You sell great products or provide a much-needed service.  You feel great about it and you embrace your avid fans.  You think you know what customers really want but some people aren’t fans.  We ignore those people because they’re just haters.  You could never please them anyway and frankly it’s not worth your time.  You want to keep your avid fans happy.  But if you stop listening to the haters, you’re missing an opportunity in your feedback loop and ultimately hurting your customer lifecycle.

The Feedback Loop

Your feedback loop consists of social media, email, phone calls and questionnaires.  It’s becoming difficult to keep up and manage the conversation when people can contact your brand via Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook at any time.  The social media conversation is “always on.”  Customer service and social listening online are so crucial and the numbers show it:

  • Dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15% increase in churn rate for existing customers. – Gartner
  • Customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20% to 40% more money with those companies than other customers. – Bain
  • 42% of consumers complaining on social media expect a response in 60 minutes. – Jay Baer

So it’s a make or break with the customer of the future.  For example, when Chipotle closed for a day in 2016 for training our office unknowingly went there for lunch.  The next day, we were told that we could’ve received a free lunch for the inconvenience.  We tweeted at them but received no response.  Of course this is silly but somewhere deep down we’re all still bitter about it.  We haven’t been back as an office since. We used to go there every week!

Hug Your Haters

Jay Baer wrote a great book called Hug Your Haters that has us thinking on this topic.  We saw him speak not too long after this happened and it put everything in perspective.  If you can convert the people that are complaining, you can turn them into cheerleaders for your brand.  Chipotle could have loyal brand advocates from the Tivolians if they would validate our complaints.  In conclusion, do as Jay says and hug your haters.  Embrace the complainers.  Your brand will be better for it and you’ll motivate customer loyalty.

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