Why Every Company Needs To Embrace Their Haters, According To Jay Baer

Companies are scrambling to find ways to improve the customer experience and keep their current users happy.

However, many aren’t focusing on how handle the customers who turn on them after a slip upusually by venting their frustrations on social media and review websites.

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While you may think these “haters” are a lost cause, Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert and author of Hug Your Haters, says that’s not true.

In a chat about his outlook on customer advocacy, Jay said that when brands give up on detractors to focus solely on “good” customers, they miss the opportunity to create some of their most powerful and devoted advocates.

Jay will be explaining exactly how brands can stop the haters from hating at Advocamp, the largest event focused on customer engagement and advocacy, March 7 to 9 in San Francisco (Register now!). Here’s a preview of some of the insights he’ll be sharing.

The more they hate, the more they love

Many assume that haters are vocal because they want nothing more to do with the company and have only negative feelings about it.

But haters are the way they are because they’re passionate. They want to be able to love the company, but can’t because of the obstacles put in their way. When they become disappointed and voice their displeasure, it’s because they want the company to do something about it.

Don’t shy away from the issues they bring up—tackle them head on and discuss it with the hater. Once you solve those obstacles, that negative energy will flip into an incredibly positive force, says Jay.

Convert haters by being honest

Jay says companies can turn haters into lovers with honesty. Jay recommends trying something called the “Honesty audit,” where one inspects all the places they interact with their customer and fixes what doesn’t work. Addressing your hater’s complaint is the fastest way to turn them into an advocate.

The other piece of the puzzle is customer service. “One of the most important things you can do is allow your front line to work off-script,” says Jay. “By definition, copy and paste lacks humanity and empathy.” Give your employees a chance to be natural, and don’t dictate their interactions with the customer. Empower them to help customers however they see fit so they can delight all of your users.

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Why all companies need advocates (and haters)

Haters and advocates can both be great sources of information.

Take, for example, the impact haters can have on content marketing teams. Jay suggests companies approach their customer service people for the most common questions they receive, and use that to drive their content marketing efforts. (Thank you, haters!) Now, they can prevent the same issues from happening in the future while creating useful, customer-focused content that will inspire advocacy.

But that’s only part of the equation. Content marketers also need to promote their content in addition to creating it. This is where advocates can play a huge role.

“Advocates are critical for content amplification,” Jay emphasizes. “Advocates are more likely to promote content they like rather than the company itself.” Advocate-promoted content has more authenticity and weight on social media (which can help combat the negative impressions some of your passionate haters may have made).

Focusing on every customer’s experience

Jay (and many other awesome speakers) will discuss how organizations can come together to convert their haters into adoring advocates at Advocamp 2016. To learn more, visit Advocamp.com. Register before Feb. 28th, 2016 to save $200.

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