Hug Your Customers - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
Don't panic. Jack Mitchell, the author of Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, isn't suggesting that you take his title literally. 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. His advice is hardly groundbreaking. For instance, what rookie employee has not heard the old adages such as "know your customer, think outside the box, have a 'no problem' attitude"? While we've all heard this obvious, age-old advice repeatedly, how many of us can honestly say we've seen it practiced with any level of success where we shop, eat, travel, etc.? That's the point of this book. Everyone knows what should be done to create repeat customers ... very few people do it!
Chances are pretty good that you've never heard of this author or his business establishment. Jack Mitchell is co-owner and CEO of Mitchells/Richards, two independent clothing stores in southern Connecticut and New York's Westchester County (two of Manhattan's most affluent suburbs). This upper-end clothing retailer dresses many Fortune 500 executives from Chase, GE, IBM, Merrill Lynch and Pepsi to name a few. Today, Mitchells/Richards sells $65 million in apparel annually. However, the store began as a modest family business, started by Jack's dad in 1958. Don't make the mistake of tuning out at this point because you don't work in the clothing business. What Jack learned from his father decades ago can be applied to any and all customer-centric businesses that appreciate the importance of knowing that having satisfied customers no longer insures success-you must have extremely satisfied customers who want to return time and time again and encourage others to do the same!
Mitchell credits his family store's success to making the store a home, where customers feel welcome. Mitchell says his parents: "... understood that customers wanted five things more than they wanted a great location or enormous inventory:
A friendly greeting
A business that makes them feel special
A 'no problem' attitude
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. You, of course, will have to determine what it takes to "HUG" a customer within your environment. This would make an excellent exercise for your staff. Once the crucial determination is crystallized, discuss expectations, training, and follow up to insure success.
Mitchell writes: "When you have strong relationships, customers will do more of their buying from you. They'll refer other customers. They'll communicate with you better and tell you what they like and what they don't like, in turn making your business more efficient and effective."
The author points out that hugging is difficult to quantify, and many companies ignore customer satisfaction and customer profiling altogether. While inventory is recorded on the balance sheet, Mitchell tells us that a company's greatest asset-repeat customers-doesn't appear on any financial statements.
Further, while companies invest significant amounts in computer systems, they rarely develop computer systems that support a hugging culture.
Mitchell writes: "What's amazing is that although personal relationships are absolutely crucial to any company's success, they are rarely tracked by any system. Hotels don't know who likes queen-sized beds and who wants extra pillows. Airlines don't know who prefers aisle seats and who prefers the window." Can something similar be said about you, your business and your customers? If so, take action to correct this situation.
Mitchell is a big fan of profiling customers to provide more personal service. He likes his sales associates to know which customers like M&M's and what nicknames they prefer.
Knowing personal information about each customer is nearly impossible without a database to support this information. However, it doesn't stop there. I know of many companies who boast a tremendous database and yet do nothing with it. Like any other customer service strategy, knowing it is not enough. You have to use it. In today's unbelievably competitive marketplace, there are few who "use it." So-o-o-o-o, define your "HUG," make it an expectation, train your staff to "HUG," practice it, and then, most importantly, "HUG!"
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
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The Hogwarts universe is set to expand by an additional two new Harry Potter books, published by Bloomsbury in the UK (and presumably Scholastic in the USA) in conjunction with a British Library event, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the series.
The library exhibition titled, "A History of Magic," featuring the two books will be open from October 2017 to February 2018.
The books, both by the British Library, include unseen sketches and manuscript pages from author J.K. Rowling, magical illustrations from Jim Kay and artifacts from the archives at the library.
J.K. Rowling, in a statement on the Pottermore website, called A History of Magic an "adult edition" and Harry Potter A Journey Through A History of Magic "a family edition for younger readers."
As a part of the celebration of its centennial this year, the Women's National Book Association has awarded the WNBA Second Century Prize to the Little Free Library. The award, which carries a $5,000 grant, honors "an organization that supports the power of reading, past, present, and into the future,"
The Little Free Library, a nonprofit organization that promotes reading for all ages, but especially children, by building free book exchanges.
Founded in 2009 in Hudson, Wis., by Todd Bol to honor his mother, a schoolteacher, the Little Free Library promotes the building of free book exchanges. There are now more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries worldwide, in all 50 states and 70 countries.
The budget battle is kicking up again in Washington, but this time with a note of optimism for libraries and library supporters. Last week, a House Appropriations subcommittee voted to recommend level funding for libraries in FY2018, which would mean roughly $231 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), $183 million for the Library Services and Technology Act, and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
The vote comes after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital agencies.
By his own admission, the novelist Junot Díaz is an agonizingly slow writer and a chronic procrastinator. Over the past two-plus decades, he has published just three books: two short-story collections and his 2007 novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize.
But even by Mr. Díaz's glacial standards, his latest book, Islandborn (March 2018, Dial Books), will be long overdue about 20 years past deadline. And it's a mere 48 pages long.
According to the New York Times, Islandborn "engages with many of the same themes that Mr. Díaz has wrestled with in his fiction: immigration and identity, the weight of collective memory, and feelings of displacement and belonging." ...
This year's International Thriller Writers' annual awards have been presented to:
Hardcover: Before the Fall
, Noah Hawley
First Novel: The Drifter
, Nicholas Petrie
Paperback Original: The Body Reader
, Anne Frasier
eBook Original: Romeo's Way
, James Scott Bell
Liu Xiaobo, the renegade Chinese intellectual who kept vigil at Tiananmen Square in 1989 to protect protesters from encroaching soldiers, promoted a pro-democracy charter that brought him a lengthy prison sentence and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize while locked away, died under guard in a hospital on Thursday. He was 61.
(Liu Xiaobo is pronounced approximately Lee-O shau-BO. Liu is his family name, Xiaobo his given name. The first syllable of Xiaobo rhymes with now.)
For the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, the Apple Corporation is authorizing a comic book adaptation of the classic film with Titan Comics. The book is slated for release in 2018.
In a move that had been expected, Bertelsmann has increased its stake in Penguin Random House. After the deal is completed in September, Bertelsmann will have a 75% share of PRH with Pearson controlling the remaining 25%.
Spencer Johnson, a onetime physician and children's book author, whose best-selling books on business management, including "The One-Minute Manager" and "Who Moved My Cheese?," sold millions of copies and inspired a cult-like following, died July 3 at a hospital in Encinitas, Calif. He was 78.