Jay Baer is the President of Convince & Convert, Digital marketing and customer service expert and a New York Times Best-selling author of five books, including the brand-new book: Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep your Customers.
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3 Key Points:
- Customer service is the future of marketing.
- Blow their minds and you’ll win their hearts.
- 80% of companies think they offer amazing customer service—only 8% of customers actually agree… make sure your head isn’t in the clouds, Fire Nation!
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:47] – John introduces Jay to the show
- [01:25] – President of Convince and Convert, as well as NY Best-selling author of Hug Your Haters
- [01:53] – Jay shares his current actions
- [02:54] – How to “go deep”
- [03:49] – Customer Service is a spectator sport now—you can’t play with a 1995 playbook
- [04:10] – hugyourhaters.com/fire
- [04:44] – Squeezing out the juice from chapter one—answer customer complaints
- [05:29] – Praise is INSANELY overrated—complaints are the petri dish for improvement
- [06:35] – The DNA of complaints
- [06:50] – On-stage and off-stage haters
- [08:05] – Blow their minds, and win their hearts
- [08:58] – The Hate-rix—who hates and why
- [12:54] – Customer service is a spectator sport
- [14:49] – Meet the customers on their turf—not on yours
- [17:39] – 80% of companies say they have “great customer service”—8% of customers agree
- [19:24] – The future of customer service
- [22:57] – One of the best ways to steal clients from BIG companies? Customer service
- Big companies will steal your ideas, products, and services, but they can’t steal genuine customer care and service!
Male Speaker: I am prepared to ignite for the third time Fire Nation!
Male Speaker 2: Yes! [Laughter]
Male Speaker: I think I was like episode 26 or something like that.
Male Speaker 2: 36, 792 and now your 1,281.
Male Speaker: That’s like 1,245 shows ago! [Laughter] That is remarkable! [Laughter] You are unstoppable J.L.D. No one can hold you back!
Male Speaker 2: You can see why I brought him back for a third time Fire Nation. This guy is amazing behind the mic as well as pretty much everything else he does. And he is the President of Convince and Convert. A digital marketing and customer service expert and a New York Times best-selling author of five books. Count them, five, including the brand new book Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers. Fire Nation at the very least you’ve got to see the cover of this book. It makes me laugh in a great way every time I see it. So, Jay, take a minute, fill in some gaps from the intro and give us a little glimpse about what you have goin’ on right now.
Male Speaker: So, the book is really intended to showcase the disruption in customer service. And the disruption in customer service is the exact same disruption that we’ve experienced in marketing. It’s just that there’s 500 books about marketing disruption. There’s now one book about customer service disruption. It’s the same story. It’s mobile. It’s social media. It’s millennials. It’s customer expectation changes. I wrote a book about it. Tons of research went into the book too. It’s not just my advice.
It is based in real research and it will literally make you re-examine everything you do in terms of how you relate to your customers whether you’re a big business, small business, anything in between. You will be walking away thinking “Man, I gotta make some changes.”
Male Speaker 2: So, there’s something that I just gotta bring up to you right now Jay. Is that every time you write a book I say “How did he find that one thing that like nobody’s been talking about. And nobody ever had that conversation.” And every time you write that book I’m like “Okay, this is the last time that he’s gunna be able to do that because now everything else has kinda been talked about. And every time you find a new topic that’s just brand new that people need to go deep and you go deep on it. Like, how do you do that?
Male Speaker: Well, thanks. That’s nice of you to say. I think part of it is that it really, really helps running a consulting firm.
Male Speaker 2: Sure.
Male Speaker: Because I’m working with, you know, some of the most interesting brands in the world every day on some of these issues. And this particular topic Hug Your Haters and the revolution in customer service and the fact that customer service is the new marketing. That really came to me just through our day-to-day work. We were getting asked by all these companies, like “Hey, how do we handle Twitter in a customer service scenario. We kinda have it figured out in a marketing scenario.” There’s all this confusion. I’m like “Woah, it’s 2016. Like, we gotta get this sorted out.” [Laughter] And look the reality is business has had a pretty free ride for a long time.
I mean, for you know, what 50 years – maybe 100 years, maybe 500 years. Almost all the complaints that business has gotten has been in private, right? Whether it was face to face or telephone or fax or a letter with a stamp on it or e-mail or phone, it was all in private. And now a lot of what we want from companies and a lot of how we interact with companies is in public. Customer service is a spectator sport now and business are using a 1995 playbook to solve 2016 customer service issues and it ain’t gunna work anymore.
