Digital Marketing Expert and Author, Jay Baer, delivered an impressive presentation on how to better 'Hug Your Haters,' also the name of his New York Times bestselling book, during this year's ePharma 2017.
In fact, we also got Jay to sit down with us and provide more details on just what he means by "hug your haters," and how it applies to consumers and providing customer service through digital channels.
Jay says that in doing research for his book, initially meant to be titled “Under an Hour,” believed that the general consensus was that faster is better in serving customers. “That being quick and nimble is the greatest competitive advantage any company can have.”
Customers Want to be Attended to Not Rushed
In conducting further research, and focusing on customer complaints, Jay discovered that speed wasn’t the most important skill in serving customers. Baer says, “the most important thing is showing up.”
He adds that one-third of customer complaints are never answered, further heightening customer frustration.
“The most important thing is to answer every customer on every channel, every time.”
Jay’s book not only focuses on the “empathy” of customer service but also highlights the new channels of customer communication because of the increasing demand , by customers, to interact with companies; pharma companies included,
"Using Twitter, using Facebook, using Instagram and Snapchat, using YouTube, using messaging box, using apps, all these things that didn’t use to be an issue,” he says.
How Has Brands Been Forced to Adapt in the Digital Age?
During our interview, Jay notes that “For thousands of years companies had it pretty easy when it comes to interacting with customers. It was either face-to-face, phone, email…fax for a short period of time. But most of our customer interactions took place in private.”
“Now, increasingly…customer service has become a spectator sport. Lots of people can see how you treat customers, good or bad.”
Why Do Consumers Choose Social Media to Address Their Needs?
Jay also speaks on why consumers opt to use social media as a means to communicate directly with brands.
He says, “I think we all as consumers tend to more and more, in many cases, use social media as a contact mechanism, partially, because we perceive it to be a better venue. “Social media has disrupted customer service.”
Challenges for Businesses Including Pharma
While pharma continues to leverage digital media to better serve stakeholders, Jay points out another challenge all together, and that’s, the inability to meet consumer demands.
“You have to figure out if the people we have answering emails, do we also train them to answer tweets or interact in Facebook or do we get a whole different crew and train them differently and give them managers and different roles and responsibilities?"
"Much of the software that we use for customer service and internet tracking isn’t cross-channel compatible. So, the same software that you use to save manager telephone call center isn’t valuable to manage social media interactions," Baer adds.
He also says that, "fundamentally, what social media has done is disrupt customer service, in the exact ways and for the exact same reasons, that social media has disrupted marketing. It’s the same cycle. It’s just now applied to a different part of the business.”
Do you agree with Baer's belief that social media has disrupted customer service?
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