 2 years later, we’ve grown to 9). As with any change, there were some definite growing pains.

Some of the past clients of Maximize Social Media had canceled services, due to a variety of reasons. One in particular showed a past due balance, and I initiated a conversation, so that we could resolve the balance. What occurred was pretty incredible. The client was angry, disappointed and ready to tell me all the reasons they weren’t going to pay for services. I went into the meeting with an open mind, and, quite simply, a desire to repair a relationship that had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with me.

As it turned out, I was able to learn a lot about this client, her needs, and her expectations for a marketing agency. She was able to learn about me, and what my plans were for how we were going to be running Maximize from that point on. We parted amicably, and connected via social networks. We have built a relationship since then and are currently in conversations to begin some work for her 70 year old local company. Whether or not we sign a contract today, I know that my willingness to listen, even when it wasn’t my egregious acts that created the conflict – allowed the door to remain open and the conversations to turn toward progress.

Her Favorite Social Network

Doreen Belliveau

Doreen BelliveauManager of Communications and PR, Chatters Salons
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
The world of customer service is not black and white. Nor should the handling of their concerns be a cut and dried approach. Understanding some basic concepts, combined with some worthy statistics and best practices…and you have a current recipe for a great approach to handling customer concerns. It can be a challenging process, and one must do what makes sense for business as well as utilize the best knowledge and proven tactics in order to win over customers. Jay’s writing is full of knowledge and information but doesn’t feel like a heavy read. It’s easy to become passionate for the business-customer transactions…wherever they appear – in store or online. Hug Your Haters makes sense on many levels and leaves you with a positive vibe. Definitely recommend this to other in the B2C world.

Doreen’s Favorite Customer Service Story
Sometimes in business, “excellent” doesn’t happen. We shouldn’t be afraid of the work it takes to win back a disgruntled customer. I recently had that chance, and took the time to let the guest know we fell short. I was honest. They were eager to listen. They came back and let us take a second chance to be “excellent”. They removed a negative review and commented honestly with a recommendation, letting others know we “made it right”. Truly I feel each one of these situations is a big accomplishment. Every customer matters.

Her Favorite Social Network

Douglas Pals

Douglas PalsFounder, Re:Sourceful Communications
Clive, Iowa
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
What I appreciate about Jay’s books, and Hug Your Haters specifically, is twofold: 1) I love how the story is woven together to feel like a novel, while being a impactful business book. This makes it an easy and enjoyable read. 2) It was great to see how the initial idea for this book changed when he did the research and learned the angle was different than expected, and if companies listen to these points, it could change how we market, communicate and relate to our customers – and them to us.

Doug’s Favorite Customer Service Story
I work most in the midwest, and often in rural areas, for companies who provide Internet or other communications services to residential and business customers. Weekly I see an employee of a client company go above and beyond in some way, just to make a customer’s life easier or better. They do it because they want to. The employee just knows this is the level of service and responsiveness required by their employer. It’s who they are; they don’t know any other way to be. This is not to say they don’t have haters, but there are fewer because of these actions. And when problems do come up, they solve them with a human touch. It’s a joy to watch.

His Favorite Social Network

George Klein

George KleinFounder, Peoplocity (featured in Hug Your Haters as a case study)
Indianapolis, Indiana
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
This is a must-read for anyone who is interested in improving the customer/guest/attendee/traveler/patient experience. Jay clarifies how and why customer service IS marketing, and therefore why marketing dollars MUST be spent on improving the experience at every touchpoint in your organization.

George’s Favorite Customer Service Story
One of Peoplocity’s early clients was an organization that expressed a deep passion for delivering a superior customer experience. The small in-house customer service team was trained to respond quickly to problems with a friendly and helpful attitude. The president of the organization embraced the idea of using our mobile-to-CaaS platform to communicate and engage privately with guests to share feedback and resolve issues. Like many large organizations, they were challenged with different people from various departments delivering different experiences throughout the customer journey.

In this case, a mobility-challenged guest had complained that they had always been allowed to bring in a guest in addition to their caregiver on their ‘member-plus-guest’ pass. However, on their last visit they were told that they had to pay an extra admission fee or the caregiver would be denied entry. They were embarrassed, confused, and angry.