Male Speaker 2: Fire Nation I know you’re already in with this because I know that I am. And Jay and his team have created a pretty special, awesome opportunity for you. The URL is amazing as always. HugYourHaters.com/Fire. Not only are you gunna be able to get the book. There’s gunna be a lot of cool things that go along with this. So, you definitely wanna check out that URL. HugYourHaters.com/Fire. We’re gunna talk more about what’s gunna be on that page as bonuses in a little bit, but first and foremost Jay. I went through this book. I loved it. I told you in the pre-chat that we had that I love your chapter titles.
So, I kinda wanna just break those down. Go through those and just have you maybe pull out a couple key things as we go through that. First chapter being Why Should You Embrace Complaints? Can you kinda pull out the juice from that chapter?
Male Speaker: Two reasons. First reason, it actually makes you money. So, I did all this research for the book on the science of complaints. Who complains where, why and how? And we found in the research that answering a complaint increases customer advocacy and customer loyalty every time in every channel. And not answering a customer complaint decreases customer loyalty and customer advocacy in every channel. It takes a bad situation and makes it worse. So, quite simply J.L.D. if you answer somebody’s problem or their question or their complaint it makes them more likely to buy from you again and more likely to advocate on your behalf and that equals money over time.
The second reason and I think this is particularly important for Fire Nation to hear is that praise is the most overrated thing in life. It’s the most overrated thing there is. Every time somebody says Fire Nation you’re amazing. J.L.D.’s the best podcaster in the world. Like, all of that, right? It makes you feel great.
Male Speaker 2: Yeah.
Male Speaker: But it doesn’t teach you anything.
Male Speaker 2: [Laughter] No.
Male Speaker: You already know what you’re good at and in almost every case we already know what we’re good at. It doesn’t teach us anything. It’s just – it just makes us feel good about ourselves. So, what makes you better – what teaches you lessons are criticism, negative feedback, complaints? Complaints are the petri dish for improvement. Without them you’ll never improve.
Male Speaker 2: Complaints are the Petri dish of improvements. Love that! And Jay you don’t have to answer this next question. But if you would humor me. What’s your middle name?
Male Speaker: Charles.
Male Speaker 2: If you were gunna say like something that started with an L I was gunna be like it’s J.L.B. and J.L.D.. That would be pretty cool. [Laughter]
Male Speaker: I would change it for you, but the Charles goes back like seven generations or something.
Male Speaker 2: Right.
Male Speaker: So, I’ve kinda stuck with it and my son has it now much to his chagrin.
Male Speaker 2: Oh cool! Well listen, J.C.B. and J.L.D. – It still works on every level and moving on we want to talk about the two types of haters and the actual DNA of complaints.
Male Speaker: In the research that I conducted and this was not sorta a survey monkey quick thing this was massive, expensive comprehensive world class research with thousands and thousands of people. And it turns out there’s two totally different types of haters J.L.D.. There are what I call offstage haters. And offstage haters complain in private through the legacy channels, right? So phone and e-mail. And then there are the onstage haters who complain in public. Social media, review sites which might be like a Yelp or a Trip Advisor or whatever review site’s important in your business and discussion boards and forums.
So, demographically they’re a little different. The offstage folks are a little older, a little less tech savvy as you might suspect, but they’re not massively different in terms of their demographics. What’s super important to understand is the differences in expectations. So, if you call or e-mail a business you fully expect to hear back, right?
Male Speaker 2: Yes.
Male Speaker: It’s the social contract, right? I mean, it’s just like the way business is done. So, when you do hear back – when somebody answers a complaint e-mail you’re like “Well, yeah.” Like, you’re not doing cartwheels. You’re like “Well, of course they e-mailed back.” [Laughter] But if you complain in social or other places like that only about half of those customers who complain in those places expect a response because typically they don’t get one. Lots of businesses don’t respond in social and review sites and discussion boards and forums. Only about half expect it so when you do go out of your way to answer those complaints – to hug your haters online, the impact on the customer is tremendous.
You ca blows their minds and win their hearts. That is the big opportunity for Fire Nation, for all businesses is to hug those onstage haters in the places where they never saw you comin’.
Male Speaker 2: I can remember so clearly and Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this all the time – is that when Crush It came out and he had a ton of one star and two star reviews. He went through in Amazon and, like in detail, just answered every single one and responded to every single one and two star comments. And just like a very genuine, like “Hey, listen I’m sorry that I let you down.” And he has gotten so much over the years – feedback and response form that Fire Nation. Like that’s what you’ve got be thinking about you – you know, people think you’re just gunna send this tweet out to the universe and it’s gunna disappear.
