Whether you’re dealing with a conflict at home, with your neighbors, or at your place of business, it can be easy to become bogged down in old ways of working through problems.

Jay Baer is the author of five New York Times bestseller books and President of the global consulting firm Convince & Convert, and he’s made a career out of helping companies learn how to deliver exceptional customer service – even in the face of a crisis.

According to Baer, “80 percent of businesses say that they deliver superior customer service; only eight percent of their customers agree.”

Baer believes that old methods of dealing with difficult situations, such as complaints from customers, simply don’t work in today’s world. He asserts that the shift towards social media, real-time reviews, peer referrals, and consumer feedback sites like Google+ and Yelp! means that business owners need to get up to speed when it comes to modernizing their approach to customer service.

In his award-winning book, Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers, Baer teaches readers how to ‘reconfigure’ their approach to customer service in a way that turns complaints into compliments.

Baer advocates that companies should always welcome feedback from their customers, regardless of how negative the feedback is, or where it comes from. He’s discourages businesses from discounting complaints from consumers for one simple reason – “every interaction between brand and human has the potential to delight or enrage – in short, to become memorable.” Furthermore, he reminds readers that thanks to the widespread use of social media, negative complaints about a business or brand can “live on, and live in public, for a very long time”.

Baer’s take on crisis management is founded on the idea of ‘hater-hugging’ – finding a way to transform the negativity into a positive moment.