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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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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.
"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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FYI ... the new 2015 revised edition goes into detail about internet sales/email, etc. Concepts that were a bit foreign to businesses in 2003 when the internet was still in its infancy. I have a 2015 edition and the chapters are different and the pages are different because 25+ new pages were added.
The book itself is a great sales book which really allows you to understand the concept of customer focus. However, the edition information is all wrong here.
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.
To be fortunate enough to learn the right way to treat customers, and people in general, gave me a base knowledge that allowed my career to be as successful as it has been.
From the first day I started, until I left to go to the wholesale side of the apparel business, the principles that were instilled into me, and every employee at Mitchell's, gave each of us the foundation to be successful in life.
Today, years later, I still use in my business the customer service techniques and attitudes the Mitchell's taught me. I teach these same principles to my people, and those I present to. It's contagious, because the more effort you put forth to satisfy a customer, the greater your business will grow. I still have the "Hug Your Customer" passion, thanks to Jack and Bill Mitchell, and I hope you catch it when you read this fine book. You won't regret it for a second.