Book of the Week: Hug Your Customers4 min read

Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results by Jack Mitchell  

If you want to put your arms around your business and bottom line, you’ll want all the updated information and practices found in the landmark business bestseller, Hug Your Customers. The only way to stay in business is to have customers; the only way to increase your profit is to attract more customer visits by providing exceptional customer service. It’s that simple says Jack Mitchell. Hug Your Customers shares the hands-on practical philosophy that has allowed Mitchell and his Family of Stores to thrive and excel in today’s challenging retail marketplace. Filled with accessible advice, personal case studies and tips any businessperson can use, Hug Your Customers is an energizing blueprint for customer and employee retention, increased per capita spending, and groundbreaking success.

Mitchell, whose father started the business in 1958, shares the secret of his success to keeping customers happy. Hugging your customers, 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. For Mitchell, this is the best way to keep your customers coming back. His advice – know your customer, think outside the box, and always have a “no problem” attitude.

Hug Your Customers has 7 Hugging Study Guides that will recap all that you have read in this delivery mastery written book. I have shared one and seven as you will need to read the book yourself to gain insight on the other five.

Hugging Study Guide # 1

  • Huggers sell with passion so they develop long term personal and loyal relationships with customers – This means seeing, listening and caring about the customer, and treating the customer as your friend. Always make it about them as they will feel your authenticity.
  • You have to develop extremely satisfied customers – In the new business landscape, it’s no longer enough to have satisfied customers. It’s all about creating raving fan customers that keep coming back again and again and again.
  • Customer-centric organizations are best huggers – Everyone, from top to bottom focuses on the customer as they are your
  • A hug is anything that exceeds customers expectations – It’s a mindset – Everything and anything you do whether it be big or small should exceed their expectations.
  • Everyone on the floor – The golden principle – It puts everyone where they can see, touch and feel the customers.
  • Your business should feel like home – Always address your customers by first name, make coffee and snacks available along with diversions for their kids.
  • Know everything about your customers – Listen and learn everything that important about and to your customers. What’s their favorite vacation spot, their favorite meal, their golf handicap or their dogs name. Make it all about them.
  • Offer services common in other industries but not in yours – This way customers feel that they are being treat to luxury. Little things like serving hot dogs on Saturdays will make you stand out.
  • Think outside the box – Keep yourself and your team in the imaginary spirit that helps you stay ahead of the competition.
  • When you hug often enough, customers will hug you back – This tells you that your hugs worked and a true relationship has blossomed and they trust you.

Hugging Study Guide # 7

  • Mistakes are challenges and opportunities, not problems – out of mistakes heroics can occur. Customers always remember when you foul up, but what they remember most of all is what you did to correct it. Always use a mistake as an opportunity to shine.
  • Follow the five-step mistake solver – recognize it, admit it, own it, apologize, fix it, give the customer a hug. It’s always about taking complete ownership.
  • No one is to blame – Don’t punish someone for making a mistake, work out a way to solve the challenge as so everybody wins.
  • Don’t commit to the same mistake twice – Learn from your mistakes and find solutions as they don’t happen again.
  • If something doesn’t work, end it – Test and measure everything you do as not everything will work.
  • Ask customers how you’re doing – The only way to find out is to ask, so listen and learn. This is where you can really grow your customer service.

Hug Your Customers will change your attitude and outlook as well as it will give you proven techniques that will ensure success in your business for many generations to come. This book is required reading for any business owner that wants to stand out among their competition by truly making it all about the customer.