What are haters and why do people hate

Haters are anybody who complains about a business either off stage or on stage as a hater. An off-stage hater is somebody who complains in private: on telephone and email. An on-stage hater is somebody who complains in public: social media, review sites, discussion boards and forums.

Historically and believe it or not stats show that even currently, the majority of people complain off stage however the pendulum is swinging the other way because it’s much easier to reach out to a brand on Facebook, Twitter or beyond than it is to send an email or wait on hold.

When people complain off stage, they almost always want an answer. They have a problem they want to be fixed, and 90% of the time they expect companies to respond. When people complain on stage, they don’t necessarily want an answer; they want an audience. They want people to empathize and engage with them around their experience. If they actually hear back from the company, it’s a bonus.

People who turn to social media to complain, are looking for their own version of empathy

Even though only 47% of the people who complain in public actually expect companies to get back to them, research has proved that if you actually answer the person who had a bad experience and left a review online, it has a meaningful and significant impact on your customer advocacy.

Why engage haters

What ever your fears are about haters you have to engage them, ignoring them is far worse. There are multiple benefits to answering every complaint in every channel every time, instead of what most businesses do today, which is answer some people some of the time in the channels they prefer.

First, if you answer somebody, you at least have a chance to turn them around and show that you are trying to resolve any issues. By not responding you are showing not only the hater but all other stakeholders that you don’t care about your customers very much.

Second, every time you answer a customer complaint, it increases customer advocacy. It takes a bad situation and it makes it better.

Third, when you actually interact with negative customers, you learn things about how your business is perceived that you can then use to make your business better.


How to engage haters

The first step on the road to hugging your haters is to find them. In social media people don’t necessarily complain directly. That’s where social media listening software comes into play. Are you making use of Google Alerts, MentionHootsuite and Buffer, which just rolled out a listening component.

After you find your haters, step two is to answer them.

Hugging your haters means you answer every complaint in every channel every time. That does not mean that the customer is always right. It means the customer is always heard.

How to respond

When you respond to a hater, especially online, you need to have empathy because you have upset or disappointed this person at some level.

Just because we need to be faster in social media doesn’t mean we should copy and paste the pre-approved legal response, because that is not empathy, Jay adds.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have to switch channels (to discuss account details, for example), switch within the channel of the customer’s choice. If they reached out online, don’t ask them to call or email you. Initiate private interactions with a message on their preferred platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or TripAdvisor; each one has a messaging option.

Dealing with the crazies

Handle trolls or crazies the exact same way as you handle any other hater.

Through ignoring a problem, it could spiral out of control. If you are rational and impartial then the crazies will more than often help your cause when handled correctly.

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