Summary of Hug Your Customers

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Hug Your Customers book summary
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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

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. getAbstract finds 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.

About the Author

Jack Mitchell is the CEO of Mitchells and Richards, two clothing stores in Connecticut.

 

Summary

Prologue

Jack Mitchell is the ebullient, optimistic CEO of Mitchells and Richards, two family-owned clothing stores in wealthy Connecticut suburbs. The stores make $65 million in annual sales. Mitchell believes the most important thing is to "know your customer." He and his staff hug their customers, meaning they go out of their way to make customers say "Wow!"

The Hugging Culture

Once a customer called Mitchells, one of the stores, in a big hurry to buy a blue cashmere topcoat for an important meeting. The store did not have one in stock and the customer couldn't wait, so Jack Mitchell literally lent him the coat off his back - a navy cashmere topcoat about the customer's size, which the customer wore to his meeting.

That may seem extreme, but it's characteristic of the culture of the Mitchells and Richards stores: passion about customer relationships. Mitchell calls this a "hugging culture," in which customers not only buy from the stores, but also trust and enjoy them. The stores befriend customers because Mitchell believes, "Only extremely satisfied customers are genuinely loyal."

The stores make customers a higher priority than the merchandise...


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