Easy win, right? “We are so sorry! While the staffer was following rules, we will honor your pass for both a guest and caregiver. Your years of loyalty are very important to us. Please accept this gift certificate for ___ to compensate you for the inconvenience” …or something like that.

The response, however, from a manager was to quote from the rules and regulations, and to let the guest know that she was happy to explain the rule and point it out in the small print. The lesson of the story is that businesses need to be sure that every person and every department that touches and communicates with their customer is sending a clear and consistent message at every point along the customer journey. A message that indicates how the business values their loyal customers.

His Favorite Social Network

Mike Agron

Mike AgronFounder, WebAttract
Carmichael, California
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
Jay has once again, put his thought leadership on display by explaining the importance of understanding the “who and why” of complainers as being essential to deliver outstanding customer service. As with the sales process, objections are often buying signals, and complaints while not pleasant, offer an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. Especially today with most buyers doing their research on line before they decide to speak with you, preserving and maintaining our reputations is more critical than ever. His step by step approach to understanding why we should embrace complaints and then providing an understanding of the DNA of complaints through how to effectively deal with “haters” is a playbook that I will keep referring to keep me focused on providing great customer service. I highly recommend anyone in business to read and digest these great ideas.

How Hug Your Haters helped Mike’s business
With over 30 years working in and around high tech with major global brands or running my own businesses, it’s reinforced what are some of my core beliefs and values.

I’ve always placed a high value on keeping the customer satisfied. My personal strategy for surviving and thriving has always been to consider and put the “human or people factors” front and center in every interaction with clients, partners and vendors.

Just as “common sense” isn’t so common, the same can be said for why having the Hug Your Haters book sitting on my desk provides both inspiration and guidance that comes in handy to make sure that like the title of that great Simon and Garfunkel song, we always want to keep the customer satisfied.

His Favorite Social Network

Shonali Burke

shonali burkeSocial PR Strategist and founder of Social PR Virtuoso
Washington, D.C.
find on Twitter

Review Excerpt
Confession: I don’t read most of the business books that are published for my space, because they’re slightly less yawn-inducing than watching a herd of cows masticate their midday meal. How Jay does it, I don’t know, but every single book of his that I’ve read reads more like a great story than a textbook.

Using strikingly visual language, Jay walks you through the two major categories of haters, how to deal with them, how others have dealt with them, and what’s in it for you if you don’t.

HYH isn’t all “Kumbayah” and “peace and love,” though; if it were, I’d have a hard time dealing with it. Because the fact is, sometimes people *are* trolls, and there’s nothing you can to do make them happy. Jay has suggestions on how to deal with that group of uber-haters as well. But he drives home the fact that in a world of vastly-expanded and diffused marketing channels, customer service is becoming increasingly important. HYH is an invaluable manual on how to turn the other cheek and translate that into real business results.

Shonali’s Favorite Customer Service Story
When I first launched my online course, I was brand new to email marketing for my own business. I also took a very different approach to it than many other marketers do.

As a result, the first few emails I sent out to my network and prior newsletter subscribers – which were aimed at securing subscriptions for my email list – seemed to rattle quite a few folk, who reported me as spam.

It got so bad that, before my actual marketing sequence had even kicked in, my email service provider – ActiveCampaign – shut my account down.

I was devastated! Here I was, about to launch a completely new offering, the success of which would depend to a large extent on email, and I couldn’t email anyone!

I contacted ActiveCampaign about this, and they were incredibly responsive, after doing their due diligence and realizing that No, Virginia, I wasn’t a spammer. 😉 They got me up and running again very quickly, and did the same the SECOND time around – yes, there were people I KNOW who reported me as spam the second time around…!

Every time I’ve had a question, they’ve responded quickly and worked really hard to help me. They’re really terrific.

Her Favorite Social Network

Tremendous thanks to these business leaders for their review of Hug Your Haters, and their support of customer service as a meaningful difference-maker!

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The 5 Social Media Customer Service Stats You Must Know Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:00:00 +0000 Five social customer service stats to know, based on research from Jay Baer for his book Hug Your Haters. Includes slide deck and bonus data.

