Last week, Yext's CMO Jeff Rohrs hosted a webinar with noted marketing expert Jay Baer. Baer has become well known in the digital marketing community as The New York Times bestselling author of five books, global keynote speaker, tech investor, and most retweeted digital marketer in the world. His most recent book, Hug Your Haters, offers a new playbook for handling unhappy customers in the digital age, which served as the basis for last week's webinar.
Jeff and Jay's candid discussion focused on how digital and mobile are disrupting the customer service industry, why your company's "haters" are actually your most valuable customers, and how you can leverage their outspoken criticism to increase customer loyalty and improve business performance.
Here are some of the most compelling theories, statistics, and tips discussed in the webinar:
Empowerment of the digital customer.
Digital and mobile are completely shifting the customer service landscape by amplifying the consumer voice to an unprecedented level. In today's environment where social media has turned customer experience into a public spectator sport, there is a real upside for companies to invest in customer service, because one bad online review can have a significant ripple effect on consumer perception.
Companies need to play major catch-up in incorporating customer service as a key part of their digital marketing strategy.
Worldwide, $500 billion is spent per year on marketing, but only $9 billion is spent on customer service. This large gap exists even though it has been well known since the 70's that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits 25-90%. It's time for companies to catch up with digital consumer behavior.
Haters are not your problem: Ignoring them is.
Many companies think it's better to ignore negative reviews than to respond to them – in fact about one-third of all customer complaints are never answered (most of these are online). But what companies don't realize is that they're actually hurting themselves more this way because no answer is, in fact, an answer.
Haters are actually your most important customers.
While it's unpleasant to deal with negativity, haters are very rare. Only 5% of dissatisfied customers actually complain on a public forum, so companies need to be paying attention to what they're saying as it may indicate a much larger company problem they would not have been able to spot otherwise.
Customer service is the new marketing.
"Hugging your haters" by reaching out and rectifying issues is a surefire way for companies to:
Increase revenue by improving customer loyalty and retention
Improve the quality of the company by mining valuable feedback and making positive changes to their business
Brands are slowly beginning to catch on, and making an impact.
Major retail brands like Le Pain Quotidien and Yext customer, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, are taking innovative approaches to making customer service a priority, and are seeing significant results in customer experience and loyalty.
Huge opportunity for brands to engage more meaningfully with customers.
80% of companies say they deliver great customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree. Brands have a huge opportunity to "out-hug" their competition, and differentiate their company from the crowd of competitors.
Yext's Review Monitoring tool ensures brands catch every customer comment.
Yext customers, such as Sears, use Yext's platform to track all their online customer reviews in real-time across sites such as Facebook, Yelp, Google+, and more. The platform also allows brand reps to easily share customer comments internally, and can respond to customers directly from the platform.
Listen to the full webinar now to learn more about how you can "hug your haters" to improve customer loyalty and make a significant impact on your business' bottom line.