In modern social media customer service, it’s important to answer every customer complaint in every channel, every time. That’s the thesis of my new book, Hug Your Haters.
But almost no companies follow that advice. Instead, they answer some complaints, in some channels, some of the time.
One reason businesses don‘t answer every customer is that the hate hurts too much.
It‘s easy to take complaints personally and become bitter and cynical about the entire customer interaction process. This is especially true for small businesses.
Ouch. When Customers Say Your Baby Is Ugly
Wade Lombard from Square Cow Moovers recalls his first review—a one-star review on Yelp: “I read it and literally didn‘t sleep for three nights. How many people saw this review? It terrified me,” he said. “And it made me want to stick my head in the sand and say, ‘You know what? We can‘t fight this. We can‘t deal with online consumer reviews. We just need to keep working hard to make every client happy.’
He’s right about the importance of reviews. In fact:
80% of Americans trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (highlight to tweet)
Neurochemistry Explains Why We Want to Hide
The fear isn‘t triggered only by concern for the ramifications of a bad review; it‘s also biological, and wholly natural. In a Harvard Business Review article, Judith and Richard Glaser explain the neurochemistry of conversations, and why our first reaction to negativity is often to hide from it:
“Chemistry plays a big role in this phenomenon. When we f…
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