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The 5 Social Media Customer Service Stats You Must Know

In partnership with Edison, I did a lot of research into the science of complaint when working on my new book, Hug Your Haters.

One of the most important thrusts of that research is around customer expectations. When a customer complains, what do they expect from a brand…and when?

The answers are important, because they help dictate operations policies, staffing, software, and customer retention.

This week, I created a brand-new presentation of this key data. It’s available on Slideshare right now. I encourage you to read and download, as it’s full of interesting points:

5 Social Media Customer Service Stats You Must Know

Here are the five most important findings (although there are a lot more in the research, and in Hug Your Haters)

1. One-third of all customer complaints are never answered, most of them are in social

2. Answering a complaint increases customer advocacy by as much as 25%

3. Not answering a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%

4. Forty percent of customers who complain in social expect a response within one hour

5. Sixty-three percent of consumers are satisfied with response time in social media

Several other great stats in the presentation AND three key tips to getting faster in your own company or organization.

Would love your comments and feedback.

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I Need You to Tell Me Your Customer Service Pain Tue, 31 May 2016 13:00:19 +0000 Jay Baer's new Keep Your Customers course is getting ready, and he needs your help with a special survey about your customer service pain.

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I Need You to Tell Me Your Customer Service Pain

Customer service is being disrupted in the same way marketing has been disrupted. And for the same reasons: mobile, social, Millennials, and consumer behavior trends.

But while there is a LOT of conversation about marketing disruption, there is in comparison very little chatter about customer service disruption.

(You can help fix that. Please take 2 minutes and participate in the survey about the biggest customer service problems today)

And yet, more and more customer interactions now take place in public, in social media, on review sites, and on discussion board and forums. This makes customer service a spectator sport, and gives it larger than ever impact on brand perception and customer attitudes.

As you may know, I recently published a book about how to succeed with modern customer service (especially online and with social media). It’s called Hug Your Haters. Now it’s time for Phase 2 of the customer service success formula: the Keep Your Customers Course.

I Need to Know Your Pain

The Keep Your Customers Course will launch in just a few weeks. It will include:

  • A self-assessment quiz
  • Eight or nine modules
  • Nearly 50 videos that you can watch at your own pace
  • A workbook with dozens of training exercises
  • A ton of bonus materials, and much more

In short, it will be the most useful and meaningful way to learn how to do great online customer service (with content on phone/email service too).

But to make the Keep Your Customers course as good as it can possibly be, I must have your help.

Please take just a couple of minutes and complete this survey on your biggest customer service concerns. It will be a HUGE help to me and my team.

Thank you! Stay tuned for more about the course.

~ Jay Baer

Survey link once again is right here.


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Did You Win the Hug Your Haters Photo Contest? Tue, 03 May 2016 13:00:00 +0000 The Hug Your Haters Photo Contest has ended, but a new contest starts today.

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Did You Win the Hug Your Haters Photo Contest

It’s been 8 weeks since the launch of my newest book, Hug Your Haters. (if you haven’t grabbed a copy, I’d love your support).

With this book, I’m trying to fundamentally change the way we think about customer service, from “necessary evil” to “the new marketing.”

It’s working!

I’ve had so many people contact me and say that the book is helping them change their internal processes and approaches to customers. Thank you!

AND, we have fifty-three 5-star reviews on Amazon out of fifty-seven total reviews. Awesome!

I’ve seen tons of photos of the book in the wild, including many from readers and fans who entered the official Hug Your Haters photo contest. My teenage kids picked the winner, and first place is a $250 Amazon gift card.

After much deliberation, the winner is….

Jarrod Lyman, with this amazing entry featuring his dog, Zephyr.

HYH IG Winner

Jerrod is the social media manager for Mt. Hood in Oregon, and is a long-time Convince & Convert reader.

We asked him about how he came up with this terrific photo:

“When I first read about the Hug Your Haters contest, I wracked my brain trying to come up with something I thought had a chance to win. I know Jay’s readers are a creative group, so I’d have to step up my game.

