Jay Baer (Twitter) is a New York Times best-selling author, the most retweeted person in the world by digital marketers, founder of Convince and Convert, and an expert in customer service.

Jay has built and sold several digital agencies in his career and today operates Convince and Convert, a strategic consultancy that helps companies create more customers and keep the ones they’ve already earned.

The research for Jay’s new book, Hug Your Haters, discovered that since social media turned customer support into a spectator sport, it is increasingly important that companies step up their game.

Where this gets interesting for digital marketers is that when companies handle customer support exceptionally well, it turns into another form of marketing. And if they don’t do anything? They are going to see their market share erode as competitors pick up their slack.

Learn why @jaybaer calls customer support 'the new marketing' (PODCAST) Click To Tweet

If you offer marketing services to your clients, you need to get in front of this change and help your clients improve their customer support.

This episode will help you better understand why customer service is so important, how companies can improve, and how your agency can help them get there.

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Key Takeaways

Showing up is the most important thing you can do [4:15 – 8:30]

When Jay set out to research his book, he thought that replying to complaints as fast as possible was going to be the most important factor in successful customer service. However, he quickly realized that while speed is important, what is most important is just taking the effort to reply at all.

.@jaybaer: Speed is important in customer service, but most important is taking the effort to reply. Click To Tweet

More than 30% of customer complaints are entirely ignored. This is obviously bad, but it gets worse when you realize that of those complaints that are ignored, the majority of them are in public arenas like Twitter and Yelp. Companies have it backwards right now.

To succeed at customer service, you need to answer every customer, every time, and on every channel, especially when the whole world can see your inaction.

How to truly care about the client [14:50 – 19:30]

Everybody in the agency world says that they are different because they really care about their customer and focus on getting them results, but very few actually back it up. If you want to truly differentiate your customer service, then you need to prove it.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to just be responsive. Jay has structured his systems so that every customer inquiry at Convince and Convert is answered within 10 minutes. That’s being fast. Not only does this show the client that you are serious about working with them, but just by being the first person to respond to their inquiry you are going to drastically increase your chances of closing the deal.

When was the last time you called a client (past or current) just to see what they were up to? You probably haven’t done that, but you should if you want to prove that you’re different.

Audit every interaction you have with clients to figure out what you can do in each of them that will massively exceed their expectations. Once you do that, then you can say that you truly care about your clients, because then they will finally agree.

Audit every client interaction and figure out how you can massively exceed their expectations. Click To Tweet

The massive opportunity for digital agencies [30:30 – 35:30]

If you see yourself as a full-service digital agency, then you are doing your clients a disservice by not helping them with customer service. The industry is being disrupted by social media, and you can either take the lead and help clients improve, or wait for them to realize things on their own and find someone else to help.

Jay identified a variety of services that digital agencies should start offering their clients:

  • Software recommendations
  • Scenario modeling
  • Responding to feedback and complaints
  • Crisis plans
  • Training new employees
  • Building brand books

It’s clear that social media is having a real impact on expectations of companies, and while we may find it unfair, if you continue to fight it, you (and your clients) are going to be left behind. If your clients keep using 1995’s customer service playbook, they are going to get killed when their competition smartens up.

If your clients are using 1995’s customer service playbook, they've been left behind. Click To Tweet

Help them lead the way in their industry and you both will enjoy immense benefits.

Want to learn more?

Even if you don’t plan on offering these services yourself, Hug Your Haters is a great read and helps you rethink how you structure your own client interactions. Head over to HugYourHaters.com to get the book along with tons of great bonuses.

If you are serious about getting into this space, I highly recommend checking out Jay’s Keep Your Customers Course.

And as if doing all of that weren’t enough, Jay and his team publish 12 blogs a week, 5 podcasts, and a daily newsletter all on ConvinceAndConvert.com so you can get more than your fill of digital marketing news.

Resources mentioned

Le Pain Quotidien
Discover Card
Ramit Sethi
Holiday World
Fresh Brothers Pizza

Thanks for listening!

Do you have something that you can legitimately say no other agency does as well as you? If so, what is it? If not, what could your secret sauce be? Share your thoughts in the comments section!