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1-Page Summary of Hug Your Haters
To have a good customer service, you need to hire well-educated and competent people. You should not skimp on their salaries because they are the backbone of your company. Once you do that, you must train them properly so that they can serve customers better.
Everyone loves to be praised. And people who praise us are often our favorite people. However, we should appreciate critics too because they tell us what needs to change in order for things to get even better than they already are.
But how should you deal with complaints? That’s one of the questions this article answers, and it’s a critical one because if customers don’t get their issues solved in an effective manner, they’ll stop using your company. However, if you handle complaints correctly, you can turn frustrated customers into loyal followers who will promote your brand for free.
The author’s tips on how to charm your critics provide useful advice. He talks about why customers of Fresh Brothers Pizza are glad if their pizza arrives a little late, what is so bad about putting an angry client on hold and why passengers who forget their stuff at Schiphol airport become such great fans of KLM.
Big Idea #1: It’s essential for businesses to handle customer complaints effectively.
Do you enjoy calling customer support hotlines? Being on hold for hours listening to muzak? Or does this experience make you wonder why companies invest huge sums of money in advertising while investing zilch in customer service? It might seem like these companies don’t care about holding onto their existing customers. But that’s a major mistake because it’s key to retain the customers they already have.
In fact, if you manage to retain a single percent of your customers, it can boost your profits by 25 to 85%. This is because when you keep them happy and address their complaints appropriately, they’ll feel loyalty towards your business.
For example, Debbie Goldberg of Fresh Brothers Pizza personally answers every Yelp review. She gets very few poor reviews, but when she does, she takes extreme care to address the reviewer.
She apologizes for the customer’s bad experience and acknowledges that there is a problem. She says they are already working on fixing it, so she asks them to give her more details about their issue.
Finally, she offers her customers a gift certificate to apologize for the inconvenience. With this simple action, Goldberg has retained many customers that otherwise would have left unhappy.
Big Idea #2: Listening to customers and being more accommodating than your competitors will help you succeed.
If you don’t get feedback from your instructor, you might keep doing the wrong thing.
Because customers are important, they can help us improve by giving negative feedback. In fact, only 5% of our customers will actually complain about the product or service we provide them. So even if they’re unhappy with your business, you should listen to their complaints and try to fix whatever it is that’s making them unhappy. The other 95% might be dissatisfied for the same reasons as well; so you’ll want to look into those problems too!
It’s important to listen to your customers because you can learn a lot about what they want. For example, Square Cow Movers is a small family business that helps locals move houses. In the past, their customer reviews have been poor.
Finally, the owner analyzed complaints and found that customers were missing information about when their moving crew would arrive. This enabled the company to respond accordingly.
So, their company told its employees to improve communication with clients. They were also told to keep them apprised on vital information. Guess what?
Complaints can help you better serve your customers and beat the competition. You should embrace complaints and accommodate as many of them as possible. To do so, think about what would make your customers even happier with your service, and remember that if you “outlove” your competitors in this way, they’ll consider you one of a kind.
Big Idea #3: By dealing with your critics as people and resolving their issues, you can win them over.
Even in the age of email and social media, most people still complain about issues privately to customer service. However, if you want to keep your customers happy and retain them for a long time, use the mnemonic H.O.U.R.S.:
First, be human. That means treating your customers as people and not just numbers. To do that you need to show concern for them and avoid using generic messages like “Thank You.”
For example, Dr. Glen Gorab has a unique way of handling new patients before surgery and after complications arise. He talks to all his clients on the phone first, then he visits them at home for checkups if there are any complications with the surgery. Maybe that’s why he’s never been sued by a patient in 30 years of practice.
First, to make customers feel satisfied, it’s important to use one channel. That means you shouldn’t refer them to another person or site. After all, they’re already frustrated and helpless. If you refer them elsewhere, their frustration will only increase.
Finally, you should resolve your client’s issues with speed. This means that you need to document customer complaints and send them to the client service team. If the complaint is about a specific problem, then it needs to be addressed immediately. Otherwise, the list of complaints can be used as brainstorming material for future clients.
The best way to deal with this is to create a go-to document that allows your team members to serve customers quickly before they become frustrated and leave the company.
Big Idea #4: If you want to win back the favor of your haters, find them and show that you care about what they say. Answer their criticisms publicly.
When someone criticizes your company publicly, they don’t expect you to respond. However, it’s still a good idea because it shows that you care about what people think of your company and are willing to stand up for yourself. You can do this by using the mnemonic FEARS:
To resolve customer complaints, you have to find them. You can use Google Alerts and social media listening software like Mention.net for this purpose. When addressing these customers, show empathy by imagining how you would want to be addressed if you were the one complaining.