Then I realized my solution was sitting in a chair at home, everyone loves dogs and Zephyr (Z-Dog for short) is definitely a gorgeous husky malamute mix. (Huskamute) He’s a pretty calm dog so he tolerated the photos fairly well.

I think he appreciated the content of the book as well. He’s been cuddling more with our other dog, so I think he’s really internalized the message of Hug Your Haters.”

Great job Jerrod (and Z-Dog)! Thanks for your support of Hug Your Haters! Your gift certificate is on the way!

You Can Win the Next Contest, Starting NOW

I set a goal of having 100 Amazon reviews of the book by May 15 (~ 10 weeks after launch). We’re more than half-way home, but I need your help to get there.

Just leave an honest review of the book on Amazon before May 15 (please read the book first!) and send an email to with a link to your review. We’ll randomly pick 5 reviewers who submit new reviews between May 1 and May 15, and winners will be featured in a blog post (and maybe video) right here at Convince & Convert. 

Thanks for your support!

~ Jay

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I Need Your Help Today Tue, 01 Mar 2016 13:01:04 +0000 Customer service is being disrupted in the same ways and for the same reasons that marketing has been disrupted. Hug Your Haters is the first book that provides research-backed advice on this critical shift.

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I Need Your Help Today

My new book, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers launches today and I need your help.

If you haven’t purchased a copy yet (many of you have, thank you!) please do so today at Amazon.

Why I Wrote This Book

Through our consulting practice here at Convince & Convert, my colleagues and I discovered that customer service is being disrupted in the same ways and for the same reasons that marketing has been disrupted – mobile, Millennials, social media.

There are hundreds of books on marketing disruption (4 from me), but Hug Your Haters is the first and only book about customer service disruption.

Why the Book is Different

Most business books are based on advice and anecdote (including my previous works). It’s essentially some form of, “I do this all the time. You don’t, so trust me when I tell you what to do.”

But that won’t work in customer service. Why? Because you don’t think you need a book on customer service, do you? But you do.

80% of companies say they deliver superior customer service. 8% of their customers agree.

Screenshot_2_27_16,_12_49_PMSo to help me convince readers that they needed to fundamentally change everything about their customer service and customer experience programs, I partnered with Edison Research on a massive study on the Science of Complaints. Just about everything in this book is backed up by serious research. These are facts, not suggestions.

Why this Isn’t the Book I Thought I Was Going to Write

I started out to write a book about speed. My thesis was that speed is the killer differentiator in today’s right now society. But based on the research I conducted with Edison, I discovered that speed is important, but not most important.

The most important element of modern customer service is just showing up.

About 1/3 of all customer complaints are ignored today, and most of those are online and in public. That’s both a huge problem and an enormous opportunity. So, I wrote a book about how to make that work, for every business. Will you consider buying a copy today?

Every copy of Hug Your Haters includes The Hatrix – a poster that showcases the most important data. And, the book includes a quick reference guide so you can easily refer back to the main points over time.

Why this Book is For You

I very carefully selected the examples, interviews, case studies, and research in Hug Your Haters so that it is relevant to all audiences. There are B2B examples and B2C examples. There are examples from US companies, and examples from around the world. There are big company examples, and small company examples.

Here’s just a little bit of what it includes:

1. The two types of Haters and what they want from you when they complain

2. How to handle trolls

3. How to measure customer service the right way

4. The precise customer loyalty impacts of answering complaints (or not answering) by channel

5. Why you need to answer every complaint, in every channel, every time

6. A specific framework for exactly how to answer private complaints

7. A specific framework for exactly how to answer public complaints

8. Where you should spend most of your time in social media

9. How fast you need to be when responding to customers, by channel

10. The future of customer service, including specialized apps and new technologies

11. Software recommendations for handling online and offline customer service for both small and large businesses

Please Do It Today

HYH-2If you buy the book today and send me your receipt at you’ll get access to a lot of great bonuses including $200 off my forthcoming Keep Your Customers course.

You can also get a personal invitation to the amazing Hug Your Haters Facebook group that is already the #1 online community for customer service and customer experience.

And there are a ton of other bonus content opportunities for you too. Go to to see them all.

