Hug Your Haters Summary

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The lowdown: Use your unhappy customers to help improve your business with this Hug Your Haters Summary.

Do you know that client who makes you kinda wish you chose a different career? Or the one who hates what you do for seemingly no reason?

Rather than just ignore them and focus on those who dig you, instead try to use that experience to grow your business.

In this book on loving those customers who, let’s be honest, kinda annoy you, Jay Baer shows how you can turn your grumpy customers into raging fans.

Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers
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Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Jay Baer (Author) – Jay Baer (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 03/01/2016 (Publication Date) – Gildan Media, LLC (Publisher)

The three biggest lessons from Hug Your Haters are:

  1. If someone actually cares enough to complain, odds are they could stick around
  2. Use your criticism to grow
  3. Always answer your online reviews
Hug Your Haters Summary

Lesson One: If someone actually cares enough to complain, odds are they could stick around

Odds are, if you handle an initial complaint well, you won’t lose a customer.

Have you ever just got sick of a business’ bullshit and stopped working with them/buying from them without telling them? I know I have.

The reason was I didn’t particularly care about the business enough to complain, I just exited stage left.

On the other hand, sometimes I call or email businesses with a complaint, they fix it and I have stuck around. From a pure math sense, it pays to pay attention to those complaints and fix it.

We spend thousands (some, millions) of dollars a year to get new clients through the door, yet, will happily see them go almost straight away afterwards.

It is said that retaining a single percent of your customer turnover can increase profits by 25-85%. That is a crazy-big number, but think about how much you could achieve if you were able to increase profits by 25%. Well, imagine what you could do if you could answer a few calls and increase profits by 15%!

For every person who cares enough to complain, there are others who are seeing the same problem and leaving instead.

Lesson Two: Use your criticism to grow

Like we mentioned in lesson one, for every person who complains there are probably another ten don’t.

In fact, it is more than that, with only 5% of your customers ever caring enough to complain. That means that there are 95% who are also displeased for similar reasons.

Without people criticizing what you’re doing and pointing out flaws, odds are you won’t notice these little (or big) problems.

Embrace the complaints as much as you can, and look to solve the underlying problems. You’ll shut up the 5% who complain and please the 95% who silently hate on you.

Lesson Three: Always answer your online reviews

The days of bringing out your fine china when the food critic comes for dinner are long gone… now, with online reviews, every customer way an internet connection is a critic with a voice.

What these critics say will impact what outsiders see of your business. In some examples will be their first impression of you.

As a business owner, there isn’t a lot you can do about these comments… besides joining in on the fun.

Don’t let the bad review be all they read

No matter what negative review is out there, it is important that you respond to it with empathy. You have to show you’re looking to improve. This type of reaction is needed. All the shitty reviews will be read. Without a response, that shitty review is all the next person will read.

However, if you respond to the complaint and continue the conversation, then you’re showing that you care about your customers and their experience.

You also imply that whatever complaint that is out there has already been solved, especially if it is an older complaint.

Once responding publicly, you can even message or email the person who wrote the review and threaten to break their legs… kidding, message them and give them more information on how they can fix the issue, or ask for more details so you can fix it for them.

My Personal Takeaway

The debate is always on what you should do with online complaints.

However, this book has made it really clear that I should converse with the few negative reviews that I do get.

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put it into action

What I am doing, and I suggest you do to, is to use tools that will help you find these negative reviews.

For example, start a google alert for your business name, so you can be alerted when you get mentioned. There are also social media crawlers that search for mentions of your business.

These tools are great for finding reviews which you can respond to. Personally, I would not outsource this until you have a team and business big enough to hire in-house. I feel that having the business owner reply to the review gives it extra importance.

You should consider buying this book if…

Customer service professionals, social media managers and business owners would get the biggest kick out of this book.

Or, read our other business book summaries.

Thank you, and let me know what you think… especially if you hate it, so I can hug you.


Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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