For example, Chris from the Meow Mix Facebook page asked about dyes in cat food. He was concerned because when his cat vomited, it left stains on the sofa. The company responded by saying they conformed to all industry standards and invited him to call if he had any further questions. This response only frustrated him more than before he posted the question.
However, an empathetic answer could have helped the company’s reputation. Acknowledge that it is troubling to find a cat vomit and suggest some ways to resolve this problem that Chris mentioned.
So, empathy is important to show that you care about your clients. But it’s also important not to get drawn into a back-and-forth if you can help it. For example, in an open forum, respond publicly first and then switch channels (such as email) for additional details.
Big Idea #5: Businesses need to respond to reviews across all channels, and should not focus on just one channel.
Technology is changing the way we live our lives and communicate with each other. We have a global network of communication through social networks, rating sites, etc. As a result of this technology, business has been impacted in many ways.
That’s because customers have more power than ever before. They can express their opinions on Google Reviews, Twitter, Facebook and online forums.
Since the public can give feedback on social media platforms, businesses don’t have a lot of control over how they’re perceived. However, if you engage your customers and respond to their complaints, you’ll be able to change that perception.
In order to deal with bad reviews, Scott Wise from Scotty’s Brewhouse monitors the web for any negative comments. If he finds one, he tries to answer it himself or assigns someone else on his team to do so. Wise says that this has helped him turn a lot of haters into fans because they appreciate how quickly his company responds. To be able to respond more efficiently and effectively, Dell created an additional support team called Communities and Communications that handles both its customer feedback forums as well as internet comments about their products.
It might be scary to engage customers on the Internet, but it’s a necessary evil. People are already getting used to this platform and will continue to rely on it more in the future.
Big Idea #6: If you deal with your customers’ problems proactively, they will be loyal to you for life.
Responding to complaints is important, but it’s also a good idea to correct mistakes before anyone has the chance to complain. In fact, you can often prevent people from complaining by making up for errors as soon as they occur.
For example, Fresh Brothers Pizza sends customers a gift certificate when they deliver their pizzas late. This strategy works because the customer will appreciate you for addressing the issue and not leaving them with a bad review. However, there are some issues that can’t be avoided or fixed by just sending someone something nice.
In some cases, the problem can actually be turned into an opportunity for a better customer experience. For example, if you forgot your baggage on a plane and then right before your next flight an airline employee hands it to you.
It would be amazing if that happened, right? Well, it actually does at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. When the cleaning crew or flight attendants find lost items on a plane before its next flight, they notify the Lost and Found team. They then check with passengers who contacted the airline via social media to see if anyone’s missing an item.
If you find a match, you can bring up your client’s itinerary and locate them. Solve their problems proactively so they will be more appreciative of your services.
Full Summary of Hug Your Haters
Customer Service As a Spectator Sport
With the growth of social media, customer service is like a sport. Your customers are the referees who award points for quality of service in a game that you can win or lose. Businesses face intense competition for consumer support and high-quality customer service is crucial to success. Surprisingly, your allies in this contest are incensed customers who make the effort to let you know they’re angry – “haters.” You have reason to hug them because their feedback is an important asset in this battle.
Businesses believe they provide great customer service, but most customers disagree. Businesses have not changed their ways of dealing with customers over the years and continue to offer outdated services that don’t work for today’s demanding consumers. Even though businesses spend billions on customer service, it doesn’t help much because people are still unhappy with how companies deal with them.
In 2015, BrightLocal conducted a survey to see if the percentage of people who trust online reviews is increasing. They found that 67% of consumers trusted online reviews in 2010 and 80% did so in 2015.
Most businesses see haters as unimportant, irrelevant people. However, they’re missing the point that if they don’t take care of them, it could damage their reputation and brand image. Companies who respond to criticism show that they care about customers’ experience and perceptions. They can turn critics into loyal customers by replying productively to them.
To make money, a company must identify the right people to sell its products and services. The easiest way to do this is by listening to customers when they complain. Once you’ve mastered that skill, you can turn unhappy customers into satisfied ones by treating them fairly and asking for their help in improving your business.
If businesses resolve consumer problems, they create more loyal customers. If companies ignore consumer complaints, those consumers will become less loyal to the company. Excellent customer service and fast responses can build brand loyalty. Only 5% of unhappy customers complain directly to a business; therefore, it’s important for businesses to respond quickly when consumers do complain in order to turn them into advocates.