Customer Service IS the New Marketing

I want to help you dominate customer service the same way I’ve been helping you dominate marketing for years and years.

My team and I publish 600 blog posts per year, 250 podcasts per year, and 200 curated emails per year. All for free, and all for amazing friends, marketers, customer service pros, and business owners like you.

Now, I need your help. Please buy Hug Your Haters today.

My Guarantee to You

Find out why Guy Kawasaki says Hug Your Haters is a “Landmark book in the history of customer service.”

If you buy the book and don’t like it, I’ll personally refund your money.

Thank you as always for always having my back. I don’t take it lightly and I don’t take it for granted.

Keep on hugging!

The post I Need Your Help Today appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

New Research Shows How Fast Companies Have to Be in Social Media Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:00:00 +0000 How fast do customers want you to be in social media when responding to complaints? New research provides the answer.

The post New Research Shows How Fast Companies Have to Be in Social Media appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

New Research Shows How Fast Companies Have to Be in Social Media

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I worked with Edison Research to design a study of the science of complaints that ultimately powered my new book, Hug Your Haters (visit now to order and receive exclusive bonuses not available anywhere else, or ever again).

When I first conceived this project, I anticipated a far different set of findings. I fully expected to discover that in today’s world, speed of response would have the greatest impact on customer advocacy; that being fast would be the currency of satisfaction when it comes to customer service.

But it’s not entirely true, at least not yet.

Speed of response has an impact on overall customer satisfaction and the will­ingness of unhappy customers to embrace your business post-complaint. But the impact of speed isn’t massive. This is partially because when complaints ARE addressed, companies are doing a satisfactory job at answering them without delay.

So the current problem – and the thesis of the book – is that many complaints are NEVER answered.

If you want to retain customers with great customer service and customer experience, it’s not just about being fast, it’s about being everywhere. This is why the Hug Your Haters formula is:

Answer every customer complaint. In every channel. Every time.

How Fast Do You Need to Answer Complaints On Phone and Email?

Of haters who complain by telephone, 67 percent are satisfied with response time, and 75 percent of today’s telephone complaints are handled by businesses within twenty-four hours.

E-mail doesn’t fare as well, with 61 percent of haters satisfied with response time on that channel. This is perhaps because just 52 percent of e-mail complaints are addressed within twenty-four hours.

Only 52% of email complaints are handled within 24 hours. Too slow!

How_Fast_Do_You_need_to_Be-2How Fast Do You Need to Answer Complaints in Social Media?

In social media and beyond, haters’ expectations for a speedy response are quite different.

Just 32 percent of social media complainers are happy with how fast businesses respond.

This is despite the fact that 63 percent of social media complaints that are addressed are handled within twenty-four hours. But that’s not fast enough.

Today, 39 percent of social media complainers who expect a reply want it to come within sixty minutes, yet the average response time from businesses is five hours. Closing that expectation gap is a major element of the Hug Your Haters success formula.

Facebook is Far More Important for Customer Service Than Twitter

Haters who complain on Twitter are the most satisfied with response time: 88 percent of complainers who receive a reply on Twitter are happy with the speed of that reply.

This may be because many businesses have come to view Twitter as a primary customer service vehicle, and have assigned significant resources to the channel.

But according to our study, this Twitter-centric model of social media customer service may be misplaced:

71% of social media complaints are logged on Facebook – 17% on Twitter.

Facebook_vs_TwitterCertainly, Facebook has far more users than Twitter, which may partially explain the difference in usage. But many customers also take to Facebook to sound off in ways that may not be directly actionable or solvable. Often, Facebook complaints are structured, negative feedback more than they are cries for specific help. These are viewed as complaints by consumers, but may not be viewed as such by businesses. This discrepancy may cause companies to misjudge the scope and scale of customer service opportunities on Facebook.

Most companies favor Twitter, where the overall participation may be lower, but the use of the venue as a direct customer service channel is more obvious.

