July 25, 2003
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects - Hug Your Customers
Jack Mitchell is the CEO of Mitchells/Richards, an extremely successful clothing store in Connecticut, whose two locations are doing over $65 million in yearly sales. To thrive in an area just a nine-iron away from Manhattan requires something special, and Jack Mitchell tells us exactly how they do it in this fun read. They do it by hugging their customers, which entails not meeting expectations, but exceeding them.
Mitchell talks about the magic list which is free parking, free coffee, free alterations etc. And, every Saturday in the summer, they give away hot dogs. They also give away kosher hot dogs for their Jewish clientele. But what really makes them unique is the fact that since one of their loyal customers has a cholesterol problem, they now also offer turkey dogs! This is just one way that they have become a customer-centric organization.
Another way they accomplish this hugging is by SKU-ing their customers. This may sound cold and impersonal, but it really isnt. As Mitchell says:
Were trying to measure and understand our customers in every possible way. We have over 115,000 customers in our database, and by listening and learning over the years we get to know a great deal about every one of them
Once youve built a customer-centric organization, youll find that customer loyalty builds over time, and with it, profitability. The true key to long-term profitability is strong and enduring relationships between customers and sellers.
What I especially like is how Mitchell presents his points. The book is 260 pages and has 56 chapters. The chapters are divided into eight parts like: Hugging 101, The Big Secret, The Formula, We Love Mistakes, and The Power of New. The page-to-chapter equation means that the chapters are short and easily digested. They are perfect for the training course that you have wanted to start on customer service.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.