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.
In what has become an annual rite under the Trump administration, the president's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. Trump's initial budgets for both fiscal 2018 and 2019 also called for cutting the NEA, but each time the House restored funds for the organization and last year gave the NEA a $3 million increase.
According to researchers, the English language might never have enjoyed a richness of F-words had it not been for early farmers and the food processing they favored. Dairy products and other soft foods, such as gruel, porridge, soup and stews, helped shape our faces, the researchers claim, and allowed us to form the sounds "f" and "v", known as labiodental fricatives...
After skipping 2018's announcement due to scandal, the Nobel Foundation has announced that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded in 2019 - and that Laureates will be announced for both 2018 and 2019.
According to the press release: "During the past year, the Nobel Foundation has had a close dialogue with the Swedish Academy about the problems that arose in late 2017 and early 2018. Several important changes have been implemented since then. The Academy's regulations have been amended, making it possible for members to resign. The statutes have been clarified. Several new members have been elected. The Academy also no longer includes any members who are subject to conflict of interest or criminal investigations."
The longlist for The Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 have been announced. The winner will be declared in June.
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
My Sister, the Serial Killer Oyinkan Braithwaite
The Pisces Melissa Broder
Milkman Anna Burns
Freshwater Akwaeke Emezi
Ordinary People Diana Evans
Swan Song Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
An American Marriage Tayari Jones
Number One Chinese Restaurant Lillian Li
Bottled Goods Sophie van Llewyn
Lost Children Archive Valeria Luiselli
Praise Song for the Butterflies Bernice L. McFadden
Circe Madeline Miller
Ghost Wall Sarah Moss
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Across America, small theaters are canceling productions of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird," citing a threat of litigation from a powerful, sharp-elbowed Broadway producer related to a contract that dates back half a century.
The theaters were planning to stage an adaptation of the novel by the playwright Christopher Sergel, which has been widely staged by adults and students for decades. Lawyers for the producer Scott Rudin, backed by the Lee estate, are telling the theaters that their productions are no longer permissible because there is a new adaptation, by the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, which opened on Broadway in December...
The Guardian has a fun article on Susan Rennie's book, Roald Dahl's Rotsome and Repulsant Words, which is worth a read for all Dahl fans, and particularly lovers of his 1982 classic, The BFG:
If a small child were to walk up to the lexicographer Susan Rennie in the street and call her a slopgroggled grobsquiffler, she would know exactly how to reply. "You squinky squiddler!" she would shout. "You piffling little swishfiggler! You troggy little twit! Don't you dare talk pigsquiffle to me, you prunty old pogswizzler!" ...
Silicon Valley billionaire, philanthropist and author Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman's charitable foundation has been announced as the new sponsor of the Booker prize, a month after the Man Group revealed it was ending its 18-year sponsorship of the prestigious award for literary fiction.
Moritz and Heyman's foundation, Crankstart, has committed to an initial five-year exclusive funding term for the Booker, with an option to renew for a further five years. It will not give its name to the award, which will revert to its old name of the Booker prize from 1 June, when the Man Group's sponsorship ends.
We are pleased to announce the publication of
The Inner Lives of Book Clubs!
This fascinating report is the first to really get to the heart of the book club experience. It's the result of two surveys of more than 5,500 people, combined with BookBrowse's more than 15 years of book club experience and research.
Its 56-pages are packed with interesting and usable information that is relevant to librarians, authors, publishers, booksellers and, of course, book clubs.
Among much else, you will discover:
- The attributes most successful book groups share.
- The demographics of public book clubs compared to private groups.
- What people want from their book club.
- The elements book clubs look for when picking books.
- The 12 most common book club challenges, and how groups resolve them.
- The link between discussion length and happiness.
- The percentage of book clubs that use library book bags.
- What people interested in a book club but not in one want from a group
- What causes people to leave book clubs.
Prolific author William E. Butterworth III, who wrote under the name W.E.B. Griffin, has died aged 89.
The writer Andrea Levy, who explored the experience of Jamaican British people in a series of novels over 20 years has died, aged 62, from cancer.
After starting to write as a hobby in her early 30s, Levy published three novels in the 1990s that brought her positive reviews and steady sales. But her fourth novel, Small Island, launched her into the literary big league, winning the 2004 Orange prize, the Whitbread book of the year and the Commonwealth Writers' prize, selling more than 1m copies around the world and inspiring a 2009 BBC adaptation.