The Newsletter Pro - February 2017

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Roddick had a choice. She could take the easy way out — and damage her brand. Or she could do something about it and save her brand.

approach. She was a woman in business, and an underdog at that. Roddick had a story to tell, and as an entrepreneur, she knew stories were what captivated customers. The Evening Argus ran with it. In a matter of days, the community around Brighton was buzzing with interest in The Body Shop. People were curious and wanted to know more about the store and the woman behind it. Roddick had hit the public relations jackpot. But it wasn’t a jackpot hit by chance. It required strategy on top of the opportunity. Roddick put the two together and achieved something remarkable. What had started as a minor setback turned into a massive success. That single store in Brighton went on to become an empire of 2,605 franchised locations around the globe.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your customer service? Pretty high, right? You care about your customers, work hard to give them a positive experience, and have trained your team to help customers however they can. You must be sitting comfortably between 8 and 10. Here’s the bad news: Your customers probably don’t agree with you. In 2012, the market research company Forrester released "The Customer Experience Index, 2012,” analyzing relationships between companies and their customers. Most companies described themselves as confident in their customer services skills, with 80 percent claiming to provide “superior” customer service. Unfortunately, only 8 percent of their customers rated them the same way. This is a horrifying reality — one Jay Baer, author of the incredible customer service book “Hug Your Haters,” has spent years researching. According to Baer, the disconnect started when companies failed to notice Roddick wasn’t interested in making any changes. It had already been her business for a few years. She thought the name was clever and worth keeping. On top of that, it was her brand — a brand she believed in. The funeral parlors didn’t go as far as sending Roddick a cease-and-desist letter (something that would likely happen today), but they did pressure Roddick. They were determined to get their way. Roddick had a choice. She could take the easy way out by putting an end to the pestering and bullying, and simply change the name of her business — and damage her brand. Or she could do something about it and save her brand. The choice was clear. Roddick took her story to a local newspaper, The Evening Argus. In what many called a twist of marketing genius, Roddick positioned herself as an entrepreneur — a female entrepreneur — “under siege.” While the positioning was true, the genius came from her

make a concession — or even give up? Or are you willing to strategize — to put up a fight?

It’s easy to assume that the fight and subsequent work isn’t going to be worth it, especially when the setback seems small and hardly worth the time. But when it comes to your business, your brand, your team, and your customers, the smallest fight can end up making the biggest difference.

When you encounter a setback, whether it’s big or small, how do you handle it? Are you willing to

BOOK REVIEW Learn to Embrace Complaints and Keep Customers When You ‘Hug Your Haters’

Jay Baer’s Guide to Modern Customer Service

dry business guide. By pairing real-world examples with research from the Edison Research firm, “Hug Your Haters” is the first book to successfully address customer service in the modern era.

when customer service became a “spectator sport.” Too many companies, then and now, view customer service strictly through traditional channels, like direct phone calls and email. However, customers have long since turned to review sites, discussion boards, and social media to voice complaints, and one-third of these public complaints go unanswered. Whether your haters are “offstage” — using traditional channels and just wanting the problem resolved — or “onstage” — happy to take their complaints public where they’ll have an audience — Baer encourages businesses to answer EVERY complaint. Baer provides an incredible framework for handling each form of complaint and guides businesses to where they should be spending their time on social media. He also predicts what the future of customer service will hold. Companies both large and small will benefit from this groundbreaking look at customer service. Jay Baer breathes the same life into this book as he has all his past works, creating an informative reading experience without demanding you wade through yet another

From the Book: “In today’s world, meaningful differences between businesses are rarely rooted in price or product, but instead in customer experience.”

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