296 – Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, explains how to deal with customer complaints.

296 – Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, explains how to deal with customer complaints.

Knowing how to deal with customer complaints can make or break a business. In fact, it may even seem counter-intuitive, but a business owner’s ability to effectively deal with customer complaints provides a great opportunity to turn dissatisfied customers into active promoters of the business.

And that’s exactly what today’s guest, NY Times bestselling author Jay Baer teaches in his new marketing book lovingly titled Hug Your Haters. Join us as we discuss:

  • how, where and why people complain
  • how and when consumers expect a response when they complain
  • the impact of answering (or ignoring) a customer
  • the differences in complaint type and expectations by industry

Plus I share a wonderful a Small Business Big Marketing Forum Member has had with a simple video marketing play, an interesting request from a listener who thinks we need an episode on photography (specifically headshots), and I’ve got a motivational marketing quote that will have you anxiously looking at your watch!

Yep, another big episode of Australia’s best marketing podcast. Let’s do this!




00:28  Welcome & overview
02:50  A Forum Member shares a little win (actually, I think it’s a big one)
05:48  Today’s guest introduction – Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters
07:53  Interview with Jay Baer – Part 1
20:48  Insights into Netregistry & Key Person Of Influence
23:11  Interview with Jay Baer – Part 2
51:02  My top 3 attention grabbers from my chat with Jay Baer
53:23  Motivational marketing quote of the week
53:45  Listener feedback and idea
56:31  I appeared on a listener’s podcast
58:16  Wrap-up and insights into next week’s guest



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Marketing speaker and author Jay baer’s official website
Buy Jay Baer’s book Hug Your Hater’s
My appearance on the Luke & Susie Show
Thanks photographer & listener Tony Rogers for an idea for an upcoming episode




    1. Adopt the Hug Your Haters mindset! Embrace them for all they’re worth.
    2. Actively encourage feedback and make it easy for people to provide it.
    3. Take the complaint offline after two responses from the hater. Otherwise I can see it becoming a mudslinging match.





Neil Fiore once said …

“There’s a myth that time is money. In fact, time is more precious than money.
It’s a non-renewable resource. Once you’ve spent it, and if you’ve spent it badly, it’s gone forever.”




What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-ha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.

7 thoughts on “296 – Jay Baer, author of Hug Your Haters, explains how to deal with customer complaints.”

  1. Hi Tim,

    Great interview.

    I’m really looking forward to this book coming out, it’s been on pre-order from Amazon since I heard Jay on Marcus Sheridan’s show (new to that one – long-time SBBM listener).

    We’re big believers in a lot of the themes Jay has talked about and we use our system to look after our reputation but also integrate it with our marketing and it’s especially good for list building. We give out comment cards to each customer that eats with us; I reply to each one personally (over 1200 in the last 2 years) and ask guests to review us online.

    We operate as a cafe during the day and the example from Le Pain Quotidien has forced me to give up my limiting belief that because our interaction is very brief with a lot of daytime customers we aren’t able to collect their feedback. I think deep down I always thought that was an unsatisfactory excuse!

    Looking forward to further tweaking our process listening to customer feedback has been a huge part of how our business has developed.

    Oh, if listeners are interested in this area I’d recommend an easy to read and practical book called ‘5 Star Service’ by UK based author and speaker Michael Heppell – well worth checking out.

  2. Listens to this one twice! Good stuff. I loved the pizza business tactic! We don’t get many haters online, but I am always on top of it to either thank them, or respond to get a win-win. Tough sometimes though. We get some haters from people we never do business with. I think they get mad bc they want to work with us, but we are more expensive than their other quotes. Can’t win them all.

  3. I really enjoyed that episode. Jay is really easy to listen to and explains things in a wonderfully “plain English” way backed up by facts and figs. Good one. I am also a big fan of Tony Rogers listener feedback suggestion. There’s not much floating around on this topic and for many of us that have challenges with self-promotion and well, might not be as good looking as you Timbo (!) it’s a great subject for how to approach and tips for young players. Keep up the great work 🙂

  4. Tom Dickson

    Hi Timbo, First time posters…long time listener and fan of your show as you know.

    Awesome interview with Jay, really great info, it’s always good to find out all feedback the good, the bad and the ugly, because we don’t know what we don’t know and some of the biggest opportunities are from those who have not thoroughly enjoyed their experience with dealing with our businesses. After all we all want to create raving fans and if we can turn a disgruntled customer into a raving fan, well that is a huge achievement and many benefits will no doubt flow.

    I do have one question though, I know I have been working some very long hours of late to build our business, however I can’t seem to buy some books of Jay’s site, what am I missing?

  5. Tony Rogers

    Hi Tim, thanks for the mention and the link above – I look forward to hearing the photography podcast in the future, I do hope it helps your listeners and in turn other photographers.

    Whilst I do miss the two episodes a week, the prospect of your new book will provide the extra “Timbo fix”.

    And yes, Royal Tunbridge Wells is quite fairy tail with Hever Castle and Leeds Castle on our doorstep!

    Now off to upload my latest blog post – to Linked-In and to learn more about Medium.

    Thanks Tim.



  6. Tony — let us know what you think about Medium! We’ve been big on it the last few months ourselves with Jose’s writing + his newest initiative, Creatives Against Depression: bit.ly/medium-cad + bit.ly/medium-recn

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