Well, what if that tweet actually gets responded and that customer actually feels like they do have a voice in that social media world. So, I love that, but not quite as much Jay as I love the title of your next chapter which is The Hatrix: Who Complains? Where and Why?. Expound.
Male Speaker: So, The Hatrix was named by Tamsen Webster who’s the terrific speaking coach in Oratium. Her husband is Tom Webster who works for Edison Research who conducted the research for the book and so she named The Hatrix. And The Hatrix actually in every book – every actual hard copy of the book The Hatrix is a poster so every book includes a poster that is The Hatrix with all the key data from the book that you can rip out of the book, put on your wall, put on your desk and refer back to. And you will want to because what The Hatrix shows is how often people expect to hear back and what happens when you answer and don’t answer.
So, for example, if you answer a customer in a discussion board or a forum, okay? The impact on their customer advocacy is highest there – higher than social media, way higher than phone or e-mail because so few companies participate in forums that if you do you’re differentiating over your competition and it has this huge impact. So, The Hatrix breaks all that down and shows what those dynamics are. The other thing that’s in The Hatrix which I think you’ll find interesting and Fire Nation will as well is that social media usage – social media participation drives complaints. So, we studied it and we found that the more you use Facebook the more you complain. The more you use Twitter the more you complain.
Probably unsurprising at some level, but by the same token there’s definitely a circumstance where when you’re in social all the time you complain more. Why? Because it’s so incredibly easy to do so and it’s so easy to with one hand on a smart phone bitch about something as opposed to wait on hold or craft an e-mail with two hands.
Male Speaker 2: Fire Nation I hope you’re not driving in your car right now because Jay is dropping so many value bombs. I think it might be a danged to anybody that’s on the road. So, just kinda a quick little side note there. And Jay we’re gunna continue these value bombs because you’ve got some awesome things coming up. But Fire Nation we’re gunna take a quick minute to thank our sponsors.
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All right, Jay we’re back and we’re gunna end strong here. We’ve got three things that I wanna talk about. The first one being customer service is a spectator sport. Now, I read that chapter so I know what it’s all about, but break it down for Fire Nation. What do you mean by that?
Male Speaker: Well, we talked about it a little earlier that historically complaints were always in private. And now more and more and more complaints are in public. About a third right now in terms of the actual complaint count are in public or onstage, but that number’s changing very quickly. More and more people are turning to social media to complain. TO review sites – there’s this huge proliferation of review sites. The one I profiled in the book is called RealSelf which is the ratings and review site that’s like Yelp for plastic surgery. [Laughter] You can go one to five stars on your butt lift or whatever which is amazing.
Like, every industry has these ratings and review sites. In fact, last time I was on your show we talked about marketingpodcasts.com which is sorta Yelp for podcasts. So, every industry has those kinda sites and so technology and mobile are forcing us to complain in public or encouraging us to complain in public. But the other thing J.L.D. is if you just think about society, right? So today’s young people are tomorrow’s dominant consumer group. They will have the most purchasing power and that group has no interest in complaining in private.
I have two teenagers, two high school students at home and they have smart phones of course, but they have no interest in using the phone part of that device. Like you can’t get my son who’s 14 – you can’t get him to talk on the phone at bayonet point. [Laughter] No interest, right? None. And e-mail is like one percent more attractive.
Male Speaker 2: Yeah.
Male Speaker: It’s just not even part of their world. It is all texting, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. And that’s it, right? So, if you want to deal with them – if they have a company problem they are going to try to reach out to that company on those channels first and most companies simply are not prepared to do customer service on Snapchat for example. But they’re gunna have to because we’ve got to – we’ve got to get to the point where we are meeting our customers on the ground of their choosing instead of meeting our customers on the ground of our insistence.
Male Speaker 2: Man, I love that. Now, Jay I’m gunna ask you to bear with me here and Fire Nation bear with me too because I promise I’m gunna get there. It’s just gunna take me a second. The podcast’s paradise cruise, Jay, happened last November and it was amazing. We had Chris Brogan, Andrew Warner, Chris Ducker, Chase Reeves and one thing that we did a couple times that was a huge hit. We did karaoke at night. And I’m telling you you have not seen people on stage rocking it until you’ve seen Ducker and Chase Reeves on stage. I mean, these guys they could be American Idols. I’m just telling you right now. They’re amazing.
Male Speaker: Ducker’s got mad skills.
