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Book Review: Hug Your Haters, By Jay Baer

My grandfather would have called Jay Baer “a gentleman, a scholar, and a judge of good whiskey.” In other words, the highest compliment he could give.

Jay is all of those things, and his latest scholarly work is his new Book, “Hug Your Haters.”

I was not given a free review copy of this book (what’s up with that?); I purchased it with my own hard-earned dollars because I have been hugging haters for almost 18 years.

Haters come with the territory if you expose yourself by starting a business or promoting an idea. They will come in many different forms, both in-your-face, in person, and anonymously, online.

If you don’t have a strategy for dealing with them, you can find yourself distracted from your mission or worse, with a damaged reputation.

Hug Your Haters teaches you who complains, why they complain, and how to capitalize on those complaints. And the book is built on a solid foundation of data that Jay collected in collaboration with Edison Research.

Capitalize? On complaints?

Do tell…

The research showed that “answering complaints increases customer advocacy, across all customer service channels.

The book is packed with real-world case studies (refreshingly moving beyond Zappos and Nordstrom). You will be able to recognize your own “hater” situations, as well as some you may need to be prepared for down the road. It’s meant to be a reference book, and I already have highlighted numerous passages for my own future reference.

Below are two quick peeks into the strategies for dealing with offstage haters (private communication behind the scenes) and onstage haters (social media or public comments). You’ll just have to go buy the book to get the complete action plan (and I highly recommend it).

Dealing with OffStage Haters – H-O-U-R-S

  • Be Human
  • Use One Channel
  • Unify Your Data
  • and Resolve the Issue
  • with Speed

Hugging Onstage Haters – F-E-A-R-S

  • Find all Mentions
  • Display Empathy
  • Answer Publicly
  • Reply Only Once
  • Switch Channels

If you have a business, or if you are thinking of having a business, or if your job requires you to communicate directly with customers, you need to read Hug Your Haters.

You’ll thank me later.

And your customers might, too.


Author’s Bio: Rosemary O’Neill is an insightful spirit who works for Social Strata — makers of the community platform. Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee


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Book Review: Hug Your Haters, By Jay Baer


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