To Be Great at Customer Service, Look Harder

Your ability to find indirect complaints (negative comments about your business that do not explicitly tag you and are not written on an online site you control) varies by platform. On Facebook, for example, privacy controls selected by the consumer dictate how much indirect commentary a company can see and find, making software almost a requirement for companies serious about online customer service. Trying to find indirect complaints unassisted by technology almost ensures you’ll miss important opportunities to answer them, which can have a massive impact on customer advocacy.

How Fast Do You Need to Answer Complaints On Review Sites?

Since the pace and cadence of interaction on review websites are not as quick as they are on Facebook and Twitter, haters’ expectations for response times on these sites are not as aggressive, and their overall satisfaction is higher. About half of the people complaining on a review site are happy with response times from businesses, and 62 percent of the replies received there occur within twenty-four hours.

Speed is important, but just showing up and answering EVERY customer complaint is more important. Don’t ignore review sites, and definitely be paying attention to Facebook as a customer service channel.

For much, much more on this topic and related themes, grab your copies of Hug Your Haters.

The post New Research Shows How Fast Companies Have to Be in Social Media appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

The State of Hate and Why You Should Embrace Complaints Tue, 12 Jan 2016 13:00:00 +0000 Answering complaints increases customer advocacy, while ignoring complainst decreases it says Jay Baer, according to new research on the science of complaints.

The post The State of Hate and Why You Should Embrace Complaints appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.

The State of Hate and Why You Should Embrace Complaints

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If it feels like there are more complaints than ever, and that you’re spending more time and money dealing with negativity and backlash, you’re right. But the rise of customer complaints represents a huge opportunity.

hyh-book-1That’s why I wrote my new book, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers. The book launches officially on March 1, but if you pre-order one or more copies now at you’ll get instant digital access (and a TON of other special bonuses potentially, including socks, webinars, 1:1 calls with me and a lot more)

I’d love your support in this critical pre-order phase. Thanks.

Hugging your haters makes business sense

I partnered with Tom Webster’s firm — the highly respected attitude collection group Edison Research – to take a close look at the current state of hate.

We discussed customer service expectations and outcomes with more than 2,000 American consumers who have complained about a company in the previous twelve months.

And what we found shocked us, both in its comprehensiveness and in its simplicity:

Answering complaints increases customer advocacy. Ignoring complaints decreases customer advocacy. (highlight to tweet, it’s fun!)

This is true in all channels, but the impact is greater in online service, where unhappy customers don’t necessarily expect companies to respond. Answering customer complaints in social media, review sites, and forums blows their minds and wins their hearts.

It makes sense, right? Yet today, this is the mathematical reality:

32% of customer complaints are never answered

The vast majority of those unanswered complaints are online, where customer service is a spectator sport. This is a huge problem for business, and colossal missed opportunity. And it led me to formulate the Hug Your Haters success equation:

Answer every complaint, in every channel, every time

You need to interact with your customers in the channels of THEIR prefer, not just those YOU prefer.

80% of businesses say they deliver exceptional customer service. Just 8% of their customers agree.

That’s why we can so easily name companies that deliver exceptional service: Zappos, Nordstrom’s, Ritz Carlton, etc. We know them because they are RARE. Too rare.

Hugging your haters and answering every customer complaint (especially online) can be a massive competitive differentiator, and I prove that case in the book with a ton of research and more than 50 interviews.

Being great at customer service isn’t easy, but it is critically important – much more so than most businesses acknowledge.

Because the hard truth is this: your competitors can steal your best people. Then can copy your products. They can mimic your website. They can adopt your marketing playbook too. But the one thing your competitors can never steal, the one thing that is yours and yours alone is if you genuinely care more about your customers than they do. If you are simply willing to answer every complaint you’ll be the leader of whatever pack you find yourself in today.

I hope you’ll grab copies of the book, which includes a full-color poster, specific processes for handling online and offline haters, dozens of inspirational case studies and stories, and a lot more.

It’s the best thing I’ve ever done, and I hope the lessons in Hug Your Haters make you a much better business. See why Guy Kawasaki says: “This is a landmark book in the history of customer service.”

I also have a full-length version of the new Hug Your Haters keynote available on YouTube:

Hug Your Haters

The post The State of Hate and Why You Should Embrace Complaints appeared first on Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting.