Hug Your Haters – Book ReviewHug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer
Published by Portfolio on March 1st 2016
Pages: 240
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hug-your-haters-witchJay Baer’s new book, Hug Your Haters, reminds me of some valuable advice I received early in my retail career (retail is one of my past lives). I was taught that a “hater’s” understanding was the truth I had to work with – regardless of the facts. If that’s what they believe, that’s what I need to accept.

We all have haters and we know they all come from different places. Jay covers off many of these behaviors and how to turn them around in this book. It’s a very practical book, filled with real-life examples, usable tactics, and third party research and ideas. Everything you need to make happy experiences. I know that sounds too rosy but I still encounter people who don’t want to communicate in case someone says something we don’t want to hear. In Hug Your Haters you learn that these people generally mean well and are privately telling you so you can fix it. Jay also looks at those who are hating to get a reaction and gives tips for how you can come out of the situation looking good. Unlike the florist in Melbourne, whose response to a private complaint was to instruct the customer never to contact them again.

FEARS-Hug-Your-HatersThe research in Hug Your Haters is varied and not dry and academic. There are examples and experiences that we’ve all heard about or seen. Gary Vaynerchuk is referenced a few times. There’s even a small tear out, color, infographic poster with research Jay did with Edison Research. If you’re wondering between a print or ebook copy, that’s a reason to consider the print. I pre-ordered the print and got the ebook as a bonus. Update: The Hatrix infographic is online but the print copy is nicer than any printer I currently have access to.

The second part of Hug Your Haters gets more tactical, with tool suggestions for social listening and a reminder that many won’t mention you but if you find them and respond it can create an amazingly positive experience. The discussion of social media monitoring tools is detailed (and not advertising). There are several models on how to manage the conversations, that break it into easy steps.

Who is Hug Your Haters for?

In the introduction, Jay says that Hug Your Haters was written for anyone and everyone who has customers anywhere on the planet. I would expand (or possibly contract) this to marketers (social media and others) who have never worked a customer service or retail role. Not much of this is new if you spent your college summers listening to retailers complain that their favorite ice-cream from seven years ago is no longer available. OK, so I’ve never had that one but you get what I mean. If your marketing knowledge is theory and class clients (which is a typical education) then you need to this book to show what the real life is. It’ll make you an amazing community manager and even better product manager.

Do you have great examples of Hugging Your Haters? Please share.