Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hugging Your Customers

Jack might know the true purpose of a business better than anyone in North America.

On an emotional, intuitive level, you would be hard-pressed to find a more knowledgeable, experienced expert on this subject.

Jack is the CEO of three of the finest men’s and women’s specialty stores in the U.S.:Mitchells in Westport, CT, Richards in Greenwich, CT and Marshs in Huntington Village, NY.

Strolling along the polished wood main floor of one of his luxury emporiums, he cuts an impressive figure. Typically, Jack is dressed impeccably in a Ermenegildo Zegna two-button suit with a bright yellow tailor’s measuring tape draped around his neck. Six days a week, he can be seen smiling, waving hello and hugging customers when he is not organizing, rearranging and straightening out the merchandise.

Did you say hugging the customers?

Since the true purpose of a business is to create & keep a customer, Jack and his team go out of their way to ensure no one ever wants to leave his three stores.

There are hugs all around at Mitchells, Richards and Marshs.

From everyone.

They are haberdashers with a heart.

Much of what Jack knows about business went into his first book, Hug Your Customer: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results. It has sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide. It is now in its eight printing and has been translated into nine languages. Stuffed with anecdotal tales from the fashion retailing ranks, Hug Your Customer offers solid, practical advice on how to attract, retain and expand a larger customer base. Those little extra touches that make customers gasp with delight - what some call the "Wow Factor" - Jack Mitchell calls them "Hugs."

"A hug is a metaphor for any tiny caring gesture, deed or act that touches the customer, and the customer says 'wow, these folks really care about me as a person. I think I’ll come back and shop here again. We try to know their kids’ names, their grandchildren’s names, where they went to college; we want to get to know them as people in a way that makes them feel good.", explains Mitchell.

And true to his optimistic nature, Jack and his team see mistakes as an opportunity to wow their customers.

Jack Mitchell has figured out that giving out hugs in business has a boomerang effect.

Customer love keeps coming back.

Jack would agree that hugs make a perfect gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange. Hugging has no unpleasant side effects. Hugs are all natural. There are no batteries to replace. They are inflation-proof, non-fattening, non-taxable, non-polluting with zero money down, no monthly payments and fully refundable.

Could a few more "hugs" make a difference for your business?

Starting today, what "hugs" could you start giving your customers?

"No matter how hard you hug your money, it never hugs back"
JIM GILBERT, "Canada's Huggable Car Dealer"


1 comment:

Kevin said...

At my gym, if a member makes a great accomplishment, I'll shoot them an email to congratulate them or post it on the website the next day. When people have their personal records celebrated by the rest of the gym community, they feel like a valued member...and they are.

Just one way that I give a "hug".