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

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (June 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401300340
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401300340
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This terrific book wastes no words and no time, but delivers the goods. Jack Mitchell, CEO of two high-end clothing stores in Connecticut, offers solid (if not all new) principles of customer service and relationship management in a personal, lively, entertaining way. The book is immediately applicable to retail and small businesses, and sheds much-needed light on managing a family business. The book draws a straight line from customer service to business success. The author, whose warmth and candor is totally endearing, may be faulted for denying that location matters. After all, his stores sit in one of the most affluent regions in the U.S., so he would probably enjoy some measure of success even with mediocre customer service. And, his customer service is great, intense to the point of being instructive. If he is overenthusiastic about his formula, that's to be expected of a salesman. We find a lot of useful material here for anyone in a customer-contact business and, as a bonus, this familial saga is really fun to read. Highly recommended.
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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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Format: Hardcover
"Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way To Personalize Sales And Achieve Astounding Results" by Jack Mitchell is a great book for entrepreneurs who operate service businesses and, especially, for business owners who operate retail operations.
Jack Mitchell is co-owner and CEO of Mitchells/Richards, the upper-end clothing retailer. Today, Mitchells/Richards sells $65 million in apparel annually. Mitchells/Richards dresses many Fortune 500 executives. However, the store began as a modest family business, started by Jack's dad in 1958.
Mitchell writes: "When the store opened, there were a few dozen shirts, some socks, a couple of sweaters, and a few ties. Plus, exactly three Doncaster suits, the brand Dad created for the store, priced at $65 apiece. A size 40 banker's stripe. A 42 navy blue. And a 42 charcoal gray.... Nowadays we stock over three thousand suits-for men and women."
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:
1. A friendly greeting
2. Personal interest
3. A business that makes them feel special
4. A 'no problem' attitude
5. Forward thinking"
Mitchell says that to be successful in the service industry, you must build a customer centric organization-one that hugs the customer. It's not enough to have satisfied customers. You need extremely satisfied customers.
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.
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By A Customer on Aug. 18 2003
Format: Hardcover
The book is an extension of the store, which is magnificent. The clothing is more art than fabric, and is truly intoxicating. The ambience in the store is like a very "in" party - it is a warm welcoming environment, with usually friendy peope. It is available only to those fortunate enough to be able to spend very large amounts of money for clothing. The book is a continual recounting of Mitchell's customer service hero stories, which in theory sound too good to be true.
As a customer of the Westport store, the merchandise is some of the highest quality, exquisite clothing and accessories one can find...with price tags to match. Today I went to the store to pick up an expensive evening gown I bought for a cruise. I am leaving in two days and am on a hectic schedule to say the least. I waited 15 minutes while the cashier tried to track down the alteration, as it was marked "Not finished" though today was the promise date. The alterations took 2 weeks, and I patiently waited for today to arrive...I tried on the dress, and found a repair had not been made and a stain that hadn't been on the dress when I bought it was now there. The dress had to be sent to a dry cleaner (Mitchells is footing the bill), and I have to go back to the store (20 miles) tomorrow to pick it up (they did offer to deliver, but later in the afternoon tomorrow - too late). (The salesperson never checked the alterations after the sale - a critical error. salespeple should receive a list of all open alterations, and inspect each the day before promise date is reached.) While all this was going on, I did not feel at all hugged. Jack Mitchell saw me standing by the counter looking a bit dismayed, and admittedly did offer a cappucino, didn't ask me if there was a problem, ...is this what a $1400. purchase should look like?
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