Male Speaker 2: Mad skills. He used to sing for like 10 years in a band in the Philippines. He’s so good! And I didn’t expect it. He blew me away. And long story short because I’m trying to get to the point here. I felt like as the person who hosted this cruise I had to step up, but I do not have a good voice. I do not have great stage presence when I’m signing and I was just like “I really have one ace up my sleeve.” And that was the song by Sir Mix-a-Lot “I like Big Butts.” I know that song inside out. I can just rock it. I know all the words, the moves and I got up there and I will say “I did crush it.”
And this is leading us into the next chapter which is Big Buts: Five Obstacles to Providing Great Service. Now, Jay do you see how I did that?
Male Speaker: That was well done. You should be a podcaster for a living. [Laughter] Yeah, you know what’s funny though? I had to fight my ass off to get that title in the book because my publisher was sorta like “I don’t know if we wanna go there. It’s a business book!” You know? And so, I’m like “No, it’s gunna be funny. Don’t worry. J.L.D. will love it.
Male Speaker 2: I love it.
Male Speaker: They allowed me to have it. Look, when you read the book you will realize within 40 pages like “Ah, man, I should be doin’ this.” And then you get to that chapter and there’s a reason why that chapter is where it is in the book. And you’re like “Well, okay, well I can’t because of this, this, this and this.” And you start rolling the excuses. And so the common problems are you don’t have the resources. People say “I don’t have the resources to answer every complaint.” And I’m like “Well, that’s just not true.” You just choose to not use your resources that way. Look at it this way.
There’s a stat in the book that says we spend $500,000,000,000 a year on marketing and we spend $9,000,000,000 a year on customer service.
Male Speaker 2: Wow,
Male Speaker 2: Now, that doesn’t necessarily make sense when you kinda think it through, right? So, if you’re like “We don’t have the resources.” Well, just spend a little less on marketing and a little more on keeping the customers you’ve already earned and you might be better off. Other people say “There’s too many channels.” Right? We just talked about that. I don’t care. You’re gunna have to answer customers in more places. It’s the way the world has evolved. Some of it though – and I think probably the biggest issue is just culture. Right? I mean my favorite stat in the whole book and there’s a lot of data in the book.
My favorite stat is from Forester and they say “That 80 percent of companies say that they deliver superior customer service.” Eight percent of their customers agree. [Laughter] Okay, so we have a real problem. Like, we have – we have found the problem! Okay and so a lot of it’s just cultural, right? Like people say “Oh, sure we’re good at customer service.” But you’re not really. I mean are you really bending over backwards? Are you empowering people on your team or yourself for that matter to do whatever it takes to keep a customer? Or if somebody’s negative – you’re like “Oh, you know what if they’re negative I don’t want them as a customer.”
Male Speaker 2: Yeah.
Male Speaker: That’s what we typically do. We ignore customers all the time especially online and that’s not accidental. It’s a strategy. Lots of my friends are entrepreneurs and they own small businesses. A good friend of mine here in town and I’m like “Hey man, you’ve got all these Yelp reviews where people are lighting you up.” He’s like “Yeah, we don’t pay attention to Yelp. They’re all liars.” And I’m like “Dude, that’s not a good idea.”
Male Speaker 2: So, your favorite stats reminds me of one of my favorite stats which is 91 percent of drivers think that they’re above average drivers and you’re just like “Well, they’re not, obviously.” [Laughter]
Male Speaker: That’s so true.
Male Speaker 2: Everybody think s they’re an above average driver. IT’s like no you’re a horrible driver. I just need you to know that on every single level. And I mean just that comment about Yelp. Like “They’re all liars.” I mean, whatever you really may think, like you gotta put yourself right in the situation of the people that – the customers that are going to Yelp’s app and typing in and seeing what those reviews are. I mean, that is the reality. Now, Jay we’re gunna finish strong as we always do here. In one of your chapters towards the end was a powerful title and I’m kinda lookin’ forward to where you think about this.
Because it just seems like you are always a little ahead of the curve – just the cutting edge on all of these levels. The future of customer service. Where’s it going?
Male Speaker: Well, there’s gunna be more and more channels. So, we talk a lot in the book about Twitter and Facebook of course and review sites and discussion boards and forums, but that’s just scratching the surface. Facebook Messenger already is super viable for customer service and Facebook is pushing it in that direction. Twitter just rolled out some interesting new features in a customer service context two weeks ago. What’sApp now has a billion – a billion users of What’sApp. Lots of companies are starting to sue it for customer service and they should. WeChat in Asia is enormous and it has huge customer service potential and there’s a lot of new customer service specific apps that people are trying to spin it up.