Responding to complaints helps you figure out what the customer is thinking. This gives you valuable insight into how other customers think about a problem. Fixing underlying problems will help a lot more people than just the one person who complained in the first place.
Businesses can easily copy each other. However, they can create a unique edge by focusing on the problems of their customers.
Haters are split into two groups. “Offstage haters” complain by emailing or calling, and they’re usually older and not tech-savvy. They don’t protest too much. “Onstage haters,” on the other hand, use social media to air their grievances in public forums. When they’re unhappy about something, they let everybody know via Facebook (71% of them do that). Offstage haters believe that complaining will bring a response; only 50% of onstage haters expect one when you respond to their complaints. It’s important to change onstage haters into advocates for your brand because it shows your customers that you care about them.
The upside of responding to onstage haters is greater than responding to offstage haters. In addition, the downside of onstage haters is less severe. Companies are more likely to respond quickly and positively to phone calls and emails than they are on social media.
Obstacles to Customer Contentment
The Internet gives customers more venues to complain about companies. Customers choose which online channels are convenient for them and don’t use others. Ideally, every business should respond to all of the customer comments they receive on every single channel. That rarely happens because few businesses make that commitment to customer service. The upper hand has shifted from business to customers because most businesses don’t give their customers what they want: good communication via multiple channels including email and the phone as well as social media sites like Twitter and Facebook (which is why many people prefer communicating with fellow consumers through those sites).
The number of customer complaints is increasing. That’s because there are more ways to complain, such as social media sites and review sites. It’s difficult for companies to respond to everyone, but it also enables more conversations with consumers.
The way your company handles customer complaints can make a huge difference. You could use the data to improve your business or you could ignore it and hope that things get better on their own. Companies should be aware of how customers feel about them, but they shouldn’t overreact if someone complains online, because some people will take advantage of them.
“Dealing with Offstage Haters”
It’s common for people to complain about a business and express their dissatisfaction. Usually, the company attempts to resolve those complaints by email or phone calls. However, this is an impersonal way of dealing with customers’ problems. As a result, many companies have changed their approach and now want to deal directly with human beings rather than through automated systems.
When people have problems, they contact the company. Employees need to be trained on how to deal with those situations in a way that reflects your brand’s values. If you don’t train employees well, customers will be unhappy and might not do business with you again.
Improving Customer Service
To support your consumers, consider these policy suggestions: * “Use one channel” – Most people who complain to you are looking for a quick resolution and don’t want to have to shift between channels.
“Unify your data” – When customers approach you with problems, they expect your employees to have access to all the information required to resolve their issues. Unfortunately, companies usually can’t make that possible because different groups handle different channels and systems don’t provide a cohesive picture of customer interactions with the firm. You may need to restructure your customer service team in order to unify your data.
Resolve the issue – The conventional wisdom in business is that businesses should listen to their customers. However, your consumers want someone to solve their problems for them, not just listen. Anything short of a real solution makes customers more irritated and angry, not less. Yet many employees don’t know how to fix customer issues because they haven’t been trained on how to do so.
Respond quickly to customers – Most businesses are aware of this, but they don’t always act on it. They prefer to use email or other forms of communication instead of responding quickly. However, research shows that speed is a critical factor in customer service.
Coping with Online Haters
When people hate on you online, there are a few things that you can do. First, find all mentions of your name or brand and see what they’re saying about it. You can use free services like Google Alerts to get started with this process. Larger companies will require more sophisticated software, such as Sprout Social or Lithium.
“Be empathetic” – People want to feel that you understand their problems and are sorry for them. However, don’t make it seem like you’re groveling. Instead, try to appear human by responding with genuine replies rather than pre-written responses.
- “Answer publicly” – If someone says something positive or negative about you in a public forum, respond to it in the same way. This demonstrates that you don’t hold back anything and always say what’s on your mind. 2. “Reply only twice” – If you reach out to a customer through social media, try replying twice at most before giving up since some customers are just looking for attention rather than being helped by their complaints 3. “Switch channels”– Many social media channels lack important features that help resolve customer complaints; therefore, you should get your customer to shift away from a publicly accessible channel
Forging a New Path Forward
In the future, businesses will offer proactive solutions to their customers. They’ll try to predict what problems might arise and solve them before they happen. For example, in the past, airline passengers who forgot their personal belongings had to go through a complicated process to retrieve them. Nowadays, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol returns personal items before passengers realize they’ve lost them.
In the future, businesses will help customers solve their own problems. Customers prefer to deal with other people rather than companies when they have a problem, so it would be good for companies to get involved. Companies can use social media and apps like Whatsapp to communicate with customers and provide helpful services.