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


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Frequently Bought Together

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

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (June 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401300340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401300340
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

"Hug Your Customers can change your attitude and outlook while helping you become more successful. A must read!" -- Larry Bossidy, CEO, Honeywell International Inc.

"Hug Your Customers gives the business world proven techniques to ensure success for many generations." -- Harry Paul, Co-author, FISH! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results

"Follow the tenets of Hug Your Customers and your business will be more stable, you'll make more money . . ." -- Jeffrey J. Fox, author of How to Become a Rainmaker

"Great book-required reading for anyone who manages a business where customer service counts." -- Seymour Sternberg, CEO, New York Life Insurance

"Jack Mitchell has created an organization that epitomizes the best in customer service." -- Richard J. Harrington, President and CEO, The Thomson Corporation

"Lots of merchants profess a devotion to customers, but Mitchells practices that devotion in every conceivable way . . . A must read!" -- Larry Bossidy, former CEO of Honeywell

"Simple but winning approach to customer service." -- Esquire

"The Mitchell method is simple, straightforward and incredibly effective. Business people as well as consumers will benefit . . ." -- Arthur Levitt, Jr. author of Take on the Street, former chairman SEC, present friend and customer of Mitchells

"This book is a suprising little gem." -- William J. Holstein, The New York Times

"This is a terrific read -- a mixture of wonderful, insightful anecdotes, along with brilliantly simple and useful advice." -- Don Peppers, co-author (with Martha Rogers) of The One to One Future: Building Relationships One Customer at a Time

More About the Author

Jack Mitchell is Chairman and CEO of the Mitchells Family of Stores (Mitchells/Richards/Marshs and Wilkes Bashford), a three-generation family business that operates men's and women's specialty stores in Connecticut, New York and California that are nationally renowned for their personal service touches and strong relationships. Jack himself has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries of his time by the Daily News Record, one of the most widely read retail trade publications in the country.

After completing a B.A. at Wesleyan University in 1961 and an M.A. at the University of California-Berkeley, Jack joined the family business, Ed Mitchell, Inc., which was founded by his parents, Ed and Norma, and later became Mitchells of Westport. In 1995, Mitchells acquired Richards, the leading men's clothing store in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 2006, added Marshs of Huntington, Long Island, to the group. In December of 2009, they also proudly acquired Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California.

Under his leadership, the Mitchells Family of Stores have become well known for employee engagement and longevity and providing exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise in an exciting, friendly, and visually dynamic atmosphere. Jack is an active leader on the floor listening and learning along side his brother Bill, wife Linda, his three sons and three nephews.

In 2003, Jack Mitchell launched a "second career" as a speaker and author. His first book, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, was a Wall Street Journal best seller and received rave reviews in the New York Times. In addition, it was endorsed by Warren Buffet on the cover with the following quote: "It's a gem. I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow his advice - we would own the world." In 2008, Jack published his second book, Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees to Achieve Remarkable Results where he illustrates a business blueprint to personalize relationships to drive success and achieve greater satisfaction at work.

Jack has become known as a passionate enthusiastic public speaker, keynoting at over 200 events for corporations including Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Payless, Nike, Starbucks, and Harvard University addressing audiences of all sizes and reaching over 50,000 people globally with Hug Your Customers/Hug Your People presentations. Jack has appeared on The NBC Today Show, and Kudlow & Cramer TV show as well as numerous radio interviews and online and print articles. Jack has been quoted in national magazines as a customer service and management leadership expert. In April 2005, INC Magazine listed Jack as one of the 26 Entrepreneurs We Love.

Jack shares with his family a number of Community leadership Awards from the Anti-Defamation league, The Menswear Division of UJA-Federation of New York, and Sacred Heart University. Jack is on the Yale Cancer Board and in an Executive in Residence at the Columbia University School of Business.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book has nuggets that anyone in business should read.
Dee Girl
I thought I provide great customer service...but this man takes it to the highest level!
Donna J. O'Klock
Instead of hassling customers you hug them--and they hug you back!
Robert L. Shook, Author

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful 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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Experienced seminar leader on September 10, 2003
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Diosana on March 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As a real estate agent, I am always looking for ways to deepen a relationship. This book has spark some really creative ideas and processes/systems for me to continue to develop systems that I can create meaningful connections with my client. Woohoo! Thanks Jack Mitchell for giving me a new view!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read over 50 books on Customer Service. This is by far the best of all of them. It goes into great detail on what things you need to do, not just the fact that you need to do them. I have sent them two emails, and they responded in less than a day-That's better than 90% of the companies out there...If you are going to read a book this year, this should be the one. It is insperational, and motivational for anyone dealing with the public, even Governmental agencies could learn a thing or two, or three or...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. Newman on July 9, 2003
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "ssijdo" on July 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Having had first hand experience shopping at Mitchells and Richards you can be assured that what you read is what you get. The Hug book chronicles the non fiction path to over the top customer satisfaction. Jack has achieved the pinnacle and diplayed "The Formula" for everyone to emulate. An easy, quick read full of implementable strategies that apply to any business. Loved every page!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jurek Leon on December 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a book about the principles of passionate customer service. Written by USA retailer, Jack Mitchell, it is full of homespun philosophies and amusing anecdotes that give a glimpse of why his two store business is so successful. Here are two examples of what Jack Mitchell means by a `hug':

"A hug can be a thoughtful remedy for an annoyance. When the postal service raised the price of a stamp to 37cents from 34 cents, my first thought was, `Oh great, now I've got to stand in line to get 3-cent stamps so I can use that mound of 34-cent stamps I bought...I hate waiting in lines, so I sent out a personal note to 500 of our good customers, thinking they might be in the same boat, and included some 3-cent stamps. I wrote, `In an effort to make your life less hectic, I have enclosed a handful of 3-cent stamps.' It was a hug out of nowhere, and they loved it."

"Whenever I notice customers shopping with young children, I like to go over and kneel down so I'm at child height and say, `Hi there, I just wanted to thank you for bringing your mom and dad into the store today."

Rather like John Timpson, at Timpson Ltd in the UK, Jack Mitchell believes in rewarding high performers.

"We say to our great sellers, `we want to invest in you. We would rather pay you more, than pay to put additional ads in the Westport News or the New York Times.' Most retail stores traditionally spend 3 to 5 per cent of their sales in marketing. Years ago, we did too. But then we realised that we could spend a lot less and invest it in great people. It was a tremendous win for everyone."

"Hug Your Customers, love the results" is an easy read that is unlikely to give you new insights but it will get you thinking about how you can hug more of your customers more often and reap the rewards. As Jack Mitchell says, "You have to be consistent with all your customers. Inconsistent businesses have inconsistent profits."
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