So, it’s like “Hey, if you’ve got a problem use this app” instead of going out into the public ether. The other thing that I think is really important is if you accept that there’s gunna be more complaints and you’re gunna have to answer more complaints. It’s gunna require more resources. The key to that is being proactive and predictive. And what I mean by that is being smart enough about your business and about your life to understand when somebody might need to complain and then fix it before they have to complain. So, I wanna give you a little story here. Let me give you a little story.
So, Fire Nation I want you to steal this idea. So, just – I’m telling you right now so you can give yourself a second to listen hard because I want you to steal this idea. There’s a guy I interview in the book, my friend Glen Gorab. Glen is an oral surgeon in Connecticut, okay? Not a sexy gig. Nobody likes going to the oral surgeon. Nobody is that much of a masochist. So, what he does though is so brilliant and simple. You’re gunna go full on SMH.
So, every Friday his team pulls him a list of the people who are coming into the office next week for the first time and on Saturday and Sunday when he’s driving around, watching TV, lying on the couch, whatever, he calls them and says “Hi, this is Glen. I’m the oral surgeon. I understand you’re coming in for the first time next week. Do you have any questions before you arrive?” And people absolutely lose their minds because what doctor calls you?
Male Speaker 2: Right.
Male Speaker: No. 1. What doctor calls you before you ever show up? No. 2. and what doctor genuinely cares enough about you to have a conversation with you on the weekend about those things? And it makes a huge overwhelming difference in his business. He says he gets patients every week who say –
Male Speaker 2: Yeah.
Male Speaker: “I came to see you because you’re the doctor who called my friend Mary before she ever showed up. Every single person listening can incorporate that same idea of being proactive and predictive into their business.
Male Speaker 2: #SMH Fire Nation. Shaking my head as we speak. So, Jay you’ve been wrapping with us now for over 20 minutes. You have dropped some stories. You have dropped some value bombs. You’ve just dropped a lot of awesomeness and we thank you for that today. So, kinda maybe take a second now. Share why Fire Nation – our listeners who are entrepreneurs, small business owners – why is the book Hug Your Haters a necessary part of their arsenal? And these are my words Jay. I believe it’s necessary. So, I’m saying that, but why are you agreeing with me?
Male Speaker: Customer service disruption is real and it’s here right now. Small businesses have an enormous, enormous advantage in that you can put these principles into practice right now with a minimum amount of effort compared to large companies. And everybody listening who’s a small company eventually wants to be a big company and one of the ways you get there – one of the ways you steal business form bigger companies is by being better at customer service than they are. So, the time to put this into practice is now when you’re small enough to actually do it without having to unscramble the omelet.
And let me just tell you something. Customer service is the new marketing because you’re competitors, whatever size you are, your competitors – if they’re smart – will eventually steal everything from you. Right? They will copy your website content. They will mimic your trade show booth. They will try and take your best customers. They’ll try and poach your best employees. They’ll copy your pricing. Everything you do well, your smart competitors will eventually try to steal from you. That’s just the truth, but the one thing Fire Nation, they can’t take from you. The one thing they can never take away from you.
The one thing that is yours and yours alone is if you genuinely and truly care more about your customers than they do that is yours and yours alone. And it will set you apart and that is how you take a small company and make it a big company.
Male Speaker 2: Customer service is the new marketing Fire Nation. So, Jay, HugYourHaters.com/Fire. What are we gunna find there?
Male Speaker: So, a special landing page for the Fire Nation – a special deal if you buy three books on Amazon. And you’re gunna want three at least because you’re gunna read it and be like “I know a lot of people who need to read this.”
Male Speaker 2: Right.
Male Speaker: Buy three books and you get all kinds of bonus content. YOU get $200 off my “Keep Your Customers” course which I’m getting ready to launch pretty soon. Seven modules, 50 video – the comprehensive course on customer service. $200 off the course. You get an invitation to the exclusive Hug Your Haters Facebook group which is already blowing up. It’s already the most active customer service and customer experience group on the internet. You get access to “Hate and Equal” which is a whole collection of research that didn’t fit in the book. And this is exclusive only to Fire Nation – and I’m mean only.
I’m not just saying that. Nobody else in the world has this deal. You get on just three books purchased – sent from me, from my own hands a very exclusive pair of “I Love Haters” socks which are truly spectacular. I will ship them to you and you can wear them with pride.
Male Speaker: Fire Nation, done. You know this. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with J.C.B. and J.L.D. so keep up the heat! And I usually say head over to EOFire.com and type in Jay for the show’s page, but listen, let’s just have one call to action here Fire Nation. That’s HugYourHaters.com/Fire. Get on up. Invest in three books. Get the “I Love Haters” socks shipped to your door form Jay himself. And Jay I wanna thank you personally for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that brother we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
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