By  on July 21, 2008

Five years ago Jack Mitchell, CEO, put down his tape measure for a while and picked up a pen. The result was a business book called Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, which chronicles the growth of the Mitchell chain and lays out the primary reason for its success: hugging the customers, or Mitchell’s metaphor for “showering them with attention.” From literally giving a customer the Hickey
Freeman blue cashmere coat off his back, to the phone that rings after-hours in a Mitchell family member’s home when a customer has a crisis, the Mitchell clan will do anything it can to please its shoppers.

Jack took it one step further earlier this year with the publication of the sequel: Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire and Recognize Your Employees and Achieve Remarkable Results, an ode to the company’s sales associates. That book provides the tools that companies need to create engaged and enthusiastic employees. For Jack, this boils down to five key doctrines: “My guiding principles are to be nice to them, trust them, instill pride in them, include them and generously recognize them,” he writes. “People spend more time at the office than at home and want to feel personal and professional satisfaction. They want the opportunity to grow to improve themselves.
They want to be recognized and to feel they have a sense of purpose at work.”

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