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Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results Hardcover – June 11, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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  • Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results
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  • Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results
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  • Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach To Customer Service
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If you work at a Fortune 500 company and live in southern Connecticut or New York's Westchester County (two of Manhattan's most affluent suburbs), chances are you buy your suits at Mitchells (in Westport, Conn.) or Richards (in Greenwich, Conn.). These two independent clothing stores are some of the most successful in the business and outfit CEOs from Chase, GE, IBM, Merrill Lynch and Pepsi. Mitchell, whose father started the business, shares the secret of his success in this unoriginal but cheerful guide to keeping customers happy. Hugging your customers, he says, has nothing to do with being touchy-feely around them and everything to do with offering them over-the-top service. For Mitchell, that means literally offering a customer the coat off your back, if that's the only one left in the store in the customer's size and preferred style and color. It means going to customers' homes to tie their bow ties for big events. It means serving coffee and bagels in the store and giving away hot dogs in the parking lot on summer Saturdays. Some might view this as fawning, but for Mitchell, it's the best way to keep customers coming back. His advice-know your customer, think outside the box, have a "no problem" attitude-is hardly groundbreaking. But those who work with customers daily have much to gain from this chipper, inspiring handbook.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"It's all about service! That's what they taught me as a sales associate at Richards in the 70's and it's what they continue to show me as a customer in the year 2000. What a pleasure buying clothing from people who make you feel like family."

"I have been a customer and a friend of the Mitchells for many years and from day one everyone has greeted my wife and me with a hug, a smile and often times a good joke! They have been a beacon--and a leader--in developing sincere and deep relationships with their clients."
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (June 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401300340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401300340
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Once again, there's not a lot that's terribly new here but the basic concept of customer service cannot be overstressed: treat people as you would like to be treated yourself. I own a high-end retail establishment on Madison Avenue in New York City. I had become so fed up hearing my employees complain about the mega-stores and mega-brands taking away our business that I had them read this book and we discussed it at a staff meeting. It made a huge difference, and the customers have definitely noticed. If you like this one, then I would also recommend the new book about a small coffee business called "Beans." The same tenets apply.
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Format: Hardcover
In a world where "that's not my problem" and "we have our policies" too often reign, from large companies and small ones both, this book is sheer delight. I read this book while smarting from being treated as if having no water in our house for several days were not an emergency. The well company came on a Friday, appeared to have fixed the well and left. Twenty minutes later, the problem came back. Had they subscribed to the Jack Mitchell philosophy, the service guys would have come back later that day, or on Saturday so that we wouldn't have been left without water for the weekend. But nope, their weekends are more important than customers. When he finally called me back, I even asked the owner if he could give me a beeper or cellphone number so that I could let him know if the next service call also didn't solve the problem. He refused. Now compare this with the Jack Mitchell philosophy, which is that an emergency is whatever the customer defines as an emergency, and that the customer counts. And the customer counts not because this creates a fatter bottom line (which it does), but because people matter. That's the part that put tears in my eyes. His sincerity on this point came through loud and clear. The book rates a "5" both on emotional and logical grounds. I read tons of business books every year, and this one truly stands out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I adored Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results by Jack Mitchell. The fact is, I can’t remember the last time I got so excited about the potential applications for my industry - nonprofit fundraising.

Mitchell owns a high end clothing store in Westport, Connecticut. Like most brick and mortar businesses, his business was hit hard by the recession. But by switching to a customer-based business model (rather than transaction-based), Mitchell’s not only survived, they thrived! Warren Buffett refers to Hug Your Customers as “a gem … I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow [Jack Mitchell’s] advice — we would own the world.”

In case you’re wondering whether this is all a bit too sentimental and touchy-feely, remember this: in Jack’s world, a hug isn’t literal — it’s a stand-in. Some of the ways Jack and his employees “hug” customers include offering someone a beverage or snack, sending a birthday or anniversary card, making reservations for a customer at a restaurant, getting tickets to a ball game or the theater, giving them a smile, lending an ear to listen…and always, always, providing exemplary customer service. They go above and beyond in ways that are truly memorable, not to mention inspiring.

In the nonprofit world, some ways you might hug your donors include:

Something as simple as sending out an anniversary email or card celebrating the date of their first gift
Rewriting your thank you email to make your donors feel wonderful about their gift
Maybe, just maybe, you might even send some of your favorite donors a small gift

You’re in the relationship business. Your job is to provide exemplary donor service. It’s as simple as that. Hug Your Customers just begins to name the many ways.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Highly recommend to any businessperson as a "how-to" guide to differentiating yourself through service and overall attention to the customer. Much of what is written here seems like common sense (the Golden Rule: "Do unto others...") yet is rarely practiced by businesses. Although the book may be somewhat redundant (the reason I gave it 4 starts rather than 5), this weakness is offset by the fact that it remains a quick read, largely due to the numerous great anecdotes illustrating Mitchell's business principles. I will have all my employees read it and intend to make it one of the books that I try to re-read annually.
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Format: Hardcover
Thrilled that Jack Mitchell has taken his family's message to the world after I had the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand. Throughout high school and college, I learned the value of "Hugs" as an employee at Ed Mitchell, Inc. Yes... the original name before the flagship store changed names to Mitchell's of Westport when I was in college. The Mitchell family holds a special place in my heart and I carry the lessons of Ed, Norma, Jack, Bill and their children with me every day. The book is a refresher of the lessons I learned 25 years ago and a reminder that those lessons are timeless. Hug away! Congrats, Jack - and thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
Jack Mitchell is right on target. Mr Mitchell takes care of his employees by paying a good wage with all of the perks. They then in turn "hug" their customers by paying attention to their needs.
My Marketing professor in college had this same philosophy which he passed along to me. But in the world of business companies fail to hug the customer by thinking that the company is more important than the customer.
Jack Mitchell is the type of boss whom I would love to work for. Cudos to Mr Mitchell for sharing his philosophy.
I have since passed along this book